What "Safer + More Sustainable" means at The Conscious Merchant
We are so excited that our community continues to gain more and more access to bulk and refill concept stores and we know that you have many options when it comes to where you shop. As we continue setting our intentions for 2021 and on, I wanted to take a minute and share who we are, what our motto means and how we strive to be different each and every day to serve you better.
When I set out to create The Conscious Merchant, I was very intentional in not calling us a zero waste store, but rather a store guiding individuals to "safer + more sustainable". I saw a gap in access to cleaner products and bulk refills for a zero waste life. In fact, I still see a gap that we strive to fill constantly.
So, what does "safer + more sustainable" even mean to us?
As of 2016, there are approximately 8,600 chemicals currently used in commerce. Many of them are found in personal care and cleaning products. Most have some level of safety data available on how they as a single chemical may impact your health. But, there is plenty of room for more investigation, especially since we use them in combinations and repeatedly in our bodies daily.
The recent review of sunscreen ingredients is a perfect example of how we can and should do more testing.
At The Conscious Merchant we use the term "safer" in our product selection because data is always evolving and consumers are all seeking various level of performance, shelf life and ease of use. We use multiple resources to guide our safety selections including: the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, the Environmental Working Group, Made Safe, white papers and journals such as those published by The Endocrine Society.
Being totally transparent, the word sustainable is incredibly over used, but search engines love it, and you get it, so "more sustainable" it is! We are all about doing better and being better when it comes to creating a less wasteful life.
We understand there are community members not ready to go zero waste and companies that just aren't there yet. I know first hand through my curation that many of the best "safer" products on the market simply aren't going bulk and are keeping product in-house as direct to consumer products. Reducing waste and providing clean products isn't always easy, but that's why we took on the challenge.
We look at many different factors for being "more sustainable" from packaging, to company missions, to how the product itself impacts our environment. We are curating on a number of things and trying to meet each of our customers where they are at.
In short, we have cleaner products that are still in individual containers. We have products that are refillable but may have an ingredient that isn't our favorite (although it will meet our basic safety), and we're curating products that meet our ultimate ideals. Through it all, we're remaining transparent! When you walk into our stores in 2021, you'll have access to each ingredient on our refill bar, how the product rates with 3rd parties, and if they are biodegradable and greywater safe--- by the way those are different!
We've taken on a "safer + more sustainable" mantra to create a culture that looks at both body and Earth health. We're working hard to meet you where you're at and create a space for you in your journey that's transparent.
We're not one size fits all, which is a challenging place to be as a retailer in an all or nothing culture. But we stand by to do better, be better, and we will never remain stagnant in our curations, our education and our transparency along the way.
If perfection is your goal- we aren't your peeps. If our safer + more sustainable vision aligns with you. YAY- we're thrilled to journey with you!