Kevin Murphy Talks About His Brand's Latest Sustainable Package Design & Ocean Plastics
by Casha Doemland on 11/08/2018 | 3 Minute Read
More than 300 million tons of plastic are produced each year, with a whopping 18 million tons of the stuff entering our oceans annually.
While the ocean is not your bathroom, you've probably noticed there's a lot of plastic in there as well. It’s your shampoo and conditioner bottles, the body washes, and the toners. It's the face masks and moisturizers you use to keep your skin spotless and tight or even the bottles of product used to ensure your hair is up to your increasingly high standards.
One company is looking to break free from the status quo and manufacture their bottles by using plastic waste from the ocean instead of virgin plastic.
Kevin Murphy, renowned stylist and founder of KEVIN.MURPHY discovered the need for hair care products that perform at the same level as your skincare one day when working as a session stylist. From there, his concept of “skincare for the hair” was born.
“Our products are designed to weightlessly deliver performance, strength and longevity,” starts Murphy. “When searching the world for ingredients, We look for companies using growing practices or ecologically-sound wild harvesting techniques to ensure the collection is of the highest quality.”
On top of that, Murphy instills a commitment to the environment at the foundation of the brand. It’s shown in the harvesting practices, as well as the collaborations and partnerships with Green Circle Salons, an organization that provides sustainable waste management to help reduce the environmental impact generated by salons and spas.
The only piece missing was a sustainable alternative for their signature square bottles. And that's where Pack Tech, a Denmark-based packaging manufacturer, comes in.
“We are constantly seeking new ways to reduce our carbon footprint,” says Murphy. “So when the opportunity for a partnership with Pack Tech arose, we were quick to jump. We take great pride in aligning with like-minded companies that are equally committed to our mission to lessen our impact on the environment, so Pack Tech was a natural fit for us.”
Pack Tech currently collects 360 tons of plastic from the ocean via trawlers, a vessel most commonly used for fishing, where they then transport the plastic to a sorting facility. There, the plastic is separated and shredded, ensuring that first all of the contaminants are removed.
Next, the shredded bits are washed, melted and processed into granules of plastic which are later turned into KEVIN.MURPHY’s signature bottles. There is no compromise to the quality of the container or the design, just a sustainable step in the green direction.
The only real problem for the environmentally friendly brand was the sheer cost of it all.
New production costs were five times more than their bottles made from virgin plastic. Still, the team was on board and with some magical math from their accounting department, they were able to make the switch with only a 7% increase at the store level.
“We have swallowed a lot of the costs ourselves to make this happen, but we feel the issue is so important to the future of the planet, we need to make the sacrifice,” states Murphy.
Now, with each Kevin Murphy product sold, an average of 45 grams of plastic is removed from the ocean. And the 360 tons of ocean plastic plucked from our seas for manufacturing equates to 14.6 million water bottles.
“With this launch, we aim to change the industry standard and will transparently share our eco-friendly processes so other brands or persons interested can take a stand alongside them as well.”
As time passes and more companies make the switch, manufacturing new materials from ocean plastic will become more affordable, and together, brands and organizations will be able to reverse the flow of 8 million metric tons of plastic that enter the ocean annually.