There is so much talk about sustainability nowadays but rather than treating it as a trending buzzword, let’s look at companies that are not just all talk but are actually creating products and/or services that are helping the world be more environmentally friendly. Happy Earth Day and may we all treat this planet the best way possible!
Authica Jewellery – Lab-grown diamonds
Are Diamonds a girl’s best friend? Not when they’re overpriced, unethical, and do no good for the environment! Mined diamonds have many detrimental impacts on the environment – soil erosion, deforestation, and ecosystem destruction – producing more waste and consuming more energy and water as a whole. What’s more, lab-grown diamonds cost 60% less than mined diamonds.
So hypothetically, with the current diamond industry in Singapore being valued at SGD$1.1Billion, shoppers can save up to $300 million if just half of Singapore’s diamond shoppers chose lab-grown diamonds in the next year. Imagine what that extra money could be used for – your first home, or even a dream honeymoon perhaps?
That was something that the co-founders of Authica Jewellery could all agree on! In a world where personal finances, ethics and sustainability are top priorities, co-founders of Authica Jewellery, Iris Tan, Sharon Sim and Devin Nathanael look to shed light on the murky diamond industry in Singapore and help consumers get their money’s worth for every carat purchased, with zero harm to the environment.
In a quaint store located at Oxley Tower, the founders personally sit down and educate their clients about the value and societal significance of choosing an ethical diamond, and how they are physically and chemically identical to the traditionally mined diamond. Simultaneously, erasing the myth that lab-grown diamonds are “stimulants” like cubic zirconia and moissanite.
As proof of their success, Authica Jewellery has attended to more than 100 couples for their lab-grown diamond jewellery requests and achieved a 7 figure annualised sales figure within the first 3 months of business.
Aspurely & Zest Clinic – Love Your Planet Project
aspurely, a local, homegrown, clean skincare brand, partners with Zest Clinic to launch “Love Your Planet Project”, which runs from April 15 till the end of the year. Through this project, aspurely and Zest Clinic aims to encourage the public to be mindful and environmentally-conscious of the way they choose to dispose their used skincare bottles (plastics only). For every donation, get a 20 percent discount on aspurely’s skincare products and a complimentary 30-minute health screening and wellness consultation at Zest Clinic.
The used skincare bottles will be picked up by a sustainable, Singapore-based business, The Sustainability Project (TSP). The empty skincare plastic bottles will then be given a new lease of life through ways such as reusing them during workshops to store body scrubs, or redistributing them to 45 businesses in the Zero Waste Packaging Initiative to reuse in their operations. The Zero Waste Packaging Initiative aims to give packaging a second life, which includes empty skincare plastic bottles.
The remainder of the used skincare bottles will be collected by recycling company, Eco Exchange that will recycle the plastic bottles safely and responsibly instead of sending them to landfills that harm the environment. The plastic bottles will be consolidated and sent to a plastic recycler where it will be crushed into smaller pieces and made into granules as new raw materials.
Do remember to thoroughly clean out your old skincare bottles before recycling them!
Precious Medical Centre
80 Marine Parade Road
#01-11B Parkway Parade
meeth – recycle and opt for refills
meeth, a Japanese luxury skincare brand whose gentle, nature-first approach to skincare extends well beyond the assembly line. A refreshing change from the usual FMCG decisions that prioritize their bottom line, sustainability has always been a part of meeth’s core values. The brand has consistently been taking active steps to address this, as seen with their efforts to reduce waste by designing packaging which allows customers to opt for refills for their Ceraderma Essence, Twelement Day Cream and Skin Repair Night Cream. These products have enjoyed popularity among meeth’s customer base with its lightweight hydration, intense moisture and skin barrier repair and maintenance. But what puts the proverbial cherry on top is their refillable packaging, which reduces the amount of plastic waste produced.
In just three months of the Skin Repair Night Cream Refill Pack launch, meeth has managed to save 20% of potential plastic packaging waste. In 2021 alone, meeth has also managed to save 32% of potential plastic packaging waste on their Ceraderma Essence, and a whopping 44% on their Twelement Day Cream with just that one simple change.
Strengthened by these encouraging results, the meeth touch up lab in Japan has also been running a Clean Earth Program where consumers are incentivised to return their empties so that meeth can give their plastics a new lease on life. In 1.5 months since its launch in February 2022, 137 plastic containers have already been collected and recycled through this programme.
Just in time for Earth Day 2022, meeth will be launching a Singapore-based Clean Earth Program in its flagship Plaza Singapura store as part of the National Recycling Programme helmed by NEA. With every 1 meeth empty brought to the store, 1 stamp will be rewarded. Consumers can then redeem a meeth product—of their choice—once they collect 10 stamps. In the spirit of fully integrating their recycling ethos into their business goals, they will also incentivise the recycling of non-meeth empties with a one-time redemption of 1 set of Ceraderma Essence and Skin Repair Night Cream Samples. Empties brought down to the store will need to be cleaned and dried.
Womanizer Premium Eco – One Tree Planted Project
You may have remembered Womanizer’s Premium Eco – the world’s first biodegradable pleasure toy which was launched last year during Earth day. Made from Biolene, a bioplastic that is mainly made from corn starch, the Premium Eco is biodegradable and recyclable. Moreover, Womanizer also uses plastic-free recyclable FSC forest certified paper for the packaging, and 100% cotton for the storage bag, making it an environmentally friendly product.
This year, Womanizer donated part of their sales of the Premium Eco to One Tree Planted, a non-profit focused on global reforestation, and participated in their project to plant more than 1.5 million trees in total. The tree planting project took place in six states: Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand in India, where fruit trees such as guava, mango and lime were planted. By planting fruit trees, Womanizer aims to create a sustainable environment expanding food security, supporting local farmers, reducing poverty and providing habitats for living organisms such as birds and insects.
Ian Shimizu, a widely active environmental activist from Japan, commented on Womanizer Premium Eco: “The industry of sexual wellness products has an inseparable relationship with the essential role of human beings in ‘inheriting life’. ‘Sexual wellness’ and ‘environmental initiatives’ might appear to be separated but they are supposed to be connected. I would like to welcome this advanced and sustainable initiative in this industry. In addition, you can see they are working on overall sustainability, from the materials used this time to the contribution to the afforestation. These holistic initiatives are very important, and society as a whole needs this type of attitude.”
Mr. Shimizu also argues that environmentally friendly production is required not only for sexual wellness products but also for other electrical appliances. “There are three main reasons why many companies have not yet implemented it:
- Delays in the introduction of government policies
- Lack of consumer awareness
- Lack of corporate ambition
It is important to introduce policies that will help companies involved in electrical appliances accelerate their efforts and to reform consumer awareness. In addition, companies’ voluntary shift in action in dealing with serious issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and plastic waste problem is gradually becoming common practice globally. There is no doubt that environmentally friendly production will become a norm, but the problem here is its speed. How quickly can we do it? This is the challenge of today. Considering that, it was an important action Womanizer Premium Eco initiated to aim for environmentally friendly production early,” says Mr. Shimizu.
susGain – aiming to bring better sleep with a “sustainable” lullaby
We all know the importance of sleep but sadly, according to YouGov, only 27% of people in Singapore get enough sleep. As such, local sustainability app, susGain, hopes that by making living and consuming sustainably easier, Singapore’s residents can get themselves more shut eye.
Through the susGain app, users can ensure they’re making purchases that are eco conscious; spending their hard-earned dough on worthy and notable causes. Users will gain more control over their eco-footprints and are empowered to live, eat, and shop more sustainably. If commonly held beliefs on sleep are to be believed, expressing care and concern for the environment means susGain users will feel good and by extension, sleep good.
To further drive the message home (or straight to the bedroom), susGain has even created a lullaby to show how it works. On Instagram, @dasdyl, @paulfosterrr, @the.smiling.afro and @susgain_singapore have posted the lullaby to help spread the positive message.
Fatigued Singaporeans can also look forward to finding an easier way to start their sustainable living journey by scanning the QR code below. From now till 28 April, all they need to do is download the app, then scan the QR code which will direct them to a landing page within the app to redeem a tree, planted on their behalf in Biak Island, Indonesia.
Scan the QR code and redeem a tree
FairPrice & Insect Feed Technologies (IFT) to transform food waste
Food has always been a big part of Singapore’s identity, however, what we often fail to realise is that with having lots of food, comes having lots of food wastage. According to National Environment Agency, food waste accounts for an estimate of 11% of our total waste and in 2020, our little nation generated 6665,000 tonnes.
In an effort to confront this problem head on, FairPrice has committed to a pilot collaboration with Insect Feed Technologies (IFT), a biotechnology company committed to diverting food waste into sustainable feed alternatives. In the past three months they have worked hand-in hand and leveraged an unlikely ally’s voracious appetite to convert low grade waste into high-quality nutrients – the black soldier fly.
Known for their speed and efficiency, these insect larvae act as a decomposer, munching on the hundreds of kilograms of food waste and in turn produces frass – a mixture of larvae excrement and shell casings. Rich in nutrients and immunity-boosting chitin, the larvae gets microwaved and packed as a soil amendment for animal feed while their waste becomes a natural and organic fertiliser.
Having only previously tested with Beer Grain and Okara, FairPrice Group is providing fruit scraps from their Central Kitchen and selected FairPrice stores to IFT for testing to advance the conversion of fruits to insect proteins and frass. With the help of green advancements and proprietary techniques, the 3 participating FairPrice stores have already reduced their fruit wastage (typical fruits include melons, bananas, and mixed vegetables) by an estimate of 50kg daily combined. Total waste collected between Oct – Dec 2021 amounts to 5.2 tons of fruits and vegetables.
With the need to live sustainably weighing heavily on the minds of many, this is a huge breakthrough for large-scale animal feed production. By turning our trash into treasure, FairPrice and IFT alike are massively reducing our carbon footprint and the amount of greenhouse gases released each year – inching us closer to creating a sustainable, circular economy.
WellSpent by At-Sunrice
We had previously reviewed the WellSpent series by At-Sunrice where they upcycled food waste such as egg shells, okara and moromi and turned them into delicious products.
To find out more, and to attend future WellSpent or Sunday Luxe Series events, please go to: https://at-sunrice.com/
To order WellSpent food products delivered to your doorstep, please go to: https://takeout.at-sunrice.edu.sg/
Skechers – sustainably sourced recycle apparel collection
With the aim of bringing sustainability to the forefront through offering consumers environmentally responsible clothing options as wardrobe staples, Skechers, The Comfort Technology Company™ and a global leader in lifestyle and performance footwear, launched its first-ever Recycle Apparel Collection, made from 100% recycled polyester earlier this year.
Within this Recycle Apparel Collection, consumers looking to make the eco-conscious fashion switch can find a selection of t-shirts, pullovers, shorts, pants, long skirts and hooded dresses. The collection not only makes for cool and comfortable style to wear for a grocery run or at the gym, but also contributes to making the world a better and liveable place for future generations.
The Skechers Recycle Apparel Collection is now available online via www.skechers.com.sg and in selected Skechers concept stores islandwide, including Bugis Junction, Great World, Jewel Changi Airport, Junction 8, Jurong Point, NEX, Paragon, and Plaza Singapura, with prices ranging from S$39.00 to S$89.00.
Samsonite – trade in your luggage for sustainability campaign
Samsonite is returning with its popular Luggage Trade-in offer and once again, in support of the World Wide Fund for Nature.
Trade-in any brand or any size of pre-loved luggage at all Samsonite retail outlets, department stores island wide or on e-commerce platforms and get up to 40% off ENOW and ASPERO models.
With every trade-in purchase, Samsonite will donate S$10 to the World Wide Fund Singapore. The promotion runs from March 17 to April 30, 2022, while stocks last at all Samsonite outlets, department stores and e-commerce platforms in Singapore.
Images: Authica Jewellery, Luke Elijah, meeth, Samsonite, Skechers, susGain, Womanizer