I have always loved hearing the stories behind the latest and hottest brands — hence why I am a big fan of the Breaking Beauty Podcast (hey, Carlene and Jill!). When researching eco-friendly brands to feature here on The-Eco-Edit.com, I’ve often wondered why brands have chosen sustainability as a company ethos — aside from helping to save the planet, obviously.
In the first of many, here is The Founder Series, a deep dive into why today’s brands behave the way they do. I hope you’ll love learning about brand’s that take social responsibility seriously, directly from the source, i.e. the actual people behind these ground breaking companies.
First off, I spoke with Ara Katz, who founded Seed, a line of sustainable and organic probiotics with Raja Dhir. Katz is a serial entrepreneur, having a hand in the success of brands like BeachMint, as well as advising various companies across health, tech, and consumer, including Violet Grey, Tamara Mellon and Stadium Goods, which was recently acquired by FarFetch. Dhir leads the brand’s research and development division, while also maintaining the brands academic collaborations, technology development, clinical trial design, supply chain, and intellectual property strategy.
Seed co-founder Ara Katz
Seed, which launched with it’s Daily Synbiotic in June 2018, is a monthly probiotic subscription service. The U.S.-based brand believes that by improving our gut health, we can improve our skin health, as well. The pre- and probiotic supplement also contains folate, with the aim to support cellular health, while the formula works on a whole to boost heart health and gastrointestinal function, while it helps to boost the metabolism.
The capsules are housed in chic, dark green, refillable glass container (the welcome kit from the brand includes a travel vial that holds up to a week’s worth of pills). When shipped to consumers, everything comes in a compostable mycelium tray. What makes Seed stand out above other probiotic brands is their attention to detail, like how refills are packaged in a corn foam insert that you can apparently eat.
Seed co-founder Raja Dhir
Learn more about the brand’s green practices, and what Katz is most proud of as a brand, as well as a few of her favourite green lifestyle and beauty brands.
Why is sustainability so important to you? Working in bacteria means a new lens to look upon our world and to recognize that the choices we make extend beyond our body, to our Earth. Human health and planetary health are deeply intertwined—one cannot exist without the other.
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What things do you do that affect the environment in a positive way, on a daily or weekly basis, that you’re most proud of? At Seed we think about sustainability in many ways, some you wouldn’t think that would fall under sustainability: A sustainable business model, sustainable work flows, sustainable solutions to ecological issues, sustainable customer service hours, and sustainable DM hours for Instagram. But what we are most known for around sustainability is our sustainable packaging system and our SeedLabs work—microbial innovations that address various environmental issues. In August 2018, we announced our probiotic for honeybees to protect against Colony Collapse Disorder and American Foulbrood Disease (covered by Fast Company and featured in Time’s Best Inventions of 2018–Honorable Mentions).
For packaging, each component of our sustainable refill system is designed to protect our Daily Synbiotic and be gentler on our Earth.
We know that international shipping represents 87 percent of total CO2 emissions from ships and planes each year. If treated as a country, it would be the sixth largest emitter worldwide. So as we worked towards making Seed available globally, we developed our Sustainable Transport Program. After a customer’s first month, they have a choice of continuing with standard monthly refills shipped $10 USD flat rate, or enrolling in our Sustainable Transport Program (90-day refills, billed every three months, shipped free—saving international customers $120 USD / year). Together, we can reduce shipment frequency and refill, not land-fill.
As we continue to expand and evolve, we are continuously innovating across our supply chain, packaging, and shipping to lessen the impact on our planet. And with initiatives like SeedLabs, where we may also contribute to solutions.
Can you name three your favourite clean or green beauty or lifestyle products?
Do you have an all-natural deodorant that is your fave? Corpus Naturals Santalum