NEW YORK — Many companies are jumping onto the green bandwagon because it seems to be the new, hot trend. But for Skaffles LLC, the desire to offer natural products — in this case a line called Green by Nature — was more personal.
The company's creative director, Gail Iannacone, was diagnosed with a rare physical disorder, one that didn't respond to conventional medicine. Iannacone started researching the benefits of natural products and an organic lifestyle and realized that it is just as important to know what is going on the body as it is to know what goes in it.
"People eat organically to avoid the chemicals and toxins that contaminate fruits and vegetables, yet they are not aware of the harmful ingredients that personal care products might contain. The skin is the body's largest organ, it's extremely important to protect it by using natural products that avoid industrial chemicals," she said.
With that in mind, Skaffles created Green by Nature, a line of body washes, lotions, hand creams, body butters, body scrubs, lip butters and lip glazes that are free of parabens, sulfates and DEA, a chemical commonly found in hair products. According to Skaffles owner Steven Shweky, the entire line has formulations that are 95 percent natural. To hammer home the point, new packaging lists the percentage of natural ingredients. "This isn't just about being on top of a trend, this is about doing what is right for the world," he added.
To help differentiate its products, Skaffles created a proprietary blend of six natural ingredients, dubbed Eco-Fusion, including grapefruit seed extract, shea butter, pistachio oil, aloe leaf extract, rosehip oil and beeswax. In total, there are 35 items in three flavors — banana shea, almond cocoa and mint green tea. Prices range from $2.99 to $11.99.
All packages are made from 100 percent recyclable materials and the firm is part of an alliance of businesses that donate 1 percent of annual sales to environmental causes, called 1 Percent for the Planet.
Green by Nature also uses packaging and displays to convey its natural message. "One of the major things that differentiates us from others is that consumers don't have to make sacrifices for natural products. Our items smell great, feel great and work great," he said.Although many retailers may start merchandising in natural sets, Shweky thinks natural items will soon be mainstream. "You are going to see the consumer dictate that these items go right in the cosmetics and skin care planograms," he said. The company's display features grass and bamboo to attract customers looking for natural products.
Green by Nature is currently available at Urban Outfitters, but Shweky feels there is great potential in chain mass market stores. There is also a Web site for the line and the company will launch a business-to-business portal to serve mom-and-pop stores that want to offer the natural line.
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