Sustainability & Ethical Sourcing in Personal Care

Words by Thankyou
09 May, 2024

It’s no secret that many FMCG products have *major red flags* when it comes to waste and the effects on the environment. That’s the nature of bringing humans consumer goods… But, what if it wasn’t?

The fundamentals of the way we work, and our mission at Thankyou, when it comes down to it, is about going all-in on challenging systems, norms and business-as-usual to see a different world come to be for humanity. Since day dot we’ve existed to see a world where not one person lives in extreme poverty. We believe that how we manufacture and source our products, and the decisions we make to scale Thankyou globally, are intrinsically linked to our mission. Like mornings without coffee (sorry to all the tea drinkers) there’s not one without the other, right? Sustainability and ethically sourcing, and manufacturing our personal care and cleaning products, is not just an afterthought, it’s deeply embedded within the purpose of our existence as a brand.

If it floats your boat, and you haven’t read it yet, pour yourself a coffee (okay, or tea!), and go check out our sustainability practices, and initiatives outlined in our Responsible Business Goals (RBG’s). It’s got the juicy details on our ethical partnerships, eco-friendly packaging, how we reduce our carbon emissions, and the in’s and out’s of minimising waste and our impact on water scarcity.

“Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection” - Mark Twain

We love this quote, that as we grow and dream of the future of what our Thankyou products and impact will look like, we’re on a journey with you, our community, to continually become better, and we’re transparent about that. We’re not perfect, and we may not always get it right, but we’ll always be striving to be better as we learn, grow and as the world around us changes.

Like that time we transitioned from bottled water

Yep, single-use-plastics, is there anything less sustainable? It was the right call (but nonetheless a major and crazy one) to pull the cord on our genesis product (the one that kinda made us who we are!), bottled water. We’d said it from the start, bottled water is a silly product, but while it did exist (in all of its consumer-convenience glory), our stance was that the bottled water we created was a means for helping bring water to those in need. Our team - renowned for ‘finding possible’ - naively thought that as we searched we’d eventually find a solution that was a win-win for humanity and the planet. But, boy were we wrong. No matter where we looked (far and wide!) for responsible-ish solutions, all the alternatives on offer felt no better than greenwashing. So, we made the tough call in 2020 to cease production of our most famous Thankyou Water bottles. To be true to our mission, and where we were, and are headed, there was no other option to leave it behind. (Read more about the future of Thankyou Water here)


A new era at Thankyou

From a simple bottle of water to a bold commitment to the future, we’ve come a long way.

Today, we sell a range of effective, eco-friendly personal care products including hand and body wash, deodorants, sanitisers and more – and we’re pretty darn proud of their impact on humanity, and the planet.

In recent years, we’ve made some big changes at Thankyou. Our revolutionised product offering aims to bring us closer to our vision of a sustainable future, and none more so than our Forever Bottles.

Our new range of meticulously crafted Forever Bottles are made to be bought once and used forever. Available for both our personal care collection and our environmentally friendly cleaning products. Forever Bottles end the vicious cycle of repeatedly purchasing plastic soap bottles and single-use cleaning bottles as they can be easily replenished with our Thankyou refills. The aluminum Forever Bottles are constructed from 100% recycled aluminum and are completely recyclable. A little cherry on top is that our refill bottles are produced with natural HDPE which is a high-value recyclable meaning that it can be completely recycled from your kerbside recycling bin.

From start to finish we’ve had sustainability at the forefront of the Forever Bottle design process, as it underpins our journey towards circularity through a system of easily recyclable and refillable bottles that significantly reduces our waste, carbon emissions and water usage in line with our RBGs. With these refillable Forever Bottles, we are proud to offer our customers an easy to access, sustainable alternative for their homes.

Forever Bottles- Reusable Hand Wash Bottles - Thankyou
Thankyou Hand Wash Refills - Refillable Hand Wash

Don’t just take our word for it:

With claims and greenwashing veering us all on the skeptical-side-of-life, we know how it feels to want to be certain about your purchases making a genuine, positive impact on the planet. Good news is, standards are standards, and we have a number of initiatives with third party organisations to validate and ensure that you know we’re continuing to implement the best sustainability practices across our business! Here’s a handful:

As signatories of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), we are devoted to following the Ten Principles of the UNGC to ensure that we remain at the forefront of our industry in areas such as human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

We are also stoked to say that as of 2020, we are a carbon neutral organisation certified by Climate Active which includes and offsets carbon emissions from our product and supply chain estimations to ensure that we minimise our environmental impact from top to bottom.

As a proud member of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation, we have implemented their National Packaging Targets as one of our RBGs so that we can be sure that we are doing our absolute best to support their vision of circularity within the packaging chain and minimise landfill.

We have also been independently certified as a social enterprise by Social Traders, Australia’s premier, expert social enterprise organisation. As a social enterprise we have committed whatever funds we have left after business expenses to our sole shareholder, the Thankyou Charitable Trust, who work to increase the impact of our partners in alleviating poverty around the world.

Cool, cool, cool. What’s Next for Thankyou?

The launch of the Forever Bottles marks an exciting step forward in our evolution as a social enterprise. But we’re not done yet!

With many exciting dreams and projects in the pipeline, you know we’re committed to delivering sustainable solutions to consumers, so that there’s no barriers on this journey together, making our mission a reality. We’ve still got a long way to go but guided by the principles of our Responsible Business Goals and the innovative work of our team, we’re confident in our vision of a sustainable and ethical future for everyone.

Passionate about these topics?! We love hearing from you! What would you like to see?

..and stay tuned!

Team Thankyou