The Brand

Who are you people?

We’re anarchistic scientists, hell bent on disrupting a beauty industry that we see as deeply flawed. The status quo is not great for people and terrible for the planet. If we achieve nothing other than forcing some rationalization of the skincare industry, we will consider this venture a success.

Who owns the company?

The founder and owner is a South African scientist and entrepreneur. He lives in a small farmhouse in rural Kwa-Zulu Natal with his rather large family. He bathes every day but hasn’t used soap or shampoo for more than a decade.

I keep forgetting your brand. Why did you choose such a s#!t name?

We know the brand name isn’t catchy.

You say it “sap – ee – en – ic”.

Sapienic acid was the main reason for the name – it’s our hero ingredient. The acid was named for the only animal species that makes it – Homo sapiens – and it is the most abundant fatty acid in human sebum. We were sick of seeing other brands claiming to mimic sebum when doing that is really hard.

“Sapiens” also means “wise” in Latin and the brand is for humans that have wised up a bit.

Also, the .com was available.

What do you mean by carbon neutral?

We account for the carbon that is emitted in the manufacture of our raw materials and packaging (embodied carbon). This is partly why we use glass wherever we can. We also audit the carbon that we produce in the manufacture and transport of the product to its final destination. We make every effort to reduce these emissions. We purchase ethical carbon offsets for the emissions that we cannot avoid. As we grow our sphere of influence, we will be able to put more pressure on our suppliers to reduce their carbon footprints. Take that Donald.

Are you certified organic? By who?

Yes … to the COSMOS organic standards by Ecocert France. Ecocert audits the raw materials, the manufacture and the packaging. We see these standards as a useful starting point, not as an end goal. There are aspects of the standards that we believe are not stringent enough, but they still provide an audited baseline to reassure you that your product doesn’t contain chemical residues.

Did you hurt the bunnies?

No. We’re a little bit obnoxious, not nasty. We have never tested our products on animals. We test on humans. We will not purchase raw materials from suppliers that test on animals or that contract with other entities that do. We will never use animal products of any kind in our range … not even beeswax.

Why choose glass? It’s heavy. Surely the carbon load is high?

We put a lot of thought into our packaging materials. The embodied carbon in glass is much lower than plastic (around 1,4 kgCO2/kg vs 3,3 kgCO2/kg) but the fact that glass is heavier offsets this to a large extent. We chose glass because its after-use impact on the environment is very low. Plastic can be recycled … but the recycle rate is low and it causes damage to ecosystems if it isn’t properly managed after its use. In the USA only 8,4% of the plastic that was thrown away was recycled in 2017 and this rate was down from 2015, so things aren’t getting better. Glass recycle rates are higher (around 26%) and it is not a threat to ecosystems if it isn’t recycled.

Is the packaging biodegradable?

Yes. The entirety of the external packaging (the boxes and card inners) is fully compostable over 30 days.