Selva Chats | Sarah & Marina of Earth tu Face
Today, we chat with Sarah Buscho and Marina Storm, the creators of one of our favorite brands of all time, Earth tu Face.
If you're unfamiliar, this California company focuses on 100% natural and purely planted-based skin and body care. What does 100% natural mean? Well, for Earth tu Face this means being entirely free of preservatives, synthetic compounds, alcohol, fillers, and much more. They're also pretty dear to us because they've crafted their expansive line of luxury products entirely without the use of palm-oil. We've spoken to hundreds and hundreds of American companies and among them, Earth tu Face's conviction to make every day items sustainable, conflict-free, and purposeful stands out.
We've been told so many times that U.S. brands cannot reformulate because it would be at the expense of their product's performance. Today, Sarah & Marina tackle that myth, among others, in this compelling issue of Selva Chats:
Why is it important for you to maintain a palm-oil free business?
Unfortunately the palm oil industry is linked to serious world concerns like habitat degradation and abuse of primates, deforestation, climate change, and indigenous rights abuses in areas where palm is sourced. The growing practices clear cut land to establish palm oil plantations. The numbers are staggering at how fast rainforest is being destroyed to make room for palm oil production. It is some absurd amount of space every hour. With the overwhelming number of species of animals and plants being negatively impacted, or pushed to complete extinction, is truly a shocking and depressing topic.
Palm oil is found in almost 50% of household products in countries such as US, England, Australia, and Canada. It is often used in baked goods, shampoo, cosmetics, detergents, soap, household cleaning supplies and even toothpaste. But the good news is there are many fantastic vegetable oil alternatives that are grown safely, sustainably, and in harmony with the earth. That is what we focus on – solutions. This conversation is hopeful because there are so many solutions.
At first, it was really surprising to us that Earth tu Face offers both a lotion and a shower gel, products that commonly contain conflict palm-oil. Did you find it difficult to make these products without the use of palm?
Absolutely not. It is as simple as choosing another oil to work with. Palm oil doesn't offer anything that other oils don't. In fact, there many oils that far surpass palm in healing benefits.
Your business has experienced incredible success and we’ve really loved watching you make the top of everyone's list. How do you plan on continuing your growth while maintaining the ethics of your brand?
The size of a business doesn't necessarily mean that ethics have to be compromised. We chose to use sustainable ingredients that are easy to propagate and fast growing such as lavender, chamomile, geranium, coconut oil and olive oil. We have great sourcing and partnerships with organic growers and all of these ingredients are in abundance. As we grow, our partners' businesses grow and we are all on a sustainable model together. We use US made glass from a local glass manufacturer who has very large-scale capacity. Our Skin Stick is compostable and make from recycled paperboard. We structured our business model for sustainability at any since from the beginning. It had a lot to do with our sourcing choices. Sometimes people create tiny hand-made style businesses that would no longer remain sustainable if they grew to a large scale. This is really something to consider from the START of your projects. United Plant Savers talks a lot about this concept if people want to learn more. Our ethics are at the core of what we do. If compromised, then we wouldn't be who we are anymore and that's just not an option to us. We are on this planet for such a short time and we want to make a difference.
What is your best advice for businesses who believe they 'can’t make well-performing beauty products' without conflict materials? Do you just have to be overly realistic, or perhaps more creative instead?
This just isn't true and we wonder why people would believe that in that in the first place. Maybe it is out-dated rhetoric. It is not impossible make well-performing beauty products without conflict materials. Truth be told, its not even hard! There are countless incredible ingredients that are ethical, healthy and sustainable. These can be slightly more expensive in the short term but a much better deal for the planet (read: all of us) over the long run.
If you could make any one thing palm-oil free, what would it be?
Food products. There are so many delicious baked goods that are gluten free and delicious but they are ruined for us because they are made with palm oil. Even Ben & Jerry’s ice cream uses palm oil. Bummer! We second the Flaming Hot Cheetos but they'd have to remove the MSG too please ☻
If you'd like to read some of the other interviews in this series, please click here.