Our Design Philosophy: Buy to keep, not buy to dispose

Our Design Philosophy: Buy to keep, not buy to dispose

Our family aims to craft products that live well in your spaces, for long-lasting use and re-use, with aesthetics that may reflect a part of your identity.  

At the core of this belief is the idea that spaces can be a reflection of self. Within contextual limitations, a space can be a temple of refuge and rumination, a base for family and friends, a canvas to express perceptions of beauty – light, color, depth, material, narrative etc.

As I look around my own apartment, I find items that I have held onto for years. A painting, a cardigan, a vase – pieces that have fit my identity in some way or another year after year. Often the aesthetic was the initial intrigue, but over time a narrative formed around the piece – one that built in importance over time. An old mug handed down from your mom with associations of warm Sunday mornings, cartoons, and family time will always find space with you, regardless of its fading blue façade or chipped handle. 

The perspective of buying pieces with the intention of it fitting in our space over time is reserved for furniture, art, ceramics, and some fashion. It has not been extended to packaged goods like skincare, and for good reason. Packaged goods are associated with a model of buy to dispose – we buy, use them up, then throw them away. The perception is founded on what is made available from brands, not a lack of desire from the public to act sustainably where possible.

We would like to pursue an alternate model; one where packaged goods are designed to live well in your spaces and designed for reuse. We are pursuing this model because we want to try something different, we see no sense in adding a new brand that doesn’t bring forth new, genuine value. We genuinely believe we can create some pressure for change – obviously as a small brand our direct impact may start small, but who knows what may come from setting an example. The change we desire is to move the industry towards better packaging solutions and production processes. We know there is an audience that wants to support sustainable, effective products.


When we started, we identified four key factors to supporting the success of an alternated model: (1) Technology to support a 'buy and refill' model that is as close to zero-waste as currently possible, (2) Supporting the action of keeping and reusing the piece through a want, not a sense of guilt or anxiety related to consumption and waste, (3) A very effective product that merits a desire year after year, and (4) Most importantly, a community that is aware and supportive of the effort.

  1. Technology 

Buy and refill is not a novel idea. The way we aim to do it is though. Refills are delivered in cardboard wallets that have a first of its kind compostable film encasing the formulation. The compostable films are a mix of wood cellulose and bio-based polymers and can be placed in a home compost or community compost. The film decomposes within 32 weeks.

  1. Want not guilt

We have crafted our bottles with a thoughtful minimalism, with artwork that enhances the ambiance of your space. The aesthetic of the bottle was inspired by the core brand ethos – skincare as an act of slow self-care, a grounding mindful ritual. Specifically, we looked at the raking patterns in Japanese Zen Gardens, where the act of raking gravel is meditative – this pragmatic, minimalistic view of mindfulness linked well with our message.

We hope the design can act as a visual daily reminder to slow down and engage mindfully with your skincare practice. We hope that the design and its meaning resonate with a community, and we hope it resonates enough that they want to keep it in their space – engaging in a sustainable buy and refill model as a nice coincidence.

  1. Effective

Our family has thirty years of heritage in personal care ingredients, with expertise in manufacturing and selling raw ingredients for personal care and cosmetic products. We partnered with a Montreal based lab for 18 months to develop our initial set of 5 essentials. I can rave about the ingredients and the efficacy of the formulations as a set – but, I will leave that to the reviews.

I do want to note that as we grow, we will be very intentional about expanding our product set – introducing new items only where we feel they bring real value to your daily life. A bloated set of products would directly contradict in our belief in creating a sustainable brand that creates pressure for the industry to change its ways.

  1. Community

The most critical piece is the community. While we launch this brand with a particular vision and set of beliefs, it will be transformed by the community that adopts it over time. 

While the product and experience will result in some sharing with their friends - we want to create supporting 'content' that embodies the brand ideals and more. 'Content' can be reduced to mindless filler, and we will avoid that at all costs. We will explore our inspirations as a brand, and the concepts of wellness, sustainability, aging, and design. Our works will be done somewhat in house, but we look to heavily partner with creatives, experts in field and friends to offer valuable, realistic opinions.  


As we close, I would like to reflect on the context of this discussion. It is important to understand the roles we have individually versus collectively on the topic of sustainability. While its important to do what we can personally, the vast majority of impact will be done collectively. Large shifts in our economic practices associated with energy production, construction, transportation, and other sectors are necessary to reach a healthier equilibrium with the planet. 

So, while this brand may emphasize the benefits of buy and refill, and zero waste refills, and reducing consumption – the real work is done collectively, please recognize you cannot take on the world's problems alone.

Our mission is fairly ambitious. Maybe this idea works, maybe it doesn't land. Either way, we would like to present an alternative path to the existing perspective on 'packaged' goods. Whether its our model or another, we do believe that to evolve this industry we must promote sustainable consumption through want not guilt. It is up to brands like us to present new solutions - the industry should not be waiting for public pressure but rather leading the way. 


Thank you for your time and attention,

Please let us know what you think,


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