Forgoing the discounting frenzy of Black Friday, by Humankind, a mission-driven, ethically made personal care brand, marked the traditional kickoff of the holiday shopping season to launch a pioneering subscription service, “Plastic, neutral,” to neutralize single-use plastics.
“We are saying, ‘we give you, the consumer, the opportunity to offset the plastic waste function in your life and neutralize it, similar to the way companies are neutralizing their carbon emissions,’” By Humankind CEO Brian Bushell told Vogue Business. “We’re excited to launch as a contradiction to Black Friday. We hope it cuts through.”
by Humankind is dedicated to reducing the global dependence on single-use plastic in the products we use every day. For the brand, there’s a direct correlation between product design and mission. By creating thoughtful personal care products that are simple to use, effective, and better for the planet, the brand allows anyone to reduce their single-use plastic waste footprint by 90% or more.
Over time, the collective plastic reduction of the by Humankind community will create quantifiable and meaningful impact. Since February 2019, the brand claims it has prevented over 25,000 lbs of single-use plastic from entering the environment unnecessarily and projects to prevent 100,000 lbs by year-end. According to the company, the average person creates about 22 pounds of single-use plastic waste monthly. by Humankind’s pioneering subscription service allows consumers to offset their entire single-use plastic footprint for $8 per month.
“We didn’t create ‘Plastic, Neutral’ to sell more product. We created it to drive awareness around the global crisis of single-use plastic waste and give people a simple tool to do something about it,” Bushell said to Business Insider. “If we are able to appeal to a larger audience who integrate By Humankind products into their daily routines and thus eliminating single-use plastics, that is a bonus.”
Plastic, neutral allows anyone placing an order to offset their single-use plastic footprint with an $8/month contribution at checkout. By paying for the removal of the equivalent amount of the 22 lbs of single-use plastic waste used monthly elsewhere in the world, an offsetting ecosystem is created that keeps an individual’s plastic footprint at “neutral.”
The initiative is run in partnership with Plastic Bank, which builds ethical recycling systems in coastal communities around the world such as Haiti, Indonesia, and the Philippines, by monetizing the retrieval of ocean-bound plastic. Collectors receive a premium for the materials they collect to better help them provide basic family necessities. Plastic Bank then reintegrates these recycled materials and makes them available to companies looking to incorporate recycled plastic in their products, creating a closed-loop supply chain.
The $8 monthly fee allocates $5 directly to the recovery of ocean-bound plastic to offset the 22 lbs of plastic waste consumers generate per month (for every $1, Plastic Bank is able to recover and recycle 4.4 lbs), and $3 to by Humankind to cover administrative costs for the program.
Photo: by Humankind