World Sea Turtle Day
If you’re familiar with our commitment to plastic-free packaging, then you’ve also seen the turtle icon on all of our bottles and tubes. This is a way for us to educate and encourage conversations about the impact of plastic pollution – and hold ourselves to a standard that continually raises the bar to push for real change in the beauty industry. This World Sea Turtle Day, we want to share our hopes (and continue to inspire consumers and brands alike to join us) in our #LifeAfterPlastic mission.
In his own words, here is our Founder, Joshua Scott Onysko’s story about Pangea’s origin, and how his magical encounter with sea turtles over two decades ago has informed many of our choices as a brand.
“Pangea began when my mom bought a coffee table book about organic ingredients. It inspired us to make a small batch of organic soaps by hand together, out of our garage. We started selling them in our local farmers markets, and to our delight, they continually sold out.
This gave me the idea to start researching the beauty industry, and I decided to travel the world – which is where I began to build relationships and a deep network with organic farms in over 50 regions. I wanted to start a company that supported organic regenerative farms. It was my dream to build a brand with the highest quality clean products – created by a fully sustainable ecosystem supporting these incredible farmers.
As part of my travels, I moved to Costa Rica and Nicaragua to work with the Caribbean coast conservation team. We’d stay up all night to guard the turtles who were laying eggs, in order to protect them from poachers. I’ve also been a longtime scuba diver, and seeing plastic pollution in our oceans entangling the inhabitants was (and still is) devastating to me.
The name Pangea refers to an idea of bringing the world back into wholeness again, to fully remember how inextricably connected we all are on our planet, and how a choice made in one part of the world can impact millions of other lives in another.
Pangea is one way I can help be part of the change I want to experience in our world. I want to inspire all industries to put the earth and our health ahead of profit and start to rethink and redesign how we package our products. And I want consumers to know that they are empowered to have a choice – to buy high quality beauty products, without the use of plastics.
We have transitioned Pangea (as well as our sister brand, Alpine Provisions) to completely plastic-free packaging. This was a significant investment for us to make, even down to the custom aluminum cap creation on our tubes All of our secondary packaging is also fully recyclable and/or compostable – the molded fiber clamshells used on all our glass bottles is fully upcycled (from wood pulp) and completely compostable.
Meaningful change can begin with one informed, conscious decision. We are excited to collaborate with the Plastic Pollution Coalition, a global alliance of more than 1,200 organizations, businesses, and thought leaders in 75 countries working toward a more just, equitable world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impact on humans, animals, waterways, oceans, and the environment.
Give Pangea a try, and discover for yourself that it’s possible to enjoy luxurious, efficacious self-care products without the inclusion of single-use plastics.”
And, if that is not enough, we are supporting those turtles through our ongoing efforts at Regenerative Organic Certification (ROC). What does that mean? The methods of regenerative agriculture are rooted in five core tenants – which include keeping soil covered and minimizing disturbance to, maximizing crop diversity, maintaining living roots in the ground year-round, and integrating livestock for planned grazing (all of which leads to rebuilding healthy soil and reducing greenhouse emissions). These practices can reverse the impacts of climate change and work towards repairing our earth. They make good sense and are part of a holistic way of being in relationship to the environment that is part of our mission. We continually strive for the highest standards in producing products that support the well-being and future of all forms of life and our planet.
In fact, we are saving the oceans in more ways than just cutting out plastic. We are working to source 100% of our raw materials from ROC certified farmers by 2030. We have already started this by committing to 100% of our Coconut oil, turmeric, vetiver, ginger, peppermint, and ashwagandha sourced as ROC. Coconut oil is the base of the majority of our products, so this takes us to more than a third of our goal. We want to be leaders in educating the world about the importance of changing how we grow our food.
The turtles thank us because we recently supported a seaweed harvest with our partner of 13 years (Nature Spirit Herbs). They harvest every piece of the three types of seaweed (Gigartina, Kombu, and Wakame) by hand. Their process is laborious and time-consuming; however, the practices of harvesting by hand ensure a commitment to meticulously selecting the right amount of seaweed – no more than 25% of any one species is harvested from each location per year. This ensures preservation of a delicate ecosystem that supports the regeneration of the seaweed within four months. You can find their seaweed in our Superfood Smoothie Mask.
As the saying goes, we want to be the change we want to see in the world. Both for the turtles, for ourselves, and for the folks who love our products.
Happy World Turtle Day!