Every year, we release a Sustainability Report that centers on our efforts to be greener, cleaner, more sustainable and more ethical in all areas of our business practices.
Although 2020 had its challenges, we saw it as an opportunity to improve our efforts towards sustainability in every department at Annmarie Skin Care, from marketing to HR and more. By sharing this level of transparency with our customers, we are held accountable to not only continue these existing practices, but to continuously improve.
We’re proud to say that the 2020 Sustainability Report is our most in-depth report yet. It focuses on four categories—product, sourcing, packaging, and company practices—that drive the heart of our business. We’ll start by spotlighting 2020 products, from new additions to our Favorite Brands Marketplace (and how we chose them) to our own products’ ingredient integrity (and why traceability is so important). From there, we’ll launch into eco-minded packaging initiatives, like how our petrochemical-free labels and plastic-free boxes help the planet. Finally, we’ll focus on people—more specifically, our team and the efforts we’ve made towards wellness, diversity, growth, and inclusion.
Through it all, we’ll offer up statistics to paint a picture of what clean, organic, and wildcrafted skin care means for your health. You’ll know how many toxic chemicals you avoided for choosing Annmarie Skin Care, the number of safety standards we’re upholding as a company, the amount of pesticides we used (spoiler alert: it’s zero!), and more.
Who is Annmarie Skin Care?
Since our inception, we’ve prided ourselves on providing our customers with unquestionably high quality, honest and effective products to support an organic and natural lifestyle.
We strive to live our values and practice sustainability throughout our business practices. The aim of our Sustainability Report is to share with our community the details of how exactly this looks.
What practices make Annmarie Skin Care different?
Organic and wildcrafted ingredients
We use organically grown ingredients in all our products, from farmers that use little to no pesticides and natural fertilizers to produce them. Growing organics and using them for our skin care is one of the most proactive ways for us to coexist with the environment, create a thriving ecosystem for all creatures, and make your skin look beautiful—all at the same time.
There are times when we don’t use certified organic ingredients, but in these cases, this is either because we have found a source that is grown organically but uncertified, or the ingredient has been wildcrafted.
Real, pure ingredients
If you can’t eat it, you shouldn’t be putting it on your skin. We don’t use any alcohols or chemicals, harsh preservatives or any synthetic fragrances. Our skin deserves pure ingredients from clean and pristine sources.
All of our products go through the most minimal amount of processing possible, if any, to ensure that the alive and active ingredients are not jeopardized. We don’t just show you a list of ingredients of herbs from nature — we make sure that these ingredients are in their most true and active form.
Transparency, truth in labeling
We, at Annmarie Skin Care, believe in full transparency when it comes to the ingredients we put in our products. We feel everyone deserves the right to know exactly what they are putting on their skin so they can make an informed decision of whether or not they want to purchase a product.
Genetically engineered crops are slowly polluting our land here in the United States, as well as around the world. We feel it is essential to take part in the movement to protect the food supply for us and future generations by not using any GMO crops.
2020 Sustainability Report: Product
These statistics represent our efforts towards sustainability and ethical business practices when it comes to our products.
New to 2020: Growing our favorite brands marketplace
The Annmarie Skin Care mission doesn’t stop at organic and wildcrafted skin care, or with our products. It’s about using clean, sustainable, eco-minded products throughout our lives, and we’re proud to feature some of our best discoveries in the Favorite Brands Marketplace and in our We Heart selections, which we feature every month.
You can rest easy knowing these products are thoroughly enjoyed and vetted, created by companies who align with our values—from fair-trade sourcing and mindful packaging to inclusivity and more. By sharing other brands that meet our high ethical standards, we believe we are helping to get more sustainable products into the hands of more people. It’s also a way of highlighting a diverse group of individuals—homemakers and crafters, men and women, minorities and non-minorities—who are inclusive to all humans and great for the planet.
In 2020, we proudly welcomed eight new brands to the Favorite Brands Marketplace:
- Exousia Wild’s Omorfia Balm
- The Dirt’s All-Natural Oral Care
- Shen Blossom’s Wellness Spray
- Summer Solace Tallow's Souchong Debut Candle
- Sustainability Starter Kit, featuring Beeswax Wrap, Bamboo Utensils, and more
- NUELE Hair Serum
- Papa Rozier Farms’ Vetiver Incense and Nourishing Nail & Cuticle Oil
- Pretty Frank’s Natural Deodorant
11,054,332: that's about how many ML of toxin free goodness our customers purchased last year
We sold over 11,054,332 ml of products last year. That means our customers have put 11,054,332 ml worth of harmful, chemical and toxin-free skin care on their bodies, replacing synthetic ingredients with natural, nurturing alternatives.
168: that's how many different chemicals a day you've kept off your body using our products.
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the average US woman uses 12 personal care products and/or cosmetics a day, containing 168 different chemicals.
Furthermore, one of every five adults are potentially exposed every day to all of the top seven carcinogenic impurities common to personal care product ingredients — hydroquinone, ethylene dioxide, 1,4-dioxane, formaldehyde, nitrosamines, PAHs, and acrylamide. The topmost common impurity ranked by number of people exposed is hydroquinone, which is a potential contaminant in products used daily by 94 percent of all women and 69 percent of all men. (EWG)
If you stick to only our products (plus clean oral care and hair care products), you’re keeping an average of 168 chemicals a day off your body. Our clean, natural products have helped reduce thousands of individuals’ exposure to these chemicals, many of which can cause hormone disruption, skin irritation, and a whole host of other issues.
17: that's how many third-party standards we're upholding
We are currently MADE SAFE® and Leaping Bunny certified. Each of these certifications has a strict set of standards that companies must uphold to maintain their certification, and we uphold these with pride.
MADE SAFE® screens ingredients against their Ingredient Database of known harmful chemicals, which is made up of thousands of chemicals found on scientifically authoritative lists from organizations and agencies around the world. They additionally examine ingredients for bioaccumulation, persistence, and general and aquatic toxicity.
The MADE SAFE® seal literally means that a product is made with safe ingredients. There are 11 different categories of ingredients that MADE SAFE® products are screened for. Check out those 11 ingredients here and read more about MADE SAFE® here.
Leaping Bunny is the highest standard for cruelty-free products and ingredients. The Leaping Bunny Logo is the only internationally recognized symbol guaranteeing consumers that no new animal tests were used in the development of any product displaying it.
The Leaping Bunny Standard consists of 6 criteria, known as The Corporate Standard of Compassion for Animals. Read more about their standard here.
0: that's how many pounds of pesticides we've used this year
That means our customers have avoided putting countless pounds of pesticides on their body by using our organic or wildcrafted skin care.
In 2012, the EPA reported that the US used 1,182 million pounds of pesticides in agriculture, which was the last time they put out a report of this nature. Because of a lack of information made available to consumers, it’s hard to tell exactly how many pounds of pesticides we’ve saved by only using organic and wildcrafted ingredients, but we can tell you it’s quite a bit.
2020 Sustainability Report: Sourcing
While sourcing and traceability has always been a huge focus, we took things to a new level this year by incorporating some of the most unique, sustainable, and global ingredients that we’ve ever bottled, in addition to organic and wildcrafted staples. We also revisited products from our Signature Line and conducted a sustainability audit, to identify any endangered ingredients that merited replacement or reformulation.
Palo Santo Hair & Body Mist: This formula’s signature ingredient, palo santo essential oil, is extracted using vapor distillation, without the use of dangerous chemicals or solvents. This ensures a safe, eco-conscious approach without harming the land or destroying a single tree. The palo santo itself is a non-endangered species and is sourced from a close friend of ours who has a relationship with a family based in Ecuador that has planted over 30,000 trees back into the area over the last 10 years. Their partnership has become a relationship that provides a lasting livelihood for the coastal communities who gather and steward this “Holy Wood” from South America.
Botanical Hydration Mist with Immortelle: We enhanced the scent of this Wild Alchemy favorite in 2020, though its main hydrosols remain the same—both in terms of efficacy and responsible sourcing. A friend of ours in Croatia grows the formula’s helichrysum sustainably, for instance, and we intentionally selected oils and ingredients that are native to their original location.
Fruit Ceramide Eye Serum: We launched this luxury eye serum in August to a warm reception. Beyond targeting severe signs of aging and environmental compromise, the Fruit Ceramide Eye Serum was designed to elevate your routine into something truly transformative. Its effectiveness is based on hand-selected ingredients that we’ve sourced from around the globe, such as sake-derived peptides and pineapple ceramides. This powerful duo was sourced sustainably from Japan and is just one reason why this is among the most diverse formulas we’ve ever brewed.
Rejuvenating Facial Oil: Our recently-released Rejuvenating Facial Oil is a transformative elixir for glowing skin—not to mention a truly sustainable, earth-friendly formula. We sourced four of its botanicals from South Africa ethically and intentionally, through a farm that employs over 1,000 Botswana citizens who are paid fair wages—including farmers and coordinators—across 25 villages, several of which are certified organic. Plus, its infusion of butterfly pea flowers are grown with organic practices, by local farmers in Thailand who are given autonomy and fair wages to grow the highest-grade of butterfly pea flowers in the world.
Radiant Skin Silk Body Lotion: This past year, we sweetened the scent of the Radiant Skin Silk Body Lotion, in an effort to align it more with Annmarie’s original aromatherapeutic intention. Perhaps most importantly, we learned that one of its main ingredients—rosewood—has become one of the most heavily trafficked wild products in the world, due to its popularity in woodworking and other artisanal pursuits. We swapped it for ho wood, which is a far more planet-friendly option that, we feel, elevates the Radiant Skin Silk Body Lotion.
Looking ahead to 2021, we’ll continue to highlight a variety of farms where we source sustainable ingredients, along with new features on the actives in our skin care.
2020 Sustainability Report: Packaging
These statistics represent our efforts towards sustainability and ethical business practices when it comes to our packaging.
Rosemary Peppermint Body Wash: We updated this MADE SAFE® certified body wash by swapping its plastic bottle for aluminum for a few reasons. It helps prevent label slippage, for one thing, and it also now matches the aesthetic of other shower products. Most importantly, the update helps to reduce our reliance on plastic and is part of our mission to promote sustainability in everything we do.
Ayurvedic Facial Scrub: We updated this beloved scrub by replacing its plastic jar with Miron glass, which allows for easier usage and makes this product fully recyclable.
102,544: that's how many plastic-free shipping boxes we shipped in 2020.
Waste from shopping online is a growing problem and one that we’re well aware of. That’s why we shipped over 102,544 packages to happy customers last year free of any pesky plastic or wasteful styrofoam filler.
Research from the Ocean Conservancy shows that eight million metric tons of plastics enter our oceans each year, and in a few years, this could result in a pound of plastic for every three pounds of fish in the sea. E-commerce is no doubt a huge driver of this, and if more online-based retailers were able to commit to cutting their plastic use in shipping, this could make a huge difference.
175,000: that's how many petrochemical-free labels we adhered in 2020
The typical adhesive that secures a label to a bottle is commonly laden with petrochemicals. Using petrochemicals puts them into the environment and renders bottles unrecyclable. With our carbon footprint in mind, we’ve switched over to using a bio-based adhesive that is both recyclable and compostable.
190,000: that's how many eco-friendly product inserts we printed this year
While we believe in cutting down waste as much as possible, we are required by law to include inserts that include our ingredients and how-to instructions with all of our products. Our inserts come from Eco-Friendly Printer, a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified printing company.
Because they’re FSC certified, Eco-Friendly Printer only works with mills that are also FSC certified, which means that they use at least 30% post-consumer waste for all of their paper. They also go a step further and work with companies that are Processed-Chlorine Free (PCF), which means that they offer paper that is bleached with oxygen or hydrogen peroxide instead of the typical chlorine bleach that can be detrimental to native fish and wildlife.
100%: that's how much wind power our boxes are made out of
We package our products in boxes from Johnson Printing and Packaging, a Minnesota based company that runs on 100% wind power. The wind power comes from the Xcel Energy Windsource for Business Program which saves an estimated 500 tons of carbon emissions per year—that’s like planting 123 acres of trees every year.
2020 Sustainability Report: Company Practices
These represent our internal efforts towards a more human-centered and sustainable workplace.
New to 2020: fully remote workforce
While we have always had remote members of our ever-growing team, we transitioned to a fully-remote workforce at the outset of 2020 prior to lockdown. Although this is something many other companies were forced to do, a fully-remote workforce was always part of our plan at Annmarie Skin Care.
How does this relate to sustainability, you may ask? Working from home cuts down on our team’s commuting hours, which means a decrease in carbon emissions.
Not to mention, working remotely cuts down waste in some areas that may not immediately come to mind (think eating out, wasteful office supplies, and not to mention, we’re using way less water for laundry when we’re working in our comfy clothes ;)).
Sustainability at home
We encourage our team to practice sustainability in their everyday lives. We send out monthly surveys asking each of them how they are participating in creating a more beautiful and sustainable world. A few of our favorites:
“I have really cut down on my paper towel, plastic bags and produce bags usage this year! We bought reusable paper towels/sponges, reusable food containers/bags, reusable produce bags. I am definitely proud of these 2020 shifts in our household.” – Abbie
“I'm proud of how much more conscious I've become of recycling and re-using whatever possible.” – AmaYah
“I am particularly excited about becoming a much more conscious shopper in various categories now that go beyond just my groceries. I have finally grown the habit to shop majority, if not all, secondhand for clothing and shoes. I enjoy getting gifts from small or sustainable businesses and I have especially grown to love giving gifts that are made with love and invested time + energy (like baked goods and dropping them off at my friends' + family's often).” – Chandra
840: that's how many paid volunteer hours our team received in 2020.
Giving back to our community is of the utmost importance to us, so each of our team members are allotted 24 hours of paid volunteer time a year.
We volunteered across several organizations, including After Harvest, Friends of Children of Brevard, We Are Blood of Central Texas, Conscious Alliance, Hidden Villa Ranch in Northern California, and Castlemont Farm. We also approved volunteer hours for Black Lives Matter protests, along with Thanksgiving food deliveries.
Wellness, diversity, growth, and inclusion
At every level and in all departments, 2020 was about reassessing how we approach and integrate the concepts of wellness, diversity, growth, and inclusion.
Marketing: We have long been committed to Diversity & Inclusion, which we represent aesthetically and in our promotional schedule. Our marketing imagery includes models from all walks of life, to show that skin care is indeed universal and formulated for every skin type. Additionally, we ramped up awareness this year for a variety of worthy endeavors, from promoting black-owned businesses to recognizing LGBT Pride Month.
We also partnered with Daily Karma to support reputable organizations, including the Cherokee Historical Association for Indigenous People’s Day and an upcoming recognition of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
Influencer Program: Our Influencer Program plays a major role at Annmarie Skin Care, further popularizing our mission while partnering with companies that uphold similar values. This year, the Influencer team reexamined their outreach process, expanding their reach to be more diverse and inclusive.
Internal: This was a year of reflection and action, especially internally here at Annmarie Skin Care. After witnessing yet another shocking act of police brutality and announcing our solidarity with Black Lives Matter protests, we overhauled a number of internal structures to ensure we were doing our part for equality and inclusion. We allowed team members to use volunteer hours towards protesting and restructured a monthly stipend for our staff, encouraging them to donate to organizations like The Okra Project: Black Transgender Community Collective – Food and Mental Health Support, Campaign Zero, and the Louisville Community Bail Fund. Additionally, we updated all team documents and processes, from how we run our Culture Committee to our Team and Culture Manual.
Beyond that, we hosted a variety of wellness, diversity, growth, and inclusion events for the entire team. Some involved race-based education, such as The Ally Nudge, the #DoTheWorkTogether Course, and a presentation by Shelagh Brown, who spoke to the team about Medical Racism & Access to Wellness.
We also introduced more diverse authors and books into our internal Book Club, in addition to welcoming speakers to foster wellness during a challenging year. Here’s a rundown of all the guests:
- Cheryl Richardson
- Michele Paiva
- Ari Whitten
- Stephanie Staidle
- Tara Youngblood
- Shelagh Brown
- Rob Herring
We are constantly evolving with the planet in mind and striving to increase our sustainable business practices. We’re aiming for 2021 to be our most sustainable year yet. Stay tuned for announcements on how we’re becoming even more eco-friendly this year!
How would you like to see us become even greener in 2021? Share in the comments below!