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what is sustainability?: how amika is trying to be more earth-friendly

For many of us, sustainability and climate change are at the forefront of our minds. With recent events happening in Australia and Greta Thunberg’s amazing action-taking, it’s something that we can’t continue to ignore. But what is sustainability? What does is ACTUALLY mean to be sustainable? Keep reading to find out what sustainability means in terms of businesses, individuals, and what steps we are taking to be more sustainable as a company.

what is sustainability?

According to the Environmental Science Organization, sustainability is “the study of how natural systems function, remain diverse and produce everything it needs for the ecology to remain in balance. It also acknowledges that human civilization takes resources to sustain our modern way of life.” This sounded a little complicated to me, so I asked our Assistant Purchasing Coordinator and recycling enthusiast, Jamie Richards, to break down this definition. She said, “essentially when talking about sustainability we’re talking about balancing and maintaining a system/function/process whatever really so it’s the same for future use. It’s about creating a business that gives and takes an equal amount so it can be operated indefinitely.”

What we’re really talking about here is closing the loop, which means we continuously reuse the materials in our supply chain to minimize impact our on the earth. Closed-loop systems are developed so that all of the materials in manufactured goods can be recycled.Not only does this make sense for the environment and our bank of natural resources, this also makes sense in an economic way. Scientists are actually asking world leaders to address climate change more seriously. According to the Institute of Industrial Engineers, “a commitment to more sustainable practices will save money by mitigating the damage to people, infrastructure and systems.” Think about it! The more our climate changes, the higher the risk for natural disasters and events that developing countries cannot recover from.

how is amika trying to be more sustainable?

Since we know more than ever that sustainability needs more emphasis, let’s talk about what amika is doing in hopes of becoming increasingly sustainable as a company.

composting

Our office now composts! We have separate bins for compostable material that is collected and then taken to a golf course where it’s turned into nutrient packed soil & then sent back into the environment!

recycling

We are now active recyclers and have gone through trainings as a company on what can and cannot be recycled. We’ve also learned about NYC waste management and what that process looks like.

clothing collection

We are collecting clothes from office mates on an ongoing basis that are routinely donated or recycled.

We know this is a very small place to start, but as a brand, we’re super excited about the journey ahead. Here is what is in the works for 2020:

An organization that aims to “recycle the unrecyclable.” By working with TerraCycle, we will be effectively reducing our carbon footprint by practicing cradle to cradle recycling, which essentially means it is a closed loop. The idea is to collect empty bottles from customers and salons, which then get used to make other materials.

It is important for us to get our amika salons on board as well. Our goal is to collect everything from amika products to hair, and provide a stream recycling service so there is no hassle to the salon.

sourcing more sustainable materials

Jamie and her team are working everyday on bringing new and innovative packaging options to the amika team. We are working to identify materials that will work best for our products and the environment.

We are so excited to continue our journey to sustainability and being a bigger + better friend to our planet!

By Becca King, community manager

Image via @thedewyscientist who resued our holiday tin

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