The personal care industry is one of the most plastic-intensive industries. Not only do personal care brands use a huge amount of virgin rigid plastic bottles, tubes, caps, and pumps (as an industry), beauty trends like microbeads (used for scrubs and certain cleansers) wash down the drain and end up in the ocean to be consumed by fish (which we eat... yum! plastic!).
Over the years, awareness of plastic's impact on our oceans has grown, but awareness ≠ change.
In the midst of the global COVID crisis, Outlaw decided that we were going to go ahead with our company-long pledge to change from virgin plastic to recyclable and more readily degradable aluminum.
Now, Outlaw body wash and lotion bottles can all be recycled with regular aluminum can recycling, which is more available than plastic recycling (if you want to read the reality of plastic recycling, here's a good Good Morning America article). Our solid cologne has always been in recyclable aluminum, and all our fancy kraft boxes are recycled and recyclable chipboard. (what comes around, goes around)
Plastic can take 1000 years to break down (wherever it is - landfills, hiking trails, the ocean), but aluminum (even when disposed of incorrectly) takes about 200 years. And when disposed of correctly, aluminum cans can get back into the rodeo pretty quickly.
Outlaw is currently the only aluminum bottle on Whole Foods' shelves.
We were able to migrate to aluminum last year because an infusion of cash from investors enabled us to cover the larger quantities needed to get the costs down to a more reasonable amount. Yes, it is expensive to change to aluminum, but thanks to investors like LAUNCH, Bridge Investments, Battle Born Ventures, and several others, we were able to make that change.
The Carbon Cost of Delivery
Another gross polluter of our industry is the carbon output of home delivery. As you know, direct-to-customer businesses like ours require individual folks out there driving trucks and vans to get our products to you.
Last year, we added carbon offset to our Shopify store, and here are our results:
We covered the cost of carbon offsets and covered 36.9 metric tons of CO2 (otherwise known as a "metric fuckton of carbon dioxide"). Our contribution supported more than 46,000 seedlings in forest-protection initiatives designed to process the global carbon produced by delivery.
Business As Usual
We believe these measures should be business as usual for our industry, and maybe someday they will be. But until then, we Outlaws are doing our part to be the change we want to see in the world.
Thank you for helping us sustain the environment for generations to come. No one wants to eat fish-flavored plastic.