EVERYTHING R+ECO WITH THOM PRIANO
Sometimes what a bottle is made of is just as impactful as what’s inside the bottle—and with the launch of new SUPER GARDEN CBD Shampoo + Conditioner, that’s definitely the ...
Sometimes what a bottle is made of is just as impactful as what’s inside the bottle—and with the launch of new SUPER GARDEN CBD Shampoo + Conditioner, that’s definitely the case. This duo’s debut marks the first time R+Co is using post-consumer resource (PCR) packaging in an effort to become a more sustainable beauty company.
Brandishing the new R+Eco logo, each SUPER GARDEN CBD bottle is made using 55% post-consumer recycled material, helping to reduce virgin plastic consumption and decrease the use of fossil fuels and energy in package manufacturing. While the SUPER GARDEN CBD duo will be the first to utilize PCR, R+Co will be transitioning existing packaging to PCR in the coming year. Such eco-conscious efforts have been high on co-founder Thom Priano’s mind for quite some time. Here, he recalls how he became eco-minded, why the move toward PCR matters for the industry and how R+Co’s sustainability practices will help Mother Earth overall.
What is your personal relationship to sustainability? A little more than 10 years ago, I had health problems with my cholesterol. I read the book The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet and Long-Term Health, which talked about plant-based eating versus regular eating. From that, I learned that eating plant-based is not only better for the human body itself, but also for the environment. So through that I decided to become a vegan—and I’m not an activist at all, but [living this lifestyle] broadens your mind to what we’re actually doing to our planet (like climate change) by eating meat and using meat-based products. So, with that decision, I decided that I was on the right track to save our planet, so to speak.
**It makes sense that you’d want R+Co to use 100% vegan formulas, which they started doing last year. ** I’ve been working on it longer than last year; it’s a ripple effect with anything that you do in business. You start preaching and eventually your voice is heard! And believe me: I’m glad my voice was heard. I don’t believe in the torture and abuse of animals, and by going vegan as a company we’re moving away from those practices: no animal-based products, no cruelty to animals, no testing on animals. That’s why we were able to get the Leaping Bunny certification, too.
How do vegan formulations aid in the Earth’s sustainability? When you don’t use animal byproducts in your production, you’re actually helping fight climate change.
Are there any misconceptions about vegan formulas that you want to clear up? Initially, my partner in crime, (co-founder) Garren, told me he’s not a big fan of vegan formulations because, like many other people, he believed they lack the efficacy he has come to expect. At one point he finally said to me, “As long as the products work the way they’re supposed to work, I’m happy with R+Co going vegan. But if I can’t get the result that I need in a product, I won’t agree with you on it.” So we worked hard to have the same quality and efficacy in our formulations, but with 100% vegan ingredients. And we found that with the 100% vegan formulas the function is the same—if not better—and Garren agrees.
With the launch of SUPER GARDEN CBD, R+Co is introducing PCR packaging. Why is this transition to PCR important to R+Co’s eco-friendly efforts? We’re slowly and hopefully going to change the way the beauty industry handles their packaging and their formulas to make life better for the planet itself. You know, somebody has to start doing that! And if we can start with our hair care line by using sustainable packaging, I think that’s a pretty big step forward because others will follow. That’s the way change happens: If a company like ours that has a pretty big voice in the market right now is making environmentally conscious moves like using PCR packaging, the next company will considering doing so, and so on. The hope is pretty soon all beauty industry companies will be on board.
Do you have any ideas of what you’d wish for R+Co’s “R+Eco” efforts in the future—or even the industry as a whole? I’m personally wishing for less packaging. Everything would be recyclable that we do in salons and in homes. I don’t want to leave a footprint of R+Co on this earth after that product is gone. I want it to disappear. Whatever we do at R+Co, I know we’re going to head in that direction.