We are SuLu - Sustainable Luxury
SuLu, is the combination of "Sustainable Luxury". We felt that our name should represent our mission to remove all plastic from everyday items by using high-quality materials.
Sustainable: We take this seriously. Our planet is a priority for SuLu and we want to help where we can. Plastic is a polluting toxin and we pride ourselves on never even considering its use within our products or packaging.
Luxury: User experience can't be ignored. People will use the products that make them feel good. By committing to quality, there should be no compromise in luxury when using a sustainable product.
The value of plastic to consumers and recycling facilities is low, and sometimes nonexistent. It is even more difficult to properly dispose of plastic when elements like lip balm containers are too small to be recycled in traditional forms. This leaves one option for the recycling facilities - package up the non-recyclable plastics and take them to the landfill.
According to the EPA, plastics accounted for 18.46% of the total municipal solid waste (MSW) ending up in the landfill in 2018. Unfortunately, of the 69 million tons of MSW that was recycled in 2018, plastic only made up 4.47% of that.
Based on recycling trends, paper is the most recycled element in the U.S. Paper and Paperboard are unique materials that can be recycled and sometimes even composted. This helps guide consumers and eases their frustration when it comes to disposal. However, it still takes quite a lot of energy to go from tree to paper, so using recycled paper over virgin paper is a better option for the environment.
Paper and Paperboard accounted for 11.78% of the total MSW ending up in the landfill in 2018. Of the 69 million tons of MSW that was recycled in 2018, Paper and Paperboard made up 66.54% as the most recycled materials in the U.S.
SuLu uses recycled paper for our lip balm tubes and shipping boxes, ensuring we help reduce the energy used to create our packaging as well as simplifying the disposal of our products. The lip balm tubes and shipping boxes can be recycled and home composted. The dyes and waxes used to construct these items are also plant-based, so they will not contaminate the recycling facility or a home compost.
Paper is paper. When it is used for lip balm tubes, it does what paper does: absorbs saliva, wax, butter, and oil, and ultimately starts to decompose. This isn't an ideal outcome when trying to use a product, especially when the decision to use the product was to be more sustainable. If it is no longer a good user experience or becomes a hassle, consumers will want to use something more conducive to their needs.
This entire predicament places an unnecessarily large amount of pressure on the consumer to make the "right" choice and having to either compromise on user experience, or the health of our planet. This doesn't really seem fair. So, Sulu found a way to eliminate that compromise by focusing on quality to improve sustainability.
Our solution is a reusable metal container. Metal is perceived by consumers and recycling facilities as a more valuable material because it is harder than plastic and it can be recycled multiple times. Metal has been used for centuries as a reliable and functional packaging material. In fact, lip balm was initially packaged in metal tubes and tins pre-plastic. SuLu's reusable containers are made of 100% aluminum, one of the easiest metals to recycle.
Metals accounted for 9.53% of the total MSW ending up in the landfill in 2018. Of the 69 million tons of MSW that was recycled in 2018, metals made up 12.62% of that, the second most recycled material to paper and paperboard.
Metal also adds a classic element of luxury that plastic and paper just can't. We want consumers to feel good when using our products and have no guilt about their decision. Taking the pressure off the consumer and allowing them to eliminate the compromise. The reusable metal container is also simple to refill and clean, encouraging its use and longevity by its added convenience.
There was an option to eliminate the paper tubes all together and place the lip balm in tins or little glass jars. The reality is, our fingers and nails are very dirty. Scraping out lip balm using your fingers and then placing it on your lips, just isn't a great experience. It also contaminates the tin or jar. All in all, we think the traditional lip balm tube was the best decision for the consumer and their desired experience.
Businesses using plastic or even recycled plastic, are keeping the plastic dependency alive. It is easy for them to continue to use plastic because it's cheap, simple to mold, and consumers are used to it. These businesses are putting all of the environmental responsibility on the consumer. We at SuLu don't think that is a fair outcome. As a consumer, you want to know that the brands and products you buy are doing the right thing, using good ingredients, and not trashing our planet.
With all of that said, consumers will always value convenience. The product you are looking for is where you need it, when you need it. SuLu wanted to make sure you never ran out of lip balm or had to make a last-minute unsustainable choice. This is where the subscription and bulk order comes in. Delivered every four months to reduce the carbon emissions of delivery. This also helps eliminate the time wasted contemplating which lip balm to use at the store. Our lip balm comes directly to you in the most sustainable way possible.
SuLu's purpose is to end the use of plastic in everyday items by creating sustainable alternatives with the future in mind. With our first item being lip balm, you can see the amount of research and dedication we have for our products. Ensuring consumers never have to compromise on sustainability and luxury while also guaranteeing convenience.
United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): National Overview: Facts and Figures on Materials, Wastes and Recycling