Lip balms are some of the most used and most frequently lost personal cosmetics items. Difficult to recycle, empty plastic containers end up in mixed waste and landfills. Up and coming brand, above & beyond, has solved this dilemma.
Often packaged in plastic, lip balms lost in nature or in urban environments break down over several months and years into microplastics that accumulate in nature and also, over time, end up in the bodies of humans and animals.
‘Our single-use mentality with daily products is killing the planet. Unless we all want to move to Mars with Elon Musk, we will need to treat the Earth much better. I’ve always tried to adopt a startup mentality within the companies that I’ve worked with and now I’m lucky enough to have found a group of like-minded individuals to take this to the next level with above & beyond,’ says Bryn Walbrook, co-founder of above & beyond and former planner at creative marketing agencies Saatchi & Saatchi and MullenLowe.
above & beyond has chosen Sulapac’s bio-based and sustainably sourced material for its lip balm cases. The material is made from wood from industrial side streams and plant-based binders. The material is industrially compostable and also biodegrades without leaving permanent microplastics behind. Additionally, the lip balms are available in lifetime-use aluminium cases.
‘It is inspiring to see our clients take our material and adapt it so well to their custom packaging in their broader efforts to fight the plastic waste crisis and overconsumption of our planet’s resources. The commitment that above & beyond has shown to sustainability is also very closely aligned with our values. In the development phase, we had to overcome quite a few challenges to find the perfect combination of the material and the packaging design. While most of our clients choose ready-made solutions made of Sulapac, above & beyond is a great showcase of just how flexible our material can be,’ says Dr. Suvi Haimi, CEO and Co-founder of Sulapac.
‘Sulapac’s material offered many of the benefits of oil derived plastics, but with none of the downsides. Going with Sulapac allowed us to create attractive and very functional packaging that was very strong and durable even with thinner wall sections. This allowed us to both keep the material usage low, while the thin walls would aid the speed of decomposition at the end of life,’ says Andy Hill, Co-founder of above & beyond and Managing Director of King of Shaves.
above & beyond’s customers can sign up for a subscription to refill their lip balm. The refill pods are also made of Sulapac’s material. The cases have a QR code that takes the customer directly to above & beyond’s website to manage the subscription and order refills.
The mission of above & beyond aims much further than lip balms, however. The brand is supported by the expertise of King of Shaves founder Will King, Andy Hill, Managing Director of King of Shaves, and Simon McCandlish, previously Commercial Director for Walgreens and Executive Director at Boots. In addition, Tiger Savage, co-founder of creative advertising agency Savage & King Ltd., brings her creative touch to the brand.
Walbrook and his highly experienced team are on a journey to turn people’s homes into a lifetime-use, refillable universe.
‘The bathroom cabinet is just the start for above & beyond. On a grander scale, we would like to work towards building a community of brands that compete against single-use wasteful products together. Brands have the power of creating cultures – and I’d love to be a part of facilitating a positive culture that prioritises the health of our planet and all the living beings on it,’ concludes Walbrook.