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How we create plant-based supplements without harming the planet

Here at Vegetology we are proud to create vegan supplements in an ethical business model.

Tags: Vegan

Here at Vegetology we are proud to create vegan supplements in an ethical business model. We work really hard to ensure our products are made in a sustainable and responsible way. What does that really mean? Sometimes businesses can be guilty of using buzzwords like sustainable, ethical, responsible and even organic… but not really explaining what we mean by that. So here are five ways that we work as an ethical business and what we mean when we say that.

1. Sustainable — we work to reduce our impact on the planet

We are passionate about sustainability and being responsible in the way we create our products. What that means to us is that we work towards everything that we buy, every component, every ingredient, not having a negative impact on our planet. That impact can be something we don’t expect. So, for example, if we’re buying a vitamin ingredient from a crop of plants somewhere, we work to make sure that crop is replaced. We work to make sure any natural extracts that we use aren’t harvested in a way that’s killing local wildlife or upsetting the local habitat. That’s what we mean by sustainability. We want to know anything that we take is being put back and then some, responsibly.

Science meets green

2. Ethical — we create products with ethically sourced ingredients 

Not all ingredients in vitamin supplements across the market are sourced ethically. For example, fish oil - in fact, concerns about unethical fishing practices and concerns around toxicity of fish were two of the main reasons we developed Opti3®: Omega-3 EPA & DHA. Fishing practices, in my opinion, can be inhumane and can be damaging to our ocean’s fish stocks, which have been at record lows, having a massive impact on the local ecosystem and the wider planet. Overfishing changes the pH of the water in the sea, which can kill phytoplankton. We may think of trees producing oxygen for the planet but actually 50% of the oxygen on our planet is produced by phytoplankton.

Here at Vegetology, our view on ethically sourced ingredients is simple: if we can get the nutrients we normally get from fish without touching the fish, why would we not do that? Opti3®, our vegan Omega-3 source, is an ethical source of DHA and EPA without the need for fish oil.

3. Recyclable — our packing is genuinely recyclable

What we mean by that is that we make sure is that our recyclable packaging for our vegan supplements is not just a token gesture, for example using a material that rarely gets recycled or if it does, only at 5%. The HTP bottle that we use is readily and easily recycled. We use 100% biodegradable packaging chips, made of starch rather than polystyrene.

We’re often asked why don’t we use fully recycled material and why we don’t ditch plastic altogether. It’s a really difficult choice for us, because it’s imperative to us that our packaging adequately protects the product we are selling to you. Some of the biodegradable bottles, that are said to be as good as plastics, are often unstable with the packs flying apart.

We are asked why we don’t use glass for all our bottles but that is because it’s prone to shatter and is very heavy. If we can ever get to a stage where we can use glass, where we’re satisfied, we will most certainly do that but at this stage we’re not quite there on that. For now, we just use glass for our Opti3® liquids and Vit D3 spray as glass is the optimal vehicle for those products and we do our best to ensure they are packaged and protected as well as possible!

As for recycled materials, we do use cardboard boxes and we use sustainably sourced cardboard. Recycled cardboard actually goes through a horrendous chemical process to get it back to being used as cardboard, with chlorine cleansing. Whilst using recycled cardboard may look a better option, we have researched and it’s worse for the environment than the cardboard that we use. Using recyclable products for our ethical business means that we do everything we can to ensure our products are genuinely recyclable and we don’t use any products without careful consideration.

4. Organic — where relevant, our products are organic

Where we can and where it’s relevant, we use organic ingredients. What does that mean? There are some ingredients that we use that can’t be classed as organic because of how we produce them. The biggest example of this is our Omega-3 source, because it’s not grown in the ground, and because it’s not grown in the sea, we can’t get it organically certified. But by nature it couldn’t be more ‘organic’ because nothing goes in - no pesticides, nothing. It is actually purer than something grown in the ground or in the sea. But the organic certification companies won’t engage in it because they’ve got a vested interest in things grown in the ground or from the sea.

It is the same issue with certain plants that we get grown in commercial greenhouses, which we do because we don’t want to upset local habitats, even though that ingredient grown in those other locations upsetting a local habitat and killing local wildlife would be classed as organic. We hate that hypocrisy.

If organic is relevant, we will use this term but the reason we don’t talk about organic ingredients is that much of what we do goes way beyond organic.

It is also worth mentioning that we never use genetically modified materials. We get every supplier we work with to sign declarations and agree to be independently audited to make sure that that is the case.

5. Responsible — all of our ingredients are responsibly sourced

As an ethical business making vegan supplements, what we mean when we say we are responsible is that we ensure all of our ingredients are responsibly sourced. This includes negating our impact on the local environment, and where needed, using special facilities to grow the planets and algae we need for our products.

We also ensure that all of our ingredients are pure and not a risk for customers. An example of this is concerns about Fukushima, which are absolutely valid. This is an area where there was a huge nuclear power plant disaster, which affected not just the land around it but also the sea both near and for a large distance. We do not buy anything that is from that region that could go into our food products - by the region, we mean hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of miles around it. If it’s a risk ingredient, such as a seaweed that might come from the sea as is used in the capsule, we make sure it’s from Europe so it can’t possibly ever have been contaminated, even in terms of transit from Fukushima.

Finally, we also responsibly sourced ingredients to reduce our carbon footprint. That means, where possible, buying and growing locally, producing in house, and buying the packaging locally. The only time our products, or the components in our products, are subject to a ship or plane or truck is when they are going from our warehouse to you the consumer.

We continue to look for solutions

As an ethical business committed to producing vegan supplements with a minimum impact on the environment and the planet, we are continually looking for ways to improve what we do. Whether that is creating new products that help to reduce the impact of the supplements markets as a whole on the planet, or visiting trade fairs to see the latest innovations in sustainable packaging. For us, when we say we are committed to producing supplements in a sustainable and responsible way, we mean that we want to be transparent about how we make our products and our commitment to continuing to reduce our carbon footprint and impact on the planet.

To find out more and shop for our vegan supplements, visit our website now: