“Nature and the environment are at the heart of Essensorie’s ethos” creating an innovative business practice. By incorporating the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ mentality into all facets of the business, they are able to take climate action and promote responsible consumption and production.
Essensorie’s products are fragranced with essential oils derived from plants instead of the conventional method of synthesis from petroleum. These products are all packaged in recyclable glass bottles or plastic tubes derived from sugarcane. Online orders are packaged in biodegradable and recyclable material limiting waste. They have introduced in-store refills on some products encouraging customers to reuse bottles with a 20% discount and accept returns of their bottles to resell.
The operation of their business is powered by renewable energy and mostly involves recyclable materials as their goal is “to send nothing to the landfill”. The on-site creation of these products also guarantees sustainable labor.
Thomas developed a love of plants and natural fragrances from her early years in her parent’s plant nursery. After discovering her French ancestry, she returned to Grasse, France, as an adult and fell in love with natural perfumery and soap making. As a ‘serial entrepreneur’ and former graphic designer, Essensorie was brought to life through a combination of passions’.
The desire for a sustainable business lies within Thomas’s ‘love of nature and the planet’ paired with the belief that ‘to succeed in business does not mean you have to ruin the planet’. Her developing understanding that ‘businesses have an increasing responsibility to the planet’ in today’s global capitalist economy encouraged her to create a business conscious of their carbon footprint and waste production.
In recent years, there has been a shift in consumer preference towards more sustainable products. Thomas states ‘being a leader in sustainability, packaging, and refills helps business immensely because people look to us for a sustainable answer’. In this case, customers are benefitting from the discounted price of refills and higher customer satisfaction from the knowledge that they are purchasing products from a company that respects the earth. This increases Essensorie’s social license and forms strong customer loyalty thus boosting revenue while still being eco-friendly.
Thomas argues that operating under unsustainable practices such as the use of plastic bottles or synthetic petroleum-based aroma chemicals may ‘increase profit margins but not necessarily profit’. This reflects the belief that consumers are slowly coming to prioritize sustainability over money and that businesses should too.
Thomas aims to inspire other companies in all fields. not necessarily just cosmetics, to incorporate a sustainable mindset into the governance of the business. Although being a small family business, they wish to prove that they can still do the right thing for the environment and that it doesn’t require extensive amounts of money for the people, planet, and profit to prosper. In addition, the more natural composition of their products promotes wellbeing in society as the ingredients are non-toxic.
Essensorie positively impacts the environment in many aspects.
The use of natural fragrances as opposed to synthetic chemicals such as paraben or sodium laurel sulfate means less damage to the planet as habitats are not destroyed through the mining of petrol and greenhouse gas emissions are reduced due to lower demand for petrol refining. It also reduces land and water pollution after the products have been used and the chemicals are released back into the surrounding environment.
In addition, the decision to package in glass bottles where possible, as opposed to plastic, further reduces crude oil demand and promotes responsible production and climate action. Glass is fully recyclable, unlike plastic which can only be down-cycled, breaking the goal of a circular economy. Providing the option of bringing Essensorie’s bottles back for refill encourages customers to form the habit of reusing materials and reduce waste contributing to more responsible consumption. Any plastic tubes sold are made from sugar cane and Essensorie provides the option to return it back to them if local councils do not recycle bioplastic. This creates a more sustainable alternative and reflects Essensorie’s commitment to reducing waste. Furthermore, all online orders are packaged in biodegradable and recyclable materials. This shows that Thomas’s approach to the relatively new concept of online shopping tackles sustainability from the start.
Other features of the business contributing to climate action include the use of renewable energy as opposed to fossil fuel-generated electricity, the option of digital receipts over paper receipts reducing deforestation and ordering ingredients from local sources where possible to reduce carbon emissions within the supply chain. They also deposit certain waste to the Degraves Street Recycling Facility which is an initiative that more effectively manages waste within the city of Melbourne.
Lachlan Thomas, Family Owner
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Melbourne, Victoria, AU
Business Website: https://essensorie.com/
Year Founded: 2008
Number of Employees: 2 to 10
Essensorie is an environmentally conscious dispensary of skincare products and fragrances made without synthetic chemicals. It is a boutique store located in the center of Melbourne Australia founded by Nicole Thomas in 2008. Sustainability is at the core of every decision from the ingredients and packaging to the daily operation of the store. By the on-site production, the team hopes to “bring you nature, bottled”.