Sustainability commitment

At Desert Shadow we believe that living & walking lightly should be a part of our every day lives,
interwoven in everything we do at all times with consious decisions & love.

We would love to walk lightly by your side,
with community we can make a difference.

Below is an outline of all the little things we do each day at Desert Shadow to create change and make a difference.
These things we do, have been a part of the business from the very start back in 2008
and will continue into the future, always evolving, improving and trying our very best to be light walkers.

LANDFILL:
Our landfill waste is so minimal we do not have a waste bin at our warehouse.  Our actual landfill waste amounts to about half of a small garbage bag (or the same as an old shopping bag from the super market) a week and sometimes even a fortnight. We are also waste efficient at home with roughly one small bin used each week. We do this by recycling, worm farming and composting most of our waste. It feels good and doesn't take much effort. 

COMPOST & WORMS:

Tomas and I have always had a vegetable garden and we are now a part of the Freshwater Community Garden. This means we consistently feed fresh vegie scraps to the worms and compost old food scraps which come form the work kitchen. These include tea bags, coffee grounds and any organic food matter. We have a small container in the kitchen area that is designated especially for compost waste and we take it to the garden twice a week. The compost we make is used on our organic vegie patch which grows us tasty produce all year round.
PACKAGING WASTE:
At Desert Shadow we have a ‘NO BUBBLE WRAP and NO POLYSTYROFOAM’ policy where we do not purchase any plastic or bubble wrap or Styrofoam for filling orders. However, we do reuse ALL packaging materials that have been sent to us in supplier orders, using them to pack and send our own online & wholesale orders. Boxes received from supplier orders are also reused for sending or broken down and cut up to be used for packing and shipping orders.

REDUCE:
Even though we use post consumer recycled paper for our products we reduce the use where possible to save energy. We are paperless where possible and give our customers online receipts and invoices rather than printed versions (unless requested)



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REUSE:
At Desert Shadow we reuse all materials as many times as possible to avoid sending it to landfill or even the recycling depots. Our office waste paper is shredded and used for packaging and shipping our online and wholesale orders.  Reusing this paper means we can have a more conscious packaging material for shipping orders that can be recycled at the end of its life instead of plastic bubble wrap that does not do the environment any favours.
RECYCLING:
We recycle all containers and paper card that we are unable to repurpose or reuse. As I mentioned previously all of our paper packaging and paper components of our products are made from post consumer and recycled materials. This includes any instructions,  inserts or promotional flyers we have. It costs us more but we dont mind paying a little extra to avoid the wood chipping of old growth forrests.
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Sourcing sustainable ingredients

ORGANIC HAIR COLOURS & TREATMENTS:
At Desert Shadow we are Australia’s first and only 100% certified organic hair colour brand.  Our hair colours are made from dried and powdered plants that contain natural dye pigments. These ingredients are totally natural, water safe and are compostable and biodegradable (because they are made from plant leaves, fruits and flowers).  We do not have any of the usual chemicals found in regular commercial hair colours, chemical hair colours contain toxic and carcinogenic ingredients that are not good for our bodies or the environment and have ingredients that are suspected to have effects on marine & aquatic life.
We source our hair colour ingredients from solar powdered, self sufficient farms that use companion planting as a way of natural and organic pest control and is a great way to keep the soil happy. Goods we source from over seas are ordered in large quantities to reduce our carbon footprint with transport.

INGREDIENT SELECTION:
At Desert Shadow we are conscious consumers and do not put anything in our products that we wouldn’t be happy to use ourselves. Our product formulations are influenced by our own moral and ethical stance on ingredients and safe cosmetics and beauty products.

Where possible we source our ingredients from local & Australian producers. For example our Kakadu plum is sourced from a ​small family business based in the NT.

We DO NOT use Palm oil in any of our products as we believe the over production and consumption of palm oil is out of balance...... and as Sir David Attenborough points out it is UNSUSTAINABLE. The palm oil industry is a large contributor to deforestation of regions such as Indonesia and South America. Palm oil is a common ingredient found in so many products on the shelves and is a component of the majority of shampoos and many foaming formulas like body and face washes. The surfactant that is used as a base to these products is derived from palm oil and sometimes a mix of palm and coconut oils. Labelling of ingredients hides the palm oil under names such as coco glucoside and decyl glucoside.
We released our PALM OIL FREE Shampoo & Conditioner range that is called ‘Habitat’, which is one of very few products that can claim this. We are supported by the orang-utan alliance and are in the process of gaining palm oil free certification. This certification helps conserve the habitat of the orang-utan and many other jungle dwellers by bringing awareness to the Palm oil industry and the effects it has on the environment.
Our soaps are made from 100% olive oil that is waste from Olive farms in Margaret River. The oils we receive are not able to be sold for consumption so we take them and turn them into soap. Our olive oil soap is palm oil free too!

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Sourcing sustainable packaging
Paper products:
ALL of our paper carton packaging is made form 100% Post Consumer recycled materials. We source our printed packaging from a company who carbon offsets, uses vegetable inks and have won awards and are recognised for their recycling and environmental contributions. This means our packaging costs more. It also means that it took more effort to get the colours right ( especially for our hair colour swatches ) but we are not willing to compromise and will continue to use the post consumer stock to stay in line with our own morals and ethics.
Our postage boxes are also made from recycled paper products.

Plastic products:
Hair colour pouches: We recently switched from a non recyclable BOPP to a recyclable high barrier laminate inner plastic pouch. Unfortunately the nature of our hair colour products means we need a good barrier to protect the efficiency and integrity of the ingredients. This means we have encountered challenges in finding environmentally conscious inner pouch packaging solutions. We are always doing our bit to have conscious components and have not given up the search.We are currently undergoing tests with bio degradable materials with the intention to use this material for our inner pouches in the future. This may reduce the shelf life of the product but will be better for the environment and our impact as a business.

Plastic shampoo & conditioner bottles: Our Shampoo & conditioner bottles are made from PPE. While we would love to use glass for these products our feedback was that the glass could pose a danger in the shower ( which is true ). To try and compensate we have made the volumes larger than regular products to reduce the amount of bottles you go through and therefore the amount of plastic we need to use an recycle. The bottles are made from recyclable plastic and are made here in Australia. We also sell bulk product to shops and offer a plastic refill programme which you can read. more about here: PLASTIC REFILL PROGRAMME

Our Carbon footprint
At Desert Shadow we are conscious of our energy consumption and do our best to reduce unnecessary energy use.
Our upstairs office and toilet area have large sky-lights ( 3 in total ) , which enables us to work during daylight hours (9am to 5pm) without needing to turn on a single light. Our downstairs work area has lighting and electrics in sections where lights are used only in the spaces that are in operation. This set up enables us to work efficiently without the need for the entire warehouse to be lit up all day. We have embraced LED lighting in some parts and have replaced the old fashioned day maker light use with portable alternatives and by also simply rolling up the roller door to allow natural light to enter the work place.