Many of you know that we live in an Earthship totally off-the-grid. Well, one of our major goals is to take our business in the same direction, eventually housing Blue Feather in an eco-friendly self-sustaining tire-warehouse.
In the short term, over the past year we have:
- replaced paraben preservatives with EcoCert natural based preservatives in our lotions, shampoos and other emulsions.
- eliminated palm oil from our soaps, replacing it with more domestic and renewable oils
- started to use more recyclable and compostable packaging and shipping materials.
We had to ask ourselves: do we pay now or do we pay later? If we opt to pay later, with more trash in overflowing landfills, habitat loss, polluted air and water, etc., we may not be able to turn back from our excesses. Alternately, we can start changing our behavior in little bits now, while we can still have a positive effect without too much pain.
We figure you like Blue Feather because you like the feel and function of our products and you like feeling good about using them. Being good guys for the environment is part of that, right? We hope so!
Along those lines, in January, we began to phase out all Palm Oils in our products. Why? Because these oils are so popular in processed foods, that native forests are being cut down so that more and more oil palms can be planted. That is decimating populations of local floral and fauna in tropical regions: in particular the Orangutan and the Asian Tiger in Southeast Asia. It is also damaging watersheds and eroding precious topsoil. (I lived in Malaysia as a little kid, and the Orangutan, or ‘Orange Man,’ has a special place in my heart.)
Implementing this decision has taken some time because we have had to reformulate most of our soap recipes. This also immediately increased our raw material costs by 40%! This prompted us to review all of our pricing, and we realized that a number of our essential ingredients have increased in price by 3 or 4 times in the past 3 years. Ouch! Clearly something had to change or we would be in the soapy poor house fast.
After great deliberation, we raised our prices pretty much across the board, however we are continuing our discounts on bulk purchases of soap as well as other items, so the more you buy at one time, the more you save. We offer free shipping on orders over $150, so bigger orders will save by not having to pay for shipping.
We are also investigating larger regional wholesale accounts, so if you know of a store we should be in, please mention us to store managers, and let us know too, so we can contact them. The more people who ask a specific store, the more likely we will be able to get an appointment to show our line.
Thank you so much for understanding and for being so supportive over the years! We have some exciting things we are working on, and we are bringing out new products. If you have any suggestions or products you would like us to make, please let us know.
To read more about the Orangutan, check out this site: Orangutan Outreach.