#3 Life Supplies

Life Supplies champions the perfect blend of nature and science, curating a selection of plant-based, vegan everyday essentials that pack a punch. Their products are eco-friendly, SLS and paraben-free.

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We chatted with James Mishreki, founder of Life Supplies to explore his journey into sustainability and learn about what he sees as the next frontier.

  • 1

    What inspired you to start your business and have sustainability take such a central role?

    The personal care industry is one of the largest plastic polluters due to its buy, dispose, and repeat cycle. Major brands are trying to retrofit sustainability, but the new generation isn't convinced. That's always frustrated me.

    To address this, we focused on building a brand that creates an emotional attachment to personal care products, making them sustainable and fresh. By cultivating a brand that people want to share and advocate for, we can drive better practices in the market and encourage more sustainable choices in personal care.

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  • 2

    What practices have you implemented and how has it positively impacted your business?

    We've consciously decided not to be the most sustainable option in the market since drastic behavioural changes can be difficult for mainstream customers. Instead, we focus on creating daily essentials in more sustainable packaging systems, reducing plastic usage by an average of 94%. 

    We employ a many-to-one refill system with paper-based cartons, which have a low carbon footprint and an established recycling stream. By offering products that don't require a significant change in consumer behaviour, we aim to make sustainability more accessible. Over time, we will continue to improve and expand our sustainable offerings.

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  • 3

    What hurdles have you encountered and how have you managed to overcome them?

    Adopting paper-based cartons for personal care products has been challenging, as it required building our own machines and optimising processes to ensure error-free delivery. 

    Additionally, we've developed unique packaging systems, such as our toothpaste dispenser, which demands precise viscosity control for the product. Our philosophy is to build everything from the ground up to avoid compromises and stand out in the market. This approach allows us to reinvent the personal care industry and create truly innovative, sustainable solutions.

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  • 4

    What do you see as the main sustainability challenges facing FMCG companies in the near future?

    Large companies in the personal care industry face challenges in adopting sustainable practices, as they are often pressured to prioritize short-term shareholder interests. Their reliance on cheap packaging and established profit centres make it difficult for them to implement significant changes. 

    Although larger companies are making efforts towards sustainability, their progress is slow and relatively insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Transitioning to more sustainable packaging may also impact their profit margins, further complicating their move towards eco-friendlier practices.

    Bathroom products
  • 5

    What advice would you give entrepreneurs aspiring to greater sustainability ambitions for their FMCG business?

    The key to promoting sustainability in the personal care industry is to make it as easy as possible for customers. It's crucial to encourage a larger number of people to adopt incrementally more sustainable practices. 

    While many challenger brands offer innovative formats, they haven't yet captured significant market share. Convenience and sustainability should go hand-in-hand to drive change. Building bespoke supply chains and infrastructure might become increasingly common for brands striving to make sustainability more accessible and convenient for consumers.

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  • 6

    *BONUS* Do you have any sustainable brands that you’re a big fan of and would like to shout out to the readers?

    Suri, is a brand I admire, they are bringing a much-needed innovative and sustainable approach to a category that has remained unchanged for as long as I can remember. 

    By introducing new eco-friendly toothbrushes, they are setting an example for other brands and demonstrating the potential for positive transformation within entrenched industries.

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