We can all agree that sustainability is important. But what does true sustainability really mean? Here at WØRKS, true sustainability is about end-to-end environmental integrity. Every one of our products, processes and items of packaging must adhere to a rigorous sustainability protocol from manufacture to post-consumer.
Learn more about our nine pillars of sustainability and discover why we're one of Australia's most sustainable brands.
1. Single-use plastic free
Our formulations are housed in reusable glass vessels, which is the most sustainable option for personal care packaging. In terms of its lifecycle, glass is manufactured from natural raw materials: silica (sand), soda ash and limestone. Post-consumer, it can be safely home sterilised, refilled and repurposed - or recycled in perpetuity. Should glass packaging enter our natural ecosystems, its non-toxic profile ensures it poses no risk to human health, waterways, animal habitats or biodiversity.
Conversely, plastic manufacture is reliant on petrochemicals and heavy metals. Virgin plastic manufacture contributes to 14% of all greenhouse gasses and takes 8% of the world's oil. Post-consumer, global estimates show that only 9% of all plastic is recycled, with the remainder being committed to landfill or disposed of in natural environments where it never degrades.
2. Sustainable raw materials
Our products are formulated with certified organic raw materials that have been grown and harvested sustainably. No chemical fertilisers or pesticides are permitted in the growing of certified organic crops, which ensures the integrity of the crops, the environmental impact of their farming and the long-term sustainability of the land. Certified organic also safeguards human health as it excludes harmful chemicals from entering the bloodstream by way of absorption through the skin.
Certified organic is a much higher standard than 'natural products' or
'naturally derived ingredients', which are self-regulated and not governed by any official body. Certified organic farming is heavily regulated and rigorously controlled to ensure approved policies and procedures are adhered to from end to end.
3. Carbon offset
We offset the carbon related to shipping our products Australia-wide. This is executed via a carbon credit system whereby the amount of carbon generated from our Melbourne warehouse to the delivery destination is calculated, then offset by way of tree planting, habitat building and other environmental restoration.
These projects include protecting pockets of native forests in Tasmania’s Central Highlands by stopping logging and land degradation; permanently protecting a rare pocket of wetlands and woodlands between the Coorong National Park and Lake Albert in partnership with its Traditional Owners, the Ngarrindjeri People; protecting against tree clearing combined with replanting of natural vegetation in the Annya State Forest to preserve the survival of the Long-nosed Potoroo; and regenerating the Boobera Native Forest by excluding livestock, managing invasive pests and restoring the native forests, local flora and fauna.
4. Clean formulation
Every WØRKS formulation is proudly organic, vegan and biodegradable. Our products are free from all synthetics, parabens, sulphates (SLS, SLES, SDS, ALS), dyes, fillers, phthalates, PEGS, detergents, silicones, mineral oils and palm oil. We formulate with certified organics, botanicals, extracts and essential oils selected for their skin synergy, proven efficacy and impeccable record of safety.
Our fragrances are made with 100% pure essential oils and are certified by IFRA, the International Fragrance Association. Our personal care formulations are non-sensitising, dermatologically tested and laboratory approved to the highest Australian standards.
5. Circular economy
Reuse far outweighs recycling in terms of environmental impact. Our circular economy model is built on the refill, reuse and repurpose of our glass vessels.We do not house refills in plastic pouches. Plastic refill pouches are counter-productive by nature of their petrochemical makeup. Plastic pouches are manufactured from virgin plastic and are very difficult to recycle or reuse owing to their construction and material components.
Our truly sustainable refills are housed in glass vessels and our circular economy model supports the reuse of those vessels. Here's how.
1. Remove the screw cap from the refill, replace it with the pump from the empty vessel and begin using the new product.
2. Soak the empty vessel in a solution of warm water and bicarbonate soda, which will dissolve the label adhesive. Clean the unlabelled vessel with warm soapy water or add it to the dishwasher.
3. Add the screw cap to the clean empty vessel and repurpose it for storing liquids, as a drinking bottle, or however you see fit. Or return it to us and we'll reuse it.
6. Local manufacture and short supply chain
WØRKS is an Australian owned and operated family business. We keep our supply chain short by sourcing locally grown and harvested raw materials and manufacturing our products within Australia. Our distribution model is built on Australian owned and operated suppliers, businesses, sole traders and retailers with a view to supporting local economies and industries. Every WØRKS product is made in an accredited laboratory and finished by hand in Melbourne.
WØRKS acknowledges and pays respect to the past and present Traditional Custodians and Elders of this nation and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
7. Animal-derivative free
Every WØRKS formulation is 100% vegan and cruelty free. We don’t test on animals or use ingredients that have been tested on animals. We never support animal-exploitative industries, products or process, such as palm oil, lanolin, goats milk and beeswax.
8. End-to-end integrity
We package and ship every retail and wholesale order in 100% recyclable cardboard boxes. Our boxes have been custom made to protect the glass vessels inside without the need for additional packing material. We never use bubble wrap, packing beads, plastic or excessive packaging.
We work with our suppliers to minimise the waste caused by incoming shipments of componentry and raw materials. By demanding the complete removal of all plastic packaging associated with incoming deliveries, we have been a catalyst for change that has seen our suppliers overhaul their policies.
Our headquarters, showroom and distribution centre are run out of a 7-star energy rated premises, and we operate a paper-free office.
9. Integrity in formulation
True hand soap - not hand wash. Our organic hand and body soaps are made in the centuries-old tradition of master soap makers. Our liquid soaps are small batch produced, non-sensitising and rich in sustainably sourced plant lipids.
Conversely, hand and body washes are synthetic reproductions of liquid soap, which are technically classified as detergents. These detergent bases are heavily processed, mass produced and manufactured with synthesised ingredients - even those that are labelled as plant-based, natural or naturally derived.
Learn more about the difference between hand soap and hand wash.