Shopping With Soul members and sustainability - Jo Mortensen from Joji Skin Care
In the fourth of our Shopping With Soul members’ story series examining sustainability, we meet Jo Mortensen from Joji Skin Care. Jo’s approach to environmentalism in her business is aided by her 9 to 5 as a sustainability professional for Ealing council, so it was great to hear more about Joji and Jo’s passion for reducing waste.
I founded Joji as a force for good in the beauty industry. Joji strives to be a beautiful example of sustainability. Our nine skin care products are full of the highest quality organic, fair trade and cruelty free raw materials. Joji embodies progressive environmental thinking. This means sustainability throughout the entire company – formulation, sourcing, production, packaging, transportation, waste, end of life – as much as we can possibly do in this space to do good.
Was sustainability a consideration for you when you first conceived and started your business, or was this something which evolved over time?
I think of Joji as a sustainability company, operating in the skin care realm. The environment was my primary motivation and will always remain at the heart of our operations.
My days are spent improving the environmental performance for Ealing, a local authority in London, so I very much live and breathe the concept of ensuring we act in a way that gives future generations the opportunity to enjoy this place we call Earth.
How easy have you found it to implement environmental and sustainable elements to your business? What have been your greatest challenges with this?
I believe all consumption needs to become deliberate and if you begin by designing your product with this value, it is not that difficult to achieve. In some cases, it will mean spending a bit more, equally there are many occasions you will save money – we’ve worked to tell the story of our choices, and it has really resonated with our audience.
Our greatest challenge to date has been sourcing packaging that protects our products, can be fully reused or recycled and can be ordered at a volume our company can handle. I’m not able to place an order for 10,000 bespoke lids, for example, so offer the best we can and keep an eye on continuous improvement.
If you have any changes you would still like to make or further developments planned, what would make it easier for you to make your business more sustainable?
We have so many things planned! It’s terribly exciting a little bit nerdy, but we think it will be well received. This year our two primary goals are to get our B-Corp certification and to launch a refill programme. The B-Corporation certification process measures a company’s entire social and environmental performance, and is a robust statement of our ethical commitments.
Our ambition to launch a true refill programme, with a take back and re-use component is going to take a lot of planning and testing. Thankfully I’m connected to some truly talented sustainability professionals who are willing to lend their amazing minds to both develop and challenge the system. Once we’ve cracked refills, I think this opens us up to an even greater audience – there is a huge movement of zero wasters, and we want to be their solution.
What has been the most fulfilling thing about making your business more sustainable?
Knowing that we are part of the solution is a very strong guiding principle for us – in fact, we don’t want to be in business if we aren’t working in this space. We would also like to work with others, develop a collective of skin care makers, who are working under these principles. This is a very enticing dream of ours, to be able to spread the knowledge, the experience, the ups and downs – and ultimately get more of us pulling in the same direction to disrupt a significant industry.