Interview with Laurel Whole Plant Organics
We are proud to say that Laurel Whole Plant Organics have been long-time members and Sponsors of GSN! Today, we are thrilled to be interviewing Managing Partner Eric Pasch about Laurel Whole Plant Organics’ commitment to sustainability and the ways in which they incorporate green practices into their business, product production, and everyday lifestyle.
Why is it important for Laurel Whole Plant Organics to work with local and Biodynamic farms?
Working directly with organic and biodynamic farms is the foundation of who we are. We choose to only use certified organic ingredients and we do this with the 150+ ingredients that we work with, so it is quite the undertaking to source our ingredients this way. By working directly with the farmer we can ensure the quality and freshness of the ingredient, in addition to knowing how the ingredient was grown and harvested, something that is incredibly rare in this industry. We are becoming much more aware of where our food is coming from and we believe the same should be done with where our ingredients are coming from in our beauty products. A single skin care product could contain chamomile from Egypt, rose from Bulgaria, and evening primrose from China. Each of these plants grows abundantly in our California climate, so we drastically limit our carbon footprint by working with farmers to cultivate them here, and we get to support our local community while doing so and pay them a fair wage for the beautiful ingredients they provide us.
We love Laurel Whole Plant Organics’ approach to environmentally-friendly event packing and shipping. Can you share about your process?
Everything we do at Laurel we do with intention and mindfulness, and this is true with how we choose to package and ship our website and wholesale orders. The cardboard boxes, shipping tape, packaging paper fill, and even the shipping label are all made with 100% post-consumer recycled paper. As an alternative to traditional plastic bubble wrap we use an SFI-certified paper bubble wrap that is naturally biodegradable, compostable, and fully recyclable. We don’t use any plastic in our shipments and they are completely zero waste. Sure it’s more expensive, but we are committed to protecting the environment and we would never do it any other way.
What other ‘green’ practices does Laurel Whole Plant Organics implement?
I am always looking at how we are doing business and considering the sustainability of everything we do because I think we can always do better. Recently I was able to switch our electricity provider for our production facility and offices, so we are now completely powered by 100% renewable energy; a combination of wind and solar energy. One specific practice that I always consider is where and how we choose to make purchases. Who specifically are we buying from, how are they choosing to do business from a sustainability perspective, and what human elements are they championing in their business practices. We want to buy local, from small businesses, and from people who treat their employees and our planet with care and respect.
What inspires Laurel Whole Plant Organics to be an organic, whole plant, natural skincare line?
What’s Laurel Whole Plant Organics favorite self-care practice?
I can’t say we have a specific self-care practice, but there are a lot of little things Laurel and I try to do to be our best selves in support of ourselves and our team. We always try to eat well and get plenty of sleep, which seem to be the biggest challenges we face as we continue to take on bigger projects. When Laurel and I recognize an opportunity to leave the office a little early to go for a hike we jump at the chance. Laurel does Kundalini yoga on a regular basis and that really helps to bring her back to center. We do try to manage our work hours as to not burn ourselves out, so it’s not uncommon for one of us to look at the other when we notice we’re on our phones too much and say “no more phone”! Finally, we try to get away every few months. We like to go up the northern coast of California and find an Airbnb that doesn’t have a TV or cell phone service so we can just get away from it all for a few days and recharge. We read, play board games, and we love taking our dogs to the beach so they can run and I can do some tide pooling.
Does Laurel Whole Plant Organics have ‘green’ plans for the near future?
This is a question that keeps me up at night! We just finished a full rebranding of our packaging, a project alone that took us almost 3 years, so we’re taking a bit of a break from big projects right now. However, we have several big initiatives that Laurel and I want to take on in the future. We already manufacture everything in-house, but we want to go even further, so the next step is our own farm so we can grow many of our ingredients! Having our own farm will allow us to lessen our carbon footprint even more, as well as provide us with a more sustainable ingredient supply chain for the future. I’m working on a new page for our website that will highlight the life cycle of our ingredient supply chain, as well as the specific sustainability initiatives that we champion and I’m really excited to share it. I’m also working on launching a non-profit that will be centered around the organic farming community that we work with.
Learn more about Laurel Whole Plant Organics by visiting their website at www.laurelskin.com.