Dr. Deep Lalvani has over 19 years of leadership experience across manufacturing, ecommerce, start-ups and marketing. After completing his MBA from Manchester Business School, Deep went on to garner a host of experiences under several corporations before moving onto his greatest role and joining the Ador Group as a Chairman. With over 15 years of experience as the chairman of the publicly listed Ador Multiproducts Ltd. as well as the Group’s holding and investment company, Deep comes with expertise in the skincare and personal care industry, across the manufacturing, operations and marketing segments. In June 2019, along with his associates, Deep founded the now well-known e-commerce platform, for clean, curated beauty, Sublime Life. A one-stop shop for sustainable beauty and a pioneer in the clean beauty space in India. His vision for the company is to become India’s India’s largest clean beauty curator and the pioneer and leader in creating the complete ecosystem for clean brands. Deep has also started a skill development academy and is the founder of Sublime Life. More recently, Deep was awarded an honorary Doctorate in marketing.
With an increase in the awareness of sustainability and a higher demand in clean beauty, it’s becoming more required of brands and corporates to pay attention to the environmental, social and governance issues. This has also led some brands to overexploit resources to meet the rising demand of ethical and sustainable products. In doing so, they are causing much harm and creating excessive amounts of waste around the world.
We now know that the beauty and personal care companies produce about more than 120 billion units of plastic every year, more than half of which goes to waste and ends up in landfills and oceans. This staggering number is surprising and is a huge thing that we all should responsibly take care of. We think that it’s the need of the hour for all brands to start making some mandatory changes in strategy, production and operations and save the environment from facing a disastrous negative impact.
What are the vicious consequences of using plastic?
Plastic is not biodegradable meaning that it’s not decomposable. Even on land or in water, plastic is considered a pollutant. The worst part is, EVEN if it decomposes (the chances of this being extremely low) that process will take about 2000 years to complete, solely depending on the type of plastic! Plastic makes its way to rivers and other water bodies, which is then consumed by fish and other marine animals, making it a major reason for their death. Plastic bags have disruptive chemicals released as by-products of plastic production that end up polluting water, land and air.
So there’s a need for brands to focus on sustainability and follow measures such as zero-waste packaging, recycling and upcycling programs that can offset plastic from the environment. Sustainable brands are environmentally friendly, ethical, transparent and do not exploit natural resources. They use ingredients that do not irritate skin or cause allergies, instead give better results because of their non-toxic attributes. Meanwhile synthetic cosmetics can cause a lot of problems as they are synthesized by chemicals and non-organic ingredients. They can lead to headaches, eye problems, acne and other diseases. We, at Sublime Life, believe in reducing waste, reusing more, recycling and upcycling. We also believe there are many brands that lead by example and we hope other brands follow the same ideals too.
But how can brands focus on sustainability?
It’s the small steps that amount to making a huge difference. Brands in their day to day operations can adopt measures that reduce their impact on the environment.
- Packaging should be recyclable – Most of the plastic contribution done by beauty brands is through their packaging such as bottles and containers for skincare or makeup products. Thus, brands should look after this and go for plastic-free packaging or something more biodegradable.
- Return and refill option – This one is a lifesaver. A great initiative to reduce waste, this can be adopted or practiced by individuals in their daily actions. Consumers can send back their glass or metal containers to be refilled or reused. This has the power to drastically reduce the waste created by single use plastics.
Harmless ingredients – Abandoning non-toxic ingredients is the #1 option. The use of natural and organic ingredients and opting for safer, greener and cruelty-free products can make a considerable change in reducing plastic waste.
There are certain challenges that are faced by sustainable beauty brands too. Transparency and traceability being one of them. It becomes hard to track the origin of the product ingredients. The cost of sourcing sometimes becomes too high, making it difficult for brands with less capital to invest sustainably. There are multiple challenges in the entire supply chain. Packaging being one, there’s a lot of thought and effort that needs to go in to ensure the packaging materials used are eco-friendly and plastic-free. There have been numerous brands that have been on the list of ‘greenwashing’, simply because they chose to not be transparent and honest about their production, ingredients or environmental impact. What brands need to remember is that they’re leading consumers to unknowingly cause a negative impact on the environment, rather than bringing a positive change.
We, at Sublime Life, keep sustainability at the core of our business and follow all ethical and honest measures. We have over 150+ brands onboard with us and we take good time to vet all the brands. Our policy is to be completely transparent about everything – starting from the list of ingredients, their origin to the packaging used. We give out as much information about the brands and the products as we can, so that consumers can make a well-informed, thoughtful and the best decision possible. Our packaging material is 100% plastic free and our constant effort lies in coming up with more sustainable alternatives.
Our recycle programme known as ‘Sublime Recycles’ Program allows users to reduce plastic waste, reuse more and upcycle waste. We empower consumers to make sustainable purchases but also offset plastic from the environment. Since there are multiple brands that have plastic packaging, we urge consumers to send us the empties from any brand (not just from the brands purchased from Sublime Life) and get rewarded for the same. Instead of throwing them away and wasting more, consumers can send in their empties or get them picked up. We have also been certified as Plastic neutral by The Disposal Company.
We also send out unique seed paper cards along with all the orders. This is a small initiative by us that can empower consumers to plant that seed at home and be reminded of the greener lifestyle decision that they made. We urge people to switch to toxin-free, sustainable and cruelty-free beauty as the consumer today has the power to shift demand of anything and everything. It all lies in the hands of the consumers.
We firmly believe and hope that the initiatives taken by us will set an example to other brands, bring in a positive change that is the need of the hour and will give back to the environment because that’s what matters the most.