How To Make a Beauty Brand Carbon Negative with Neighbourhood Botanicals

Neighbourhood Botanicals blog header
Kelcie Ottoes

Kelcie Ottoes

 Neighbourhood organics is revolutionizing the beauty industry and the expectations that come with being a beauty brand. They are a beauty brand that creates skin care products that moisturize and nurture your skin. And they do so while retaining a carbon-negative footprint. They’re innovating sustainable packaging opportunities for beauty brands and they’re protecting the rainforest with Tribe.

Introduction

Beauty brands are heavily scrutinized when it comes to sustainability. In 2018, Zero Waste Week data shared that over 120 billion units of cosmetic packaging were produced globally. And the majority of that packaging wasn’t even recyclable. Tut. Worse off, these units of packaging also contributed to 18 million acres of deforestation. From microbeads to unsustainable resource consumption, and toxic chemicals… The beauty industry has a lot of opportunities to become more sustainable.

Neighbourhood Botanicals with oils

One brand saw those opportunities and seized them

Neighbourhood Botanicals is a carbon-negative business. They use sustainable packaging. They create plant-based beauty products. And, they’re covering the cost of their entire carbon footprint– and then some!

Michaela Nisbet - Our owner

Meet the beauty brand formulator – Micaela

Neighbourhood Botanicals is a formulator-led, independent beauty brand. They make “natural skincare sustainable by design.” Behind each, intentionally designed product is Micaela Nisbet. She’s a sound engineer turned formulator and the owner of Neighbourhood Botanicals. 

Her personal history is rooted in natural oils and herbal remedies. While pursuing a music career in her 20s, she noticed that her nightlife had taken a toll on her skin and left it looking dull. It inspired her to begin studying organic skincare formulation. Eventually, she blended her own oils from cold-pressed plant oils and essential oils. The results for her skin were too good to keep the secret all to herself. 

Side hustle turned full-fledged business

Neighbourhood Botanicals is fully female owned and operated. Micaela makes every beauty product- which is incredibly unique for a beauty brand. 

Being formulator lead isn’t common in the beauty industry. The owner is someone who is often removed from making products. So, they usually end up chasing trends based on what will sell best. This isn’t how Micaela set up her business.

Neighbourhood Botanicals never repackages off-the-shelf (white label) formulations. Micaela makes everything that is proudly branded a Neighbourhood Botanicals logo or product. And she picks what product they make next. 

But that’s not the only difference between the business Micaela’s building and other beauty brands.

Neighbourhood botanicals product range

A vegan beauty brand that shines

When Micaela makes a product, it’s 90% cold-pressed, raw extract without solvents. Their products are cruelty-free, naturally fragranced, and certified vegan by The Vegan Society. They’re manufactured and shipped from their own professional COSMOS approved lab in Leyton, east London. 

If you’ve never heard of COSMOS, they set the standard for organic and natural cosmetics. They have a long list of standards for their certification process. 

Their main ingredient supplier is a UK based family-run company. This company sources raw ingredients from around the world. Then, they send the ingredients to Neighbourhood Botanicals in recycled jerry cans.

Neighbourhood Botanicals with oils

In Neighbourhood Botanicals believes that adding plant oils to your skincare regime can improve your skin’s health

Their products are 

  • Moisturizing
  • Packed with nutrients
  • Perfect for all skin types
  • Holistic
  • Sustainable

Over time, using their products can improve the texture and tone of your skin, and bring back your glow– if you’ve lost it! Their unique scents last for about 20 minutes, which is the perfect amount to provide aromatherapy benefits for the body and mind. 

Their cornerstone products are skin care products. But, they also have aromatherapy products and home and lifestyle products. One thing Neighbourhood Botanicals makes clear is that sustainability is at the heart of every decision they make. 

They believe in a global movement towards conscious capitalism. And they’re looking to be an inspiration to other young companies who want to do better than be carbon neutral. 

Neighbour Botanicals boxes

Become carbon negative and climate positive 

Neighbourhood Botanicals isn’t just carbon negative, they’re also climate positive. To achieve this accomplishment, they looked at their sourcing, manufacturing, and shipping carbon footprint. They were able to do this by partnering with Carbon Jacked who did a full carbon footprint assessment.

To be climate positive, Neighbourhood Botanicals offset 2x the amount of carbon they emit. This calculation includes their manufacturing, shipping, supply chain, embodied carbon, water, waste, and business travel. This is unique to a beauty brand.

Even the best beauty brands normally don’t take into account their entire supply chain’s carbon footprint, including getting ingredients from around the world to Neighbourhood Botanicals. And, embodied carbon means they’re taking into consideration the cradle to grave carbon footprint of their bottles and packaging. 

They’re not just offsetting for more than anyone else in their industry is– they’re doubling it! 

To achieve their offsetting goals they support the Huoshui HydroPower Project. This project supports hydropower and social projects in Rural China. The plant includes many small-scale hydropower plants that generate renewable energy for rural southwest and south-central China. 

The program not only helps mitigate climate change, but it also improves the lives for the local people. The plants provide local employment, funds for social initiatives, education programs, and sustainable agriculture workshops. The plants also provide safe and reliable electricity to give rural communities better access to appliances, which improves their daily lives.

Gift box orange tree earrings vegan Neighbourhood botanicals facial oil

Finding solutions for sustainable packaging

After starting Neighbourhood Botanicals, Micaela knew her next step was figuring out more sustainable ways to ship her products. Knowing that only 8.7% of plastic is recycled, she knew that she had to find a new solution to cut her business’ and industries’ waste. 

So, she started On Repeat Refills. Here, she and her partners created three different types of sustainable packaging options for beauty brands: a dissolvable film, composting film, and a cardboard dispensing wallet.

Each of these sustainable packages allows beauty brands to send their products to their customers as refills while minimizing waste. 

The dissolvable film package dissolves in hot water and is safe to rinse down the drain. The residue is eaten by microbes and turned into water, carbon dioxide and mineralised natural biomass rather than microplastics. Their compostable film is compostable and certified food safe.

It’s made of wood cellulose and aluminium. You can compost it in an at-home compost or place it in your compost bin. The Cardboard dispensing wallet is made from FSC certified craft board that you can shred and put into your compost or recycled. 

Their intent is to share this packing with the beauty industry to help protect the planet. Neighbourhood Botanicals now uses these products where they can– like with their refill program in the UK. They also use glass, aluminium and 100% PCR plastic bottles, made from recycled plastic, when necessary.

Neighbourhood Botanicals in Partnership with One Tribe

Neighbourhood Botanicals is also carbon offsetting with One Tribe

Neighbourhood Botanicals also supports Lend with Care, is seeking B-Corp certification, and now are partnering with One Tribe to continue to find new ways to be climate positive. One Tribe protects five trees with every product that’s purchased on Neighbourhood Botanical’s site. By partnering with us, they’re able to protect old-growth trees in the Amazon. Protecting old-growth sequesters much more carbon than planting new trees.

Summary

Neighbourhood Botanicals is not a far off dream for what the beauty industry could look like. Rather, they’re an organization paving the way for how the business will be done in the future– without compromising the planet. 

You can take the next step towards protecting the environment by partnering with us, too. Book your call to find out how you can protect the Amazon, the planet, and all its inhabitants.

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