When deciding where to make our deodorant, we had to make sure the factory had top-notch eco-credentials. After lots of searching, we landed on two factories - one in the South of England and a second in the Netherlands.
Our Ops manager Jos recently visited our Dutch factory and along the way we chatted to Mark - the man behind the deodorant - who is going to let us into all the secrets of how Wild is made.
Let's find out some more about the factory
When you arrive at the factory, the first thing you'll notice is that the entire roof is covered in solar panels. From the factory's inception, Mark always wanted it to be sustainable. Producing cosmetics is energy-intensive but the factory has enough solar panels to run all the machines. It doesn't stop there, the factory's manufacturing methods are water-free. This means that Wild is created using methods that don't add water into the process. We have chosen to produce in this way as we not only want to avoid wasting water, but it also means we don't have to adjust preservatives to our formula, helping to keep our products natural. Producing water-free has a great significance in the sustainability of our factory. After agriculture, industry is the biggest user of freshwater around the world. In the United States alone, industrial water use is around 6 billion litres every single day. Industry use of water is a huge source of water pollution so it is a big benefit to our sustainability that Wild is created using water-free methods.
How is the deodorant made?
It's here that the deodorant cooks (if we can call them that) precisely weigh out all the quantities of each ingredient. A little bit of coconut oil, a drop of shea butter and a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. This recipe is a science and has been perfected over time. The deodorant is created using a heating and cooling method to avoid the use of water and it starts with mixing all the ingredients in a big, heated pot. This process in itself takes almost a day. Then, once all the ingredients are mixed well and are a smooth mass, the pot is taken to the filling machine to pour the perfected formula into the packaging. Here, all the empty refills are put on a production line and are each individually filled. After the refill or mini is filled it goes through a cooling tunnel and when it is cooled down it is collected, tested for quality and ready to be shipped to Wild. All in all, it takes 32 hours to make the deodorant from mixing the ingredients to the beautiful finished product.
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What are the processes put in place to ensure the factory is sustainable?
As mentioned before, the roof of the factory is filled with solar panels which energises all of the machinery. All of the products are made with natural ingredients and free from water. We also use recyclable, recycled or compostable packaging, but also rest products like oils or other grease are collected for re-use. In addition, the factory ensures their social sustainability. In the words of Mark himself, "there's no Planet B and we need to take care of our resources and each other". We don't just commit to being sustainable in our manufacturing and production practices but we also harness social sustainability for those who help to create Wild deos. They work together with a local organisation, Ijmond Werkt, which helps people with a distance from the labour market to reintegrate into society, therefore providing employment opportunities to individuals who may not have previously had access to work.
"There's no Planet B and we need to take care of our resources and each other"
History of the factory
Just like Wild, our Dutch factory is a young company, only established 3 years ago. The only goal they had then was to be a sustainable factory that automated a production facility for natural deodorant. They started in the back of a roofing company which was a small, prefabricated building where they made their first natural deodorant balm. Their factory was instantly a success due to the demand from brands wanting to create their own natural and sustainable cosmetics lines. In 2020, they moved into the factory that Jos had the chance to visit and where our Wild deos become the masterpieces that they are.
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Do you have any more sustainability plans for the factory?
We constantly check what can be improved. Because we use a heating and cooling system to create the deodorant, it would be interesting to explore the option of using the waste energy of the cooling process for heating and the other way round. This is something we would like to optimise as, despite using solar power, it is still important to save energy.
Our deodorants have been lovingly made in our Dutch factory for almost a year now and it has been a Wild and happy ride!