By Esme Bourne|
March 25, 2022|
4 min read
Our Meet the maker series gives us a chance to celebrate our inspiring brands who are changing the narrative on eco-conscious living. We had the pleasure of catching up with Alex and Emma from Elmkind, who are tackling plastic pollution with one refillable aluminium bottle at a time.
Truly sustainable, Elmkind is invested in ensuring their products are leading the way for conscious living. Founded by Emma and Alex in Devon, this family-run business champions sustainability at every corner. From responsibly sourced ingredients to their refill system and charitable donations, this brand not only makes your home sparkle but is pioneering the way for authenticity and transparency. Determined to put a stop to greenwashing, Elmkind is launching an educational series on YouTube to help consumers shop consciously.
Creating vegan and refillable cleaning products, this brand blends style and sustainability with its natural and organic ingredients. When the pair are not blending all of their products by hand, you can find them exploring nature with their two beloved four-legged friends.
What inspired you to start Elmkind?
The reason we started Elmkind was that we were running an eco-friendly commercial and domestic cleaning company, and we had a real need for environmentally friendly cleaning products in bulk. We wanted products that weren’t just ‘more ecological than the leading brands’ we wanted to be using truly sustainable products. From the natural ingredients inside to sustainable materials used on the outside for their packaging, we couldn’t find anything that ticked all of those boxes for us. We found that products almost always came in plastic packaging and never stated what ingredients were in the products either. So we couldn’t be sure what we were using was truly an environmentally sound product, so we decided that if we couldn’t find what we needed then we would create it ourselves instead.
Can you talk us through an average day at your brand?
As we make all our products ourselves by hand, often you will find us blending ingredients and making up fresh batches of our natural products on a regular basis. We also hand print our designs onto our bottles to avoid the use of labels and to give our bottles that premium looks and feel.
We pride ourselves on being a transparent company with great customer service, so chatting with our customers and the Elmkind community is something we love to do and do often. When we’re not doing any of the above or filling bottles and packaging our orders ready to be dispatched, you can find us walking our two dogs Pepsi and Marley and immersing ourselves in nature at any opportunity.
Why is incorporating sustainability important to you and how do you do it?
Looking after the environment is a number one priority for us in everything we do. When we launched Elmkind, we agreed we would only embark on this journey if we made it as sustainable as it could be right from the very start and every step of the way thereafter, with no compromises and that’s exactly what we have done.
From the very start, we made sure every bit of packaging, ingredient and process used was the most environmentally sound option we could choose. We sourced our aluminium bottles from a UK company which are made in Spain. We chose this instead of opting for the much easier and cheaper option of having them shipped from China, or worse, using cheap plastic bottles (which was never going to be an option for us). We then sourced local and organic ingredients that have regenerative practices in place. This means they give back to our soils and landscape instead of stripping them of their nutrients and biodiversity with the use of pesticides and harsh chemicals. Our highly concentrated refill system saves a huge amount of CO2 emissions by reducing and eliminating the water element of our products.
We could talk for days about each individual decision we have made for the better, but I better try and keep it brief! Our door is always open, however, for those who wish to learn anymore.
Can you give us some insight into the making process of your products?
Of course, as mentioned, we make everything by hand. This involves us measuring out each raw ingredient and combining them together to create our signature blends. We make small batches of concentrated products that then either get diluted to make our ready to use products or go straight into our concentrated refill bottles, ready for our orders to be fulfilled.
If you could give one piece of sustainability advice, what would it be?
Read the labels of the products you are using and get to know what ingredients are in them. Sadly, there is a lot of greenwashing happening in all sectors of the retail market, and most buzz words such as ‘green’ and ‘eco’ aren’t actually regulated, meaning almost anyone can make such a claim. By reading the labels and finding out what is actually in the products you use in your home, you can begin to filter between those ‘eco-labelled products and find ones that are truly sustainable, natural and a force for good.
What do you feel were the biggest highlights for your brand in 2021?
By 2021 we hit the incredible 10,000 mark on how many plastic bottles we have saved from going to landfills through our refill system! We also donated over £1,300 to our favourite charities helping to clean up our oceans and helping to rehome vulnerable rescue animals. We also became the first cleaning brand to be stocked by the RSPB, the incredible, well-known bird charity, which was a huge highlight for us.
What’s next for ElmKind? Is there anything coming up in the future that we should keep an eye out for?
Yes! We have so many exciting things coming up. We are currently in the middle of signing a contract for a new unit for Elmkind, meaning more workspace and storage. This will enable us to release new products this year including samples and gift sets of our current products, as well as the launch of completely new products such as laundry liquids and air fresheners, so watch this space.
We want to give a huge thank you for taking the time to get to know us a little better. We are only currently a very small business run by the two of us Emma & Alex, so every order and every mention of our business means the world to us.
Discover Elmkind’s conscious collection here at Wearth.