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We love when things are done right so let us take you behind the scenes and show you everything that goes into our clean beauty.

Sustainability

Approach

We’re savvy when it comes to sustainability and we approach it holistically, which means we’re thinking about how everything has an impact on our planet— from the ingredients inside our products and how they were sourced, to the packaging itself.

While trends might be fun in makeup they are not cool when it comes to Mother Earth. We want to make it easier to understand what sustainability is and how it touches everything from business practices to shopping habits.

It starts
with us

We’re starting with ourselves. We do our best to minimize our waste, water, and energy footprint. We believe that truly sustainable ingredients are ethically sourced, and safe for the environment.

It's a
process

Sustainability is a big issue and there is no way to solve it overnight. We’re not going to pretend we’ll get it right all the time. We're committed to transparency from product to process— giving you the information you need to make better decisions and shop responsibly.

There is
no
planet b

Saie is committed to leaving the planet better than we found it. A place our kids feel safe to live in, knowing we are taking responsibility for their playground, Mother Earth. We calculate our environmental footprint in terms of gallons of water, pounds of CO2e, and pounds of waste. 

Here's how we break down
our sustainability practices:

PACKAGING

We’re on a mission to eliminate plastic from our packaging as soon as possible. Basically that means it’s either glass packaging, biodegradable packaging, post-consumer recycled plastic packaging, or (where we are now) packaging that is able to be recycled appropriately through Terracycle. 

We think good things come in recyclable packages. Our mailer boxes are made with a combination of post-consumer recycled and virgin cardboard sourced from sustainable forests (SFI-certified). Our packaging tape is a paper tape that can be recycled along with our boxes, and we have eliminated the need for filler with our nifty organic cotton ball pouches (our gift to you and your vanity). Your whole shipper goes straight into the recycling bin. 

Circularity is the future, which is why each product in our line is has unique and specific packaging needs. There is no one size fits all when it comes to packaging. So right now we use what is most sustainable specific for each product, we're embracing that this will likely change over time.

Our cartons are produced in a facility that is entirely solar powered and we minimize our carbon footprint by sourcing packaging locally. We’re using 100% post-consumer recycled resin for our Liquid Lip Balm, which is possible because of the advances that have been made in tube technology.

We use UV ink on our boxes which means that the ink dries when exposed to UV light instead of the air.

Ultimately UV inks are better for the planet because there are no toxic solvents in them and they don’t release bad gasses and vapors into the air like regular inks do. These inks also require less energy to dry as they dry almost instantaneously when exposed to UV light.

RECYCLING

We’re on a mission to go plastic free by 2021, which means in the meantime you will still need to recycle our products. Recycling can be confusing and the rules are different in every city, so we’re streamlining the process minus the stress. Once you have finished with your Saie products, send it to us and we will recycle it. The good news is our warehouse is super close to the recycling facility so it minimizes our carbon footprint. 

BIOPLASTICS

Many modern brands are now using bioplastics, and while they can offer an alternative to using plastic not all bioplastics are compostable, some act just like regular plastic and take just as long to break down. Which means that unless you have access to an industrial compost, if you try to recycle the container, the whole batch of recycling gets thrown out! Our mission is to build products that make it easy for people to dispose of them when it comes time.

RENEWABLE RESOURCES

Bottom line is, we get really excited talking about renewable energy! From our perspective renewable energy use and carbon offsets work together. We believe that it’s our responsibility to reduce carbon emissions before we offset them. Our warehouse is entirely solar powered, and we work hard to produce things as close to the warehouse as close as possible to minimize shipping-related emissions. We prioritize working with suppliers who use renewable energy, but when that’s not an option, we ultimately hope to measure our production-related emissions and offset them to become carbon-neutral.

CARBON OFFSETTING

It's not enough just to manufacture sustainably, we also invest in programs that replace the resources we've spent, which is where offsets come in.

We’re partnering with Carbon Credit Capital because they enable us to participate in Gold Standard offset projects, which is the highest standard for sustainable development. We’re committed to offsetting all our travel and shipping related emissions. We’re also working on measuring the impact of sourcing our ingredients and packaging raw materials so that we can eventually work towards carbon neutrality.

By joining with our partner Carbon Credit Capital we intend to fully explore and offset all emissions associated with Saie and our supply chain as we grow. It’s our goal to measure emissions from every single part of our business, including ingredients, sourcing, packaging, energy use, transportation and waste and offset them to achieve carbon neutrality.

While we admit it's not a perfect solution because we're still responsible for carbon emissions in the first place, we feel confident we're making the most positive impact possible with our investment in offsets. We chose Carbon Credit Capital because aside from giving back to the earth they are also supporting the local communities they partner with. Click here if you’re curious and want to learn more on the gold standard and ways you as an individual can get involved in carbon offsetting. We can all do better together.

INGREDIENTS AND SOURCING

People assume that when you say ingredient sourcing you’re referring to where that ingredient comes from but this also means how the raw ingredients are combined with each other. 

In the beauty industry, there are over 60,000 possible ingredients and combinations that involve breaking up raw materials to compound and react. The simplest way to explain this is that there are 2 ways to make every ingredient, either find it in nature or compound ingredients together which we call synthesis.

Synthesis is often done using petroleum, which is why it’s got a bad reputation. This is not a sustainable way to work with raw materials, and it’s why we are pushing our labs to be open to trusting a newer way of working with ingredients.It’s time consuming and involves lots of trial and error. Chemists are used to working with petroleum because they know it performs.

We’re all about ingredients that are biodegradable and want to make sure that every ingredient comes from a responsible supplier. This is a tough job since we have so many ingredients in all of our products! But we're working every day to add ingredients to our blacklist and find suppliers that prize sustainability as much as we do. We work with Godmother of beauty ingredients Gay Timmons who triple checks every single ingredient in our formulas, painfully so, even if it means reformulating.

Our top priority is to think about if the ingredients are biodegradable, how things wash into the water supply, the way things are grown or processed, organic or non GMO. We are constantly pushing our labs to be as transparent as possible about their raw materials to use better raw material suppliers. 

SHIPPING

Reducing how much we ship is a huge challenge for us, partly because we partner with people all over the world, and partly because we're an ecommerce business shipping things to consumers all over the world. We’re focused on choosing partners who are close to us. About half of what we produce is made in the New York metro area, within 100 miles of our warehouse, but when our partners are further away, we ship via ocean and ground (instead of air) as much as possible and offset all shipments as well through our partner Carbon Credit Capital. 

WASTE

The unfortunate thing there is waste when you are producing and manufacturing products. 

Our factory making the eyelash curler was going to wrap each individual curler in a plastic bag and then wrap that in foam. We think that’s wasteful and unnecessary, but they insisted so after much negotiation we convinced them to left us reuse those plastic bags for our future orders. Even though we are a small company and even though it’s not a perfect solution, we want to make every decision count until we can find a better alternative.

OFFICE

We work in a coworking space, so we don't have a lot of agency in what cleaning supplies are used, the way the lights are used, etc., but we're always carrying water bottles, reusable coffee cups, bamboo fork sets, and bringing our own lunch.

For shipping supplies we order our tissue paper and compostable mailers from noissue.com. Our pouches and totes are made from either recycled or organic cotton (never plastic). It’s more expensive, but worth it to have eco-friendly delivery systems.

SUPPLY CHAIN

Our mission is to be as transparent as possible with our supply chain because we want people to know just how much time, energy and hard work goes into making our products. 

We recognize there are many things that we do that are not perfect, but we want to talk about them so we can find the best alternatives going forward. We believe that by raising awareness and having authentic conversations around some of the big picture issues in the beauty industry we can push the entire industry to be more sustainable.

This is what gets us out of bed everyday and we’re excited to share what we learn with our community.

Product Development

Approach

We’re always looking for something that is not just innovative in terms of the clean beauty world, but innovative in terms of the beauty world at large. Saie is moving toward better products and increased transparency—all with a focus on common good. We’re aiming to be a symbol for rising global standards of what is expected of product development.

Best in
class
labs

This is the Olympics of product development. We’ve partnered with the top labs in the world to rethink beauty and create the most high-performance nontoxic products on the market. Collaboration is key for the future to be clean, which is why we work hand in hand with our labs to keep toxins out of our shared environment and bodies.

Conscious
formulas

We’re committed to using organic formulas and certified raw materials in every single product we make. We don’t test on animals, we care about all of the inhabitants of our environment, too. We rely on our beauty expert Gay Timmons to vet our formulas to make sure there are no disguised toxic ingredients.

Our
prices

We heard you loud and clear when you said that clean beauty it just way too expensive. We work with luxury ingredients and top labs (because what’s the point of a beauty product if it doesn’t work?), but we cut out the middle man so we could bring our prices down as much as possible to make clean beauty accessible to more of you.

SARAH TALLMAN, HEAD OF PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

"My strategy for product development for Saie is combining interesting textures and finishes with clean ingredients. I care about making products that actually work. Overall, clean product development is really hard, it’s not a quick fix. I’m pushing for our labs to learn about what’s really in each of these ingredients and how they are combined. It’s not the way the big labs are used to working, they like working with ingredients that they know perform, but I’m excited to work with them on finding the best clean ingredients. Which means there is a lot of digging through raw materials and documentation to get to the information we need on what really is in these products."

Here's how we break down
our product development practices:
Mascara 101

Mascara 101: Approach

Mascara development is unique because there are so many different preferences when it comes to types of brushes and product benefits. Some like a really full brush with lots of long, bristles and a thicker formula to create volume while someone else might want a skinny molded bristle brush with a thinner formula to create long, separated lashes. But one thing we all agree on is that they want mascara to last and not flake off or create raccoon eyes. You have to go into development knowing that there is no one recipe that will work for everyone so instead focus on what you and your community likes and push for the performance. 

Behind the scenes: formula

We had initially approved a very different brush, but when we sent samples out to our community, they told us they wanted a bigger brush. They were missing a clean mascara for fuller, fanned-out lashes, and this brush achieves that look perfectly.

Behind the scenes: packaging

When thinking about mascara packaging we typically want to make sure there is the right amount of product on the brush when you use it. It's important to have something flexible that's still strong. We're working on transitioning this to silicones or some kind of rubber soon - while those aren't biodegradable, they're at least not toxic for the oceans so we'd consider that an improvement.

Brow Butter

Brow Butter: Approach

Initially we were looking at using a tinted oil but realized it would end up all over our face so we decided to create a brow butter inspired by the texture of ghee butter. This is not like most other brow gels that fully dry down, this brow butter stays super conditioning throughout the day. We love it, brow gels can sometimes be too much pigment end up looking a little clown-like and so we’re looking forward to launching more shades soon!

Behind the scenes: formula

Product development isn’t always sexy, sometimes it looks like having to reformulate a product because one of the raw materials was petroleum derived. Yes, this happened with our brow butter. Raw material suppliers often disguise the names of petroleum derived materials which makes our job harder, but it’s why we work with the best of the best ingredients experts. We reformulated 3 days before production so could stay true to our brand values.

Raw material suppliers often disguise the names of dangerous materials which makes our job harder. Don’t worry, we’ll always reformulate even if it’s inconvenient.

Behind the scenes: packaging

We’re working on getting rid of the silicone in the formula and sourcing our ingredients more locally.

Brow Butter

Brow Butter: Approach

Initially we were looking at using a tinted oil but realized it would end up all over our face so we pivoted and wanted to create a brow butter inspired by the texture of ghee butter. This is not like most other brow gels that fully dry down, this brow butter stays super conditioning throughout the day. We love it, brow gels can sometimes be too much pigment end up looking a little clown-like and so we’re looking forward to launching more shades soon!

Behind the scenes: formula

Product development isn’t always sexy, sometimes it looks like having to reformulate a product because one of the raw materials was petroleum derived. Yes, this happened with our brow butter. Raw material suppliers often disguise the names of petroleum derived materials which makes our job harder, but it’s why we work with the best of the best ingredients experts. We reformulated 3 days before production so could stay true to our brand values.

Behind the scenes: packaging

We’re working on getting rid of the silicone in the formula and sourcing our ingredients more locally.

Liquid Lip Balm

Liquid Lip Balm: Approach

We love developing lip products but we're the first to admit it's really hard to develop with a "no" list that's as stringent as ours. Especially when it comes to petroleum derived ingredients like hydrogenated polyisobutene which is in most lip glosses. The reason why so many petroleum chemicals are used in lip products (and all makeup for that matter) is because they create an incredible slip and shine that is very hard to recreate with natural raw materials and safer ingredients. We've done well with our liquid lip balm, considering, but there is still a long way to go when it comes to safer raw material swaps in beauty. Calling on all raw material suppliers to please keep working on this so we can get to a place where we love our textures and performance and chemists feel comfortable using the new stuff.

Behind the scenes: formula

When it comes to formulas, product development works around the clock. Our lead product developer spent July 4th at the lab working on this formula directly with our chemist to make sure it was versatile for all skin tones. We tested both versions on models with different skin tones and refined our formula to make sure it looks great on everyone.

Behind the scenes: packaging

We don’t like having to get our fingers into jars when it comes to lip balms. We wanted a no-mess application for our liquid lip which is why we use our recycled resin tube made from 100% recycled HDPE (which basically means things like old milk jugs, cool right?).

The Lash Curler

The Lash Curler: Approach

This was initially an ask from Goop, as they thought it would be great to have a lash curler and mascara gift set. We agreed and set out to create a super adorable lash curler that is straightforward and works. We love this one and it comes everywhere with us.

Behind the scenes

When it comes to lash curlers, our makeup artist friends tell us it’s one of the essentials for every makeup kit! So we made it beautiful Saie purple because we wanted something in your kit to make you smile!

Behind the scenes: packaging

We’re working towards using recycled metal as our main material for the lash curler.

Supply Chain

Approach

Our mission is to be as transparent as possible with our supply chain because we want people to know just how much time, energy and hard work goes into making our products.  We recognize there are many things that we do that are not perfect, but we want to talk about them so we can find the best alternatives going forward. We believe that by raising awareness and having authentic conversations around some of the big picture issues in the beauty industry we can push the entire industry to be more sustainable. This is what gets us out of bed everyday and we’re excited to share what we learn with our community. 

Our products start in the best labs in the world - we create and tweak formulations endlessly until we have the cleanest and best performing product. The lab sources the ingredients, while we source the packaging. We review all of the ingredient information with the lab, including where it's sourced from, how it's processed, whether it's organic, non-GMO, sustainably sourced (particularly for palm oil), and for synthetic ingredients, making sure it's not petroleum-derived. If there are any issues, we work with the lab to find a better supplier who is more in line with our sustainability tenets. All of the raw materials then get shipped to the lab to make the formula.

The packaging includes the bottle or vial itself, the carton, and the bottom label (so you always have key regulatory information available). We also produce special boxes for shipping the product from the producer to the warehouse - we make sure that the product will be super protected during shipping without using any plastic or bubble wrap because damaged product is not sustainable! We prioritize working with packaging producers who are thinking innovatively and are open to alternative materials. Our mascara vial is made in Italy, our lip tube in Taiwan, and our brow vial in China, but we're hoping to bring these closer to home as we grow to reduce our carbon footprint. Our bottom labels are made in Illinois out of fully recyclable and toxin-free coated paper and our cartons are made in a renewable energy powered facility in Connecticut. 

Once all of these pieces arrive at the lab, everything gets put together. This results in some waste - about 3% of what is produced ends up as scrap. We are working to reduce this every day because we don't like waste! So we're looking for ways to make this better and ultimately have no/virtually no waste.

After everything gets put together and packaged up, it heads to our warehouse in New Jersey. Our warehouse is also solar powered, which we're so pumped about! They recycle everything that comes into the warehouse as well with various specialized recycling partners, and they work with us to recycle our own empties that customers send back. 

To send the product out to our customers, we use boxes made in Indiana out of a portion of recycled content and sustainably sourced virgin cardboard and our cotton ball pouches (made in Illinois out of a cool recyclable and compostable material called glassine). The tape is a kraft paper tape that's water activated (so no toxic adhesives) and fully recyclable, also made in the USA. We're excited to be using so many US-based companies because it really reduces our carbon footprint to ship these things where they need to go.

Here's how we break down
our supply chain practices:
Ingredients
Saie Standards