Sustainability isn't always about how much garbage one makes. It also includes how efficient processes can be to ensure the humans involved have a good life.
When we started Saponetti in 2016, we were in love with the nostalgia and old-school aesthetic of the “milkman.” We infused it into Saponetti’s branding thanks to longtime graphic designer and Co-Founder Christian. In addition to the logo, the most notable aspect of this old-school style is our tags and stamps that have graced thousands of mason jars over the years. Made from paper and an elastic band, our exceptional customers, knew to take care and have returned as many as possible in pristine condition for us to reuse along with the bottles, helping us keep as many resources recirculating as possible.
While we’re reflecting, we want to give a big shoutout to this amazing community because it is not every day, especially in this single-use culture we live in, for someone to see a paper tag and think to keep it soap-free for reuse! If you returned a tag or thought about it but couldn’t keep it clean (soap is messy, we don’t blame you), you’re the best and we wouldn’t be here without each one of you who takes the time to refill your empties with Saponetti soap.
However, we have decided to update our materials and aesthetic, leaving these beloved tags to memory and the many photos collected. Why the update, you may be wondering?
Our reasoning is twofold:
1. Know what’s in the bottle!
Your safety and the quality of each product is our primary concern. Due to their delicate nature, paper tags can quickly become damaged and detach from the bottle, leaving it a mystery (especially for those new to the refill lifestyle) as to what is in the bottle. Over time, and with a few package-free shopping trips under one’s belt, it’s easy to see how things can get confusing pretty quickly, which is why our updated labels have a QR code. Scanning the QR code will direct you to the product page on saponetti.ca, where you can identify the ingredients, reference product cautions and first aid treatment protocols.
2. Efficiency is a valuable investment in sustainability.
Improved efficiencies save time, energy and money. Attaching a premade sticker to the jar vs. a tag that must be stamped with three to four different stamps then connected with a rubber band skips about five tedious steps per refill. Multiply that by five (the average number of refills per order), and you have hours worth of precious time dedicated to upkeep aesthetics. Simplifying processes makes for happy team members behind the scenes, which is a primary principle of Saponetti: to do more with less.
THERE IS NO ONE PERFECT WAY TO BE SUSTAINABLE
It’s a common question to ask, “why label the jars in the first place? Do we really need the label waste?” And as we expressed above, the answer is yes, which means some level of waste is required to maintain the health and safety of our customers and the quality of our products (learn why we insist on clean bottles before refilling). This doesn’t mean we are without cause to celebrate. Being part of Saponetti means you have helped us save thousands of bottles from being used once and tossed into an endless waste stream by refilling them through our closed-loop system. We still see some of our earliest refill bottles from 2016 recirculating through our bottle deposit program! While it’s not a perfect system, it is eons ahead of the status quo.
BUILDING AND MAINTAINING A LOW-WASTE BUSINESS IS ITSELF A REFILL ECOSYSTEM
It’s a collaboration with our entire community: from our families, friends and neighbours to our customers, suppliers, and supporters - we all co-create an environment to practice habit-change imperfectly and with intention. We remind each other through this unity that the goal is to do a little bit better, work with less and trust the process.
Thank you for embarking on this journey with us! Here’s to the next phase of Saponetti–