How it started
We've been making our own products since freshman year of college (2017) and it all started when we discovered the Zero Waste Movement through social media and were inspired to cut back on how much plastic we were using. At the time, we couldn’t find our favorite products plastic-free, so we started making our own! We became obsessed with the power of plants and the simplicity of natural ingredients. Along with this lifestyle change, came a mindset change. Not only did swapping our toxic products with natural ones heal our troubled skin, but improved many areas of our lives, and fueled our desire to change the beauty industry by making plastic-free products more available. We wanted clean and simple products that wouldn't compromise our health, waterways, or the environment and we have had so much fun creating along the way!
In 2018, we started selling our DIY products to our followers on Instagram, by request. Our blog @sustainyrself, created in 2017 during our freshman year of college, was a source for inspiration offering tips and advice on how to reduce plastic at home, routine, and day-to-day life. Little did we know that one year after starting a sustainable lifestyle blog, we’d be starting a business as well!
How it's going
We were operating our business in our mom's basement in Minneapolis, MN for the first 4 years and recently moved into a studio office in the North East Minneapolis! Living and working from home was starting to take a tole on our mental health and motivation, so we knew it was time to move the business out. Since our move in February 2022, we have been able to bring so many new things to the shop and couldn't be happier creating in a space we love and can make our own.
Becoming business women wasn’t something we had ever thought of prior to selling our products. We even hesitated to do so because we had no idea what we were getting into, nor how to do it correctly. Taxes, certifications, pricing, where to source raw materials in large quantities, sustainably, responsibly, and ethically... we just had no idea! Building our business took a lot of trial and error, but we were lucky enough to have an amazing Instagram community that supported us along the way.
As we grow, our values will remain the same. We are dedicated to providing products that work, are safe, low-waste, and have minimal environmental impact. We ship our products completely plastic-free and offset carbon emissions for every order. Because of these values, our products will never be available on corporate marketplaces such as Amazon, that value profit over people and planet.
We believe effective products don’t have to compromise our health or the environment.
You and the environment are our top priorities. Our product packaging (and shipping!) is nearly 100% plastic-free, down to the label. The few products we offer that are not 100% plastic-free contain reusable pieces, such as our new Cleansing Oil, that is available in a reusable partly-plastic dropper and a metal-cap refill.
We use reusable/recyclable glass jars with metal lids, reusable/recyclable metal tins and biodegradable cardboard push-tubes. Glass and metal are infinitely recyclable, whereas plastic can only be recycled twice.
To ship your orders, we use reusable/recyclable cardboard boxes, recyclable/biodegradable paper tape, water soluble/biodegradable corn starch peanuts (these can be dissolved in your sink, and are FDA compliant), recyclable kraft paper, and a notecard with all of this info that is (literally) made from trash and is carbon negative.
We also use 100% curbside recyclable padded paper mailers to ship non-glass items. The padding is made from macerated newsprint. On top of this, we carbon offset every order that leaves our studio, so every order is carbon nuetral.
A guide on how to responsibly dispose of our packing materials comes with every order.
We select our natural and organic raw materials based on fair trade, cruelty-free, sustainable and ethical practices and source locally when available. Although we live a plast-based lifestyle ourselves, we use beeswax in a few of our products.
Bees are an essential part of our ecosystem and are crucial when it comes to pollinating 1/3 of all crops we eat today. Unfortunately, bees have entered the endangered species list because of unsustainable bee farming, modern urbanization, and pesticide use. Because of this, it is so important to support sustainable and ethical bee farming that focuses on the growth and health of bee populations. Harvesting honey and beeswax from the hive helps to maintain the health of the colony by preventing disease and pests, resulting in flourishing bee populations. This type of bee farming is known as a symbiotic relationship.
We source our beeswax from a local, ethical, family-owned beekeeping farm that is helping maintain existing bee populations and supporting the local environment and economy. They value sustainable beekeeping practices and put the bees first by prioritizing their health and happiness. They simply extract the excess, to ensure the bees have enough honey for themselves and are thriving in a healthy environment.
Pure & clean ingredients
We proudly handcraft our products in small batches, using carefully selected pure, organic, and high quality ingredients. No nasties. We use cold-pressed, premium grade oils and raw, unrefined butters. If an ingredient can be sourced certified organic, we're using it. Because we believe what we put on our skin matters.
We've been using our magical formulas since the beginning and are confident in saying our products do exactly what we say they do.