Is it possible to create an organic line of personal care products with an artisanal style and an eye toward
The line has an artisanal feel with illustrated artwork and recyclable packaging.
sustainable packaging that retails for under $10 per piece?
Sensible Organics Inc., one of the first beauty care companies to receive the US Department of Agriculture National Organic Certification, set out to do just that when it created Nourish – Organic Food for Healthy Skin. The company is among the first to offer a 100% USDA-certified organic ingredient bath and body collection. Nourish just launched at Whole Foods Market stores nationwide and will expand its distribution with additional products later in the year. Renewal2 Investment Fund, a social venture fund that acquired Sensible Organics in 2011, has been an early backer of some leading organic consumer brands, such as Seventh Generation and Stonyfield Farm yogurts.
The Nourish collection is comprised of certified organic fruits, vegetables and plant extracts and comes in scents—including Fresh Fig, Almond Vanilla, Lavender Mint and Wild Berries—made of blends of 100% certified organic essential oils and extracts. “The result is a unique sensory experience that has never been accomplished before in the organic beauty category,” says Rick Ruffolo, CEO and president of Sensible Organics, Inc.
“We are motivated to be leading the industry in establishing the new gold standard for organic bath and body care,” he explains. “Our objective with Nourish is to bring innovation to the market by making true USDA certified organic personal care products accessible and attractive to everyone.”
Nourish products are formulated and manufactured in the U.S., and only use organic ingredients that are
Actress Christine Taylor is a brand ambassador for Nourish.
grown, raised, harvested and processed without the use of synthetics, irradiation, chemicals, preservatives, GMOs or pesticides. The formulas also are a chemical-free alternative and exclude the use of all parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, artificial fragrances or preservatives, silicones, propylene glycol, mineral oils, sulfates, synthetic dyes, triclosan, EDTA and aluminum. The products also are cruelty-free, gluten-free and vegan. To give consumers confidence, he says, “Nourish pledges its purity by displaying all of its seals and badges directly on its packaging.”
Jeremiah McElwee, executive Whole Body coordinator for Whole Foods Market, notes the line represents a major step forward in the category because the products are certified organic, while also being effective and luxurious. “We hope more brands follow this lead,” he says.
Sensible Organics set out to sell an upscale collection at an affordable price. “That was a big part of the driver because if you think of the barriers as to why people don’t use organic personal care products –and this is true of the food industry in organics as well— the price points can be a barrier to people and an expense,” he says.
However, the brand did not want to sacrifice product or packaging quality. “We wanted the design of the package to really reflect a more artisan style and have a vintage illustration look to them. We thought this was an important element of the brand personality,” he explains. “We also wanted the packaging of the body lotions and the body washes to feel like artwork in people’s guest bathrooms and on their vanities,” he says.
In addition, Sensible Organics focused on the importance of still having a green packaging profile. “All of our products contain 25% PCRM, and they are all recyclable, which are two important aspects of the brand,” he says.
Ruffolo notes Sensible Organics searched to find packaging that met the company’s requirements, and in some cases had to make adjustments like paying more, upping the minimums, or buying tooling. “We really felt that it was important to have legitimate green elements to what we are doing. The line was made with the intent of understanding its impact on the environment,” he said, adding that the company used local vendors when possible.
Berlin Packaging worked with Sensible Organics. “We are a small company, so we are relying on our vendor team to partner with us and add that value, and that is what they did. They were definitely a big help,” he says.