Rituals’ Director Innovations & Sustainability shares insights into how the brand is doing its bit for the environment
Yes, that is definitely the same for Rituals. Sustainability is extremely important to Rituals as a company, and also to me personally. It is one of the most important pillars in our innovation process and we listen very carefully to our customers’ requests and wishes.
We indeed take this very seriously as sustainability has always been at the core of our brand. Rituals is all about wellbeing — we value personal wellbeing as much as environmental wellbeing. We are determined to not just make people feel good, but also to do good. For us sustainability is not only about how we produce, but also about how we conduct ourselves and our business.
Since the company was founded 23 years ago, we have been on a mission to support the wellbeing of our consumers. We believe sustainability must be a 360 degrees assessment, and that is why we’re taking a holistic approach to our business and how we operate. This is also the reason why we felt that the B Corp Certification is the only assessment that covers all sides of the business, from the way we treat our customers and employees to our decision-making processes and environmental considerations in product development.
How best can sustainability be explained to a consumer?
Sustainability is important, not only for the planet but also for every person alive. In today’s world, it’s more important than ever for companies to take responsibility for their impact on the environment and take action to combat climate change. I believe we have a shared responsibility to make sure future generations won’t suffer the consequences of our lack of care for the natural world – and that if we all commit to consciously making better choices on a daily basis, we can make a difference.
Sustainability is of course not only important for the planet, but also for every person. That’s why we are just as serious about the environmental wellbeing as we are about the personal wellbeing of our customers. By offering meditation sessions, yoga classes, informative pieces and more next to making our products accessible in an easy way we educate (think of recycling tips, slow down routines etc.) our community and connect with them through our app and (online) magazine.
One of Rituals’ goals is to use only ingredients of 90% natural origin, or higher, by 2025. Are you on course?
At Rituals, our formulas are created with a great deal of attention. We consciously formulate our products, combining the best of nature with 100% safe, lab-made ingredients to create trusted, high-performance formulas and products that do what they promise. For properties that nature can’t provide, or when it’s more environmentally friendly, we choose lab-made alternatives if they’re found to be better for product safety, usability and most importantly: are more environmentally friendly. Every choice we make is a balance between achieving maximum product performance and minimum environmental impact. All our cosmetics and home care products which come in direct contact with the skin are dermatologically tested. Similarly, we are ensuring all our rinse-off formulas are readily biodegradable and safe to wash away down the drain.
By the end of 2023, we strive that all our in-scope personal care formulas will be of >90% natural origin. Our in-scope products that consist of at least 90% natural origin ingredients rose from 70% in 2020 to 80% in 2022. The remaining 20% of our products are currently in development and will be introduced to the market in 2024.
What kind of ingredients are you using now that you maybe weren’t before?
By the end of 2023, we aim to formulate our in-scope personal care formulas to contain over 90% natural origin ingredients. We aim to use traceable or environmentally friendly ingredients (e.g. coconut oil) and we’re exploring using concentrated formulas to lower our transport footprint and also solid formulas (e.g. soap bars) to limit the extra packaging required for liquids. We also bio-mimic some natural ingredients with high sustainability impact (such as rose perfume) in the lab, so that we can significantly reduce the impact.
How important is the ability to deliver vegan products?
It’s important to us to be conscious on a lot of levels and we have many vegan products in our assortment. For our Namaste collection for instance, we especially had vegan ingredients in mind whilst developing the products. The full ingredient list can be found on the packaging of each product as well as on our website. Our top 5 products from our vegan-friendly skincare range are:
The Ritual of Namaste Velvety Smooth Cleansing Foam
The Ritual of Namaste Skin Brightening Face Exfoliator
The Ritual of Namaste Glow Mask
The Ritual of Namaste 24H Hydrating Gel Cream
The Ritual of Namaste Anti-Ageing Face Oil
Do refill products really help the environment?
At Rituals, we continue to keep developing, innovating, and improving to contribute for a more sustainable sector. We are therefore proud to be one of the leading beauty brands when it comes to refill offering. We see that more and more customers are accepting to refillable options. By supporting this eco-chic refill concept, you show you care for the environment; for example, going for The Ritual of Karma Body Cream refill you reduce your carbon footprint, by saving 66 percent on CO2, 56 percent on energy and 26 percent on water! Change has to happen, and I am convinced that in 10 years from now the world will look very different.
In the beginning of 2022, we committed to plant, protect or restore a tree for every refill sold in collaboration with our environmental partners. To support the wellbeing of our planet, we set ourselves the huge goal of growing 5 million trees by the end of 2022. This year, the focus of our tree initiative was helping to restore mangrove forests in Kenya and India and conserving the sacred forests of Colombia.
Why Mangroves? Mangroves are one of the most effective carbon sinks – meaning they absorb more carbon from the atmosphere than they release. They’re also a complete ecosystem that prevents severe floods and storms. They act as natural embankments to prevent soil erosion and provide a nurturing ground for many aquatic species at the time of spawning.
Have you a particular innovation of which you’re most proud?
At this moment I’m most proud of our most recently launched product, the product our consumers have been waiting for… The Clean Beauty Bar which is a soap-free bar specially formulated to gently cleanse and nourish your skin and hair, leaving both feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and beautifully scented. Available in six classic fragrances for body & hair, a cleansing face bar and an exfoliating scrub bar, this is your sustainable go-to when looking for less wasteful packaging solutions. In addition to this, the Classic Home collection offers sustainable improvements next to the innovative redesign.
These improvements include the introduction of all-glass fragrance sticks bottles, making them fully recyclable and our refill bottles are now completely transparent. Next to the fact that this reduces coating, it also makes it easier to recycle the bottle with the right glass colour. Next to making visible improvements there’s also lots that won’t be detected right away. For example, the closure of that beautiful gift carton is now made from carton, reducing the CO2 footprint of the pack. These improvements make sure that our products have a minimum impact on the planet.
Rituals has opened a larger store in Belfast’s Victoria Square. For more information on the brand, see www.rituals.com