SUSTAINABILITY AS A NECESSITY, RATHER THAN AN OPTION
Unlike food, there is no legal regulation in place for health and beauty products to prove their actual organic content. This means brands can label their product as ‘organic’ or ‘natural’, but they may contain as little as 1% organic ingredients. Here at VOYA, we’ve known this for years, but only recently other brands have started to realise that if you don’t see that all important logo on beauty products, it’s not actually certified organic at all. Always look for the logo!
TURNING THE TIDE ON SUSTAINABILITY
2019 thus far has been a year of uncertainty in many areas especially with Brexit, but there is no doubt that the tide has turned on sustainable beauty and wellbeing in the beauty industry. VOYA since its inception have constantly strived to showcase their organic credentials and reassure their customers that we are making responsible choices in our formulations and business practices.
VOYA looks deeper than the superficial, our products and wellbeing and spa therapies offer a rounded health-conscious approach to beauty that emphases therapeutic treatments and stress management. The customer now knows that what they put on their bodies is as important as what they put in their bodies.
Depletion of non-renewable resources and an increasingly growing global population is steadily impacting the earth, with an abundance of plastic in our oceans and climate change being noticeable indicators. Being a sustainable business allows companies to become more efficient, improve their brand value and reputation and provide a platform for innovation. In fact, in a State of Fashion 2018 report by BoF & McKinsey, it was reported that 66% of global millennials are willing to spend more on fashion brands that are sustainable.
Sustainability is one of VOYA's core values. We are constantly looking for new technologies and innovations within this field, and view sustainability as a necessity rather than an option in an ever-growing global economy.
In an aim to showcase our product’s organic accreditations, VOYA now displays the individual product accolades on our website under the FAQ section alongside their full ingredients list. We want to bring transparency to beauty and wellness at a time when the public hungers for integrity and clarity.
Through the tradition of sustainable seaweed harvesting, VOYA’s native knowledge of this natural resource is second to none. Seaweed in our eyes is and always will be a health remedy. We know our harvesters, scientists and suppliers by name, and we guarantee that our products are the most pristine on the market. That is why, after you use our Lazy Days seaweed bath, we recommend you add it to your own organic garden to share its goodness back to the earth.
‘’On a mission to be healthier, consumer interest in veganism isn’t just a fad, it's a major trend. Evidence from Mintel’s Global New Products Database supports this: vegan product launches have risen by 175% from July 2013-June 2018 and Mintel’s Andrew MacDougall suggests that people “will want to align their beauty routine with the rest of their lifestyle.”
VOYA in 2019 is on its way to becoming Vegan, we estimate that 95% of our skincare products are vegan-friendly, apart from a handful of products that contain sustainably sourced beeswax. You can clearly see which VOYA products are Gluten Free or Vegan-Friendly by clicking on the FAQ section on each of our product pages.
THE CORRECT CERTIFICATION
All VOYA products are sent for both Soil Association and COMOS certified organic evaluation to ensure the products are not environmentally damaging and produce the least amount of pollutive agents as possible. To achieve COSMOS organic certification a whopping 95 per cent of a product’s ingredients must be certified organic for it to reach this organic standard. Having a Soil Association or COSMOS logo on your products guarantees the following:
- All ingredients and their sourcing methods are checked.
- Ingredients are GM Free.
- The protection of vulnerable plants.
- No Animal Testing.
- That only naturally derived colours and fragrances are used.
- Restrictions are in place regarding petrochemicals ingredients.
- It prevents greenwashing.
- Manufacturers are inspected annually.
- Packaging Standards are upheld.
- The company has environmental management systems in place to minimise waste.
WE TEST ON OURSELVES NOT ANIMALS
Many customers do not realise that if your product is certified under the COSMOS organic accreditation that your products are automatically deemed cruelty free due to the intense auditing process that takes place. Here at VOYA, we wanted our customers to be 100% sure of this. That is why we have also acquired our PETA Cruelty-Free status and logos. If you are unsure if a brand is testing on animals, you can search PETA's cruelty-free database here.
A GLOBAL ISSUE
The negative results of global warming will eventually affect us all, in every corner of the world. Therefore, every year since 2012 VOYA through the World Land Trust offset our carbon emissions. These funds are then invested in the protection and restoration of threatened tropical forests to combat the devastating effects of global warming.
The WLT is working through local project partners to restore biologically important habitats throughout the world. Carbon Balanced projects are currently taking place in Vietnam, Ecuador, Paraguay and the portfolios continue to expand.
Through the generous support of individuals and organisations, the World Land Trust has been instrumental in the purchase and protection of over 500,000 acres of tropical forest and other threatened habitats which would otherwise have been lost. Offsetting of CO2 emissions through WLT is a voluntary action demonstrating a corporate commitment to addressing climate change and threatened biodiversity through credible conservation projects.
We are proud to say that from the 1st January 2013 – 31st December 2017, 483.79633 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions associated with the general operations of VOYA have been offset
HOW TO BECOME SUSTAINABLE
We spoke to Emma Roberts, Head of Sales at VOYA on why it's important for spas/salons to focus their energies on sustainability practices.
How can salon or spa owners adapt their business operations to make more sustainable choices?
Making the move to become a more sustainable company requires a conscious effort by business owners. Being mindful of where their packaging and product ingredients are coming from, and how they operate day to day is the first step. VOYA products are made only using sustainably farmed ingredients and grown without the use of harmful pesticides or fertilizers.
All our ingredients are monitored to ensure there is no overharvesting or use of ingredients that are becoming endangered species. While this can be a huge challenge, as with today's climate changes some plant species are becoming endangered faster than initially thought. This simply means we must change ingredients and formulations to ensure that we are compliant with our company’s sustainability ethos. Additionally, VOYA products are packaged using recycled, recyclable, or biodegradable materials and our packing chips are made using corn starch and are 100% biodegradable.
VOYA products are all voluntarily sent to the Soil Association to achieve COSMOS certification. To achieve COSMOS ORGANIC certification, 95 per cent of a product’s ingredients must be certified organic. The accreditation also means that VOYA is audited annually to ensure we meet the criteria required in all sectors of the business, for example, VOYA must have environmental management systems in place to minimise waste.
In addition, our products are made without artificial colours or fragrances, GM ingredients, dioxins, mineral oils, parabens, MI/MIT's, petrochemicals, SLS, phthalates, PEG's, and exclude many other ingredients used in beauty products which are known to be harmful to health.
How can salon or spa owners encourage their staff and clients to contribute towards a more sustainable business?
Business owners can incentivize staff to contribute towards a more sustainable business model by facilitating simple ways for both staff and clients to be more sustainably conscious. This may be as simple as removing bottled water/water coolers from offices and replacing them with filtered tap water (as VOYA have done). Or run workshops showing staff how they can become more sustainable at work and at home by making small changes, for example, VOYA have run workshops regarding recycling and reducing the need to purchase take-out food by creating lunches using in-season local produce.