Angelica Chongco

Achieving Sustainability, One Shampoo Bottle at a Time

Mayumi Organics

9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 12. Responsible Consumption and Production

Overview

“On average, one person uses 24 bottles of shampoo per year.”

-Angelica Chongco

Traditionally, manufacturers sell shampoos placed in plastic bottles. After consumption, people throw these plastic bottles away. Made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), shampoo bottles take a long time to decompose and are considered harmful to the environment.

Mayumi Organics thought of using shampoo bars as a substitute for bottled shampoos. For instance, people who go to the beach with small bottled shampoos are prone to throwing their plastic containers anywhere. However, shampoo bars do not leave such waste since they are dry and are not placed in a plastic container. As the business grew, they started manufacturing various bath and body products such as organic balm, lip scrub, deodorant bars, and others.

Aside from creating shampoo bars and organic soaps, Mayumi Organics also focuses on improving its packaging since they want its products to go international. They currently wrap their products in coffee filters and recycled boxes which are acceptable for local shipping. However, it may not be sufficient if Mayumi starts to export its products. Different factors such as the temperature and weather may affect quality, so that their products may need sturdier packaging. Presently, Mayumi Organics, along with Fedrigoni Paper, are developing packages that are presentable and eco-friendly.


Author

Rafael Avante

Rafael Avante

School

De La Salle University

De La Salle University

Professor

Pia Manalastas

Pia Manalastas

Innovation

Angelica Chongco’s journey towards sustainability began at her home around eight years ago. At that time, she had to leave her job at a BPO to look after her kids because she lost her nanny. She enjoyed her free time as a stay-at-home mom for a while, but she would soon get bored and needed a way to earn income. That’s when her passion for cosmetics and her love for the environment birthed Mayumi Organics.

Angelica was reselling soap initially, but that venture didn’t take off because she was just a beginner at selling products. Instead of quitting, Angelica decided to learn how to make her own products. However, she wanted Mayumi Organics to be more than just a profit-seeking business. More than anything, she wanted it to become known as a brand with a purpose, specifically in conserving the environment. Additionally, she wanted to share this purpose with all the Filipinos and encourage them to become more environmentally conscious. She knew that changing a person’s outlook on a sustainable lifestyle isn’t easy, but she wanted her business to be a catalyst for that change.

Besides her purpose for an environmentally friendly product, Angelica also considered what would make her business unique. According to her, “There are so many manufacturers here in the Philippines, so it’s a question of what makes us stand out from the competition.” With this mindset, Mayumi Organics fully pivoted into a zero-waste business back in 2018, and since then, it has been on a steady path towards sustainability.


Achieving Sustainability, One Shampoo Bottle at a Time

Inspiration

"One, I needed income. Number two, I needed income with a purpose."
-Angelica Chongco


She wanted to stand out because there are many manufacturers of shampoo in the Philippines. So, it’s also a question of what makes her brand unique from the competition. Angelica was inspired to innovate the sustainable products she is currently selling for income and to help sustain our environment.

So, in 2018, they piloted zero-waste design and packaging. During her early years, from 2013-2016, she made traditional products and studied the market. What she noticed during that time was the space requirement. When they buy packaging, the space the materials occupy is large. That's what also inspired her, and it has benefited them to become an eco-friendly business.

Overall impact

“There are so many technologies that we’re looking forward to developing so we could realize that in the future while my business is still surviving and growing nationwide, or even internationally.”

-Angelica Chongco

When it comes to overall impact, Mayumi Organics strives to be a zero-waste business that has to be taken in here. This is reflected in the various bath and body products that the company has created and their choice of packaging.

Apart from the practical benefits achieved when Mayumi shifted to zero-waste, Angelica was already looking into the future of her business. She wanted Mayumi to be a more affordable counterpart of Lush Cosmetics and looked towards eventually selling her products internationally. We also see another glimpse of her innovative side: As a way of tackling the water crisis, she’s already thinking of creating button-like products that serve as a lotion, again avoiding plastic waste. Since lotions and shampoo had water included in their mixture, Angelica’s idea was to create “buttons” that had the same performance. Still, this time without the water, reduce the consumption of what potable water we have left.

Angelica’s story, passion, along with her position as the secretary of the Philippine Society for Cosmetic Science is more than enough reason to keep a close eye on Mayumi Organics. A conscious effort to innovate products that are for the environment is what gives this business the great potential that it has, considering that Angelica is looking to expand and gain the traction needed to inspire others into adapting the zero-waste lifestyle, even if it begins with the bath & body products that Mayumi produces. We can’t count out the developments they have in store, either; Angelica’s position gives her many ideas and peers to collaborate with when coming up with possible zero-waste solutions to the products we use today.

Mayumi may have only transitioned to zero-waste products recently, but what they’ve achieved and where they intend to go is definitely something to look out for in the long run.


Business benefit

Many benefits come along with being sustainable; even simple changes can make a difference. One of the key ways Mayumi Organics benefits from its eco-friendly products is through its packaging. Ever since the company shifted to producing sustainable products, it has become drastically more space-efficient. Angelica emphasized that traditional packaging and storage often occupied large amounts of space, which was very costly. Their new packaging system using sustainable materials provides them with more space. Still, it is also more convenient for their clients, especially those in provinces or those going to the beach.

Angelica Chongco also mentioned that their business had benefited greatly from using zero-waste materials and procedures for their products. She stated that their consumption of electricity and energy is significantly less than when they used traditional methods. Aside from utilities, their waste has also been reduced immensely, which is fitting. According to Angelica, the first step was to eliminate using plastic completely. They also stopped using shrink wraps and used paper wrappers instead.

Social and environmental benefit

For Angelica, Mayumi Organics’ most significant contribution to society isn’t just their product but how much it has helped promote sustainability among its customers. Accordingly, Angelica stated, “When a customer is buying shampoo from us, they’re not just buying shampoo, they’re buying a lifestyle. They often thank me for helping them use less plastic or lessen their waste. Our shampoo not only serves as the shampoo that they use every day, but it also has an impact on their lifestyle and the environment.”

Aside from this, Mayumi Organics products reduce plastic waste because they don’t come in plastic bottles or plastic wrappers. Every preventable piece of plastic waste is a good thing!

Interview

Angelica Chongco, Founder

Photo of interviewee

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Mayumi Organics

Mayumi Organics

Cavite, Imus, PH

Business Website: https://www.mayumiorganics.com

Year Founded: 2013

Number of Employees: 11 to 50

Mayumi Organics, from the Filipino word meaning tender or modest, is a purveyor of package free, eco-friendly, bath and body goods since 2013. Not only do they sell their handcrafted goods with skin-loving botanicals, they also promote a sustainable lifestyle locally and internationally.