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What constitutes a “natural” beauty product? There’s still no universally accepted standard, even though the market is growing at a rapid rate and the FDA is involved, making changes and will continue to set standards. The skin is the body’s largest organ and research proves it capable of absorbing up to 60% of the ingredients in the products we apply – that is a large number and we’ve become more aware of what ingredients are found in our products for this reason. There is a large majority of bath, body, hair, makeup and skincare products available today which contain commonly used synthetic ingredients such as Parabens, detergents, preservatives and SLS; these synthetic ingredients have been recognized to cause irritation in some people and may have damaging effects longer-term. Ultimately, brands are choosing their own classification and how they represent themselves.

The industry and consumers use the three words, clean, natural and organic loosely and interchangeable, when in reality they are all different.

Wikipedia’s definitions shed some light on the differences between natural and organic:

natural product is a chemical compound or substance produced by a living organism—that is, found in nature.[2][3] In the broadest sense, natural products include any substance produced by life.[4][5]

An organic product is made from materials produced by organic agriculture. Most appropriately(,)organic beauty products can be explained as any products that is made or cultivated without the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GM), herbicides, synthetic fertilisers and more. In order to warrant if a product is organic, the USA uses USDA certification – NOP National Organic Program to define a cultivated product (or ingredient) as organic.

The term clean’ when used in the beauty and wellness industry loosely refers to being “free of something” i.e. an ingredient, filler or preservative. The word ‘clean’ may also be used to refer to the sustainability of packaging or ingredients. The use of the word ‘clean’ is not mandated and is interpreted, demonstrated and used freely by individuals and brands as they see fit to further describe benefits (so it’s important to read the labels!). Therefore, there are many definitions of what clean means.

As a brand we identify as a clean, naturally inspired brand which utilizes a combination of natural and organic ingredients.  We do not formulate with silicones, mineral oil, parabens, alcohol, SLS, and artificial/synthetic dyes and fragrances – all of which can lead to skin irritation. We adhere to and are compliant with the EU’s banned list of ingredients.  Many retailers are deferring to the EU’s list of roughly 1400 banned ingredients, which are known to or suspected of causing cancer, birth defects, and reproductive harm, as a standard of defining clean and natural. Join us in the clean beauty movement

Interested in what you can do to add to your clean movement? Check out our lean life swap tips:

  • Store your water in a stylish, yet totally functional (hello cold water all day) SWELL water bottle and feel good about eliminating plastic water bottles and going BPA free FOREVER.
  • The average reusable bag has a lifespan equal to that of more than 700 disposable plastic bags. One person using reusable bags over their lifetime would remove more than 22,000 plastic bags from the environment. Nuf said.
  • Join us in a global movement to eliminate plastic drinking straws from our landfills, our streams, our oceans, and our beaches. Swap for paper, stainless or even bamboo straws.
  • Give a hoot – don’t pollute and pick up! The ocean is not a garbage can and neither is the street or the side of the road.

 

International Women’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, age, economic or political. It’s a celebration where we unite as a global community to celebrate women, their endless drive, passion, impact and tireless effort in making a difference.

In recognition of International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating our accomplishments as women, and the progress we make each day towards an equal future by bringing together three inspiring duo founders making an impact in their field and communities. Dive in deeper and follow along with us this month as we showcase a handful of incredibly notable and talented women because as women we are stronger together.

Meet Angela Sutherland and Evelyn Rusli, the Co-founders of Yumi Foods, ⁠a nutritious, subscription-based baby food company. ⁠

How did the two of you meet and found Yumi?

Evelyn: Angela and I have been friends for years, and we initially met through my husband.  It’s funny because the first time he introduced us, he cautioned me: “be extra nice to Angela, you guys are going to start a great company someday.”  At the time, I was a bit skeptical at his bold prediction but it turns out he was right all along. 

After Angela had her first child, she shared with me the mountains of data that she had researched on early childhood nutrition while she was pregnant, and I was blown away by the numbers and all the studies related to the importance of nutrition and the first years of life. 

We were also both astonished by how broken the baby food market was, how it hadn’t changed in decades; being dominated by shelf-stable pouches that are high in fruit sugar and low in nutrition. We both felt an immediate sense of responsibility to democratize the information we had with others and make a product parents could feel good about.

What is Yumi and what is your mission?

Angela: Yumi is a health and wellness brand for children that provides freshly prepared, organic meals and snacks delivered right to parents’ doorsteps.  It is our mission to support busy families by making it easier for parents to feed their babies healthy, nutritious food that has been developed by a team of doctors, chefs, and nutritionists. Unlike any other brand, we also empower parents with tools and information, through customized content each week detailing how nutrition impacts their child’s development.  Being a parent is hard enough; we consider it our job to make mealtime just a little bit easier.

What is one standout quality you see in each other?

Evelyn: I’m always blown away by her innate generosity – after we decided to start Yumi, we both quit our jobs and I moved down to Los Angeles.

My husband (then fiance) was still living in San Francisco at the time, and I was alone in LA. Without hesitation, Angela and her husband opened up their home, and I lived with them for over a year. From day one, she made me feel part of the family, and I had the great gift of watching her first child grow up, and the birth of her second. I’m constantly amazed by how Angela consistently goes above and beyond for her family and friends. Her acts of love and service never seem labored, they are almost automatic and foregone conclusions for her. I think you can see that thoughtfulness reflected in the brand — we’ve created so many unexpected moments for the customer, such as the creation of a board book for babies because Angela wanted to create touchpoints that would spark joy and make the customer feel loved. 

Angela: Evelyn is an incredible storyteller. She is so eloquent with her words, which also makes her one of the best writers I know and excellent at brand building.  I am also constantly impressed by the empathy she shows towards others. She is always curious and eager to listen to other points of view and dig in with more questions.  This makes her an incredible partner and person to have in the trenches because she has usually considered a problem from many angles and will present creative perspectives and solutions.

What are the best decisions that you have made in your careers thus far?:

Angela – Ignoring those who told me not to take the risk to start Yumi, and just stay at my ‘comfortable’ job.  Founding this brand and seeing the incredible impact we have made over just a few short years has been tremendously rewarding.  

Evelyn – Understanding the importance of relationships. At the center of any venture or business is people. I work hard every day to invest in my relationships and treat people well. Sounds simple, but that lens has shaped my career. 

What are the worst?

Evelyn – Second-guessing myself. The moments I’ve succumbed to imposter syndrome. For a while, I didn’t let myself entertain the idea of becoming an entrepreneur, because I wondered what right did I have to think could do it? I’m so glad I pushed those thoughts out of the way. That said, even when you’re a few years in, you’re never never fully immune to feeling like an imposter sometimes, or feeling less than confident. 

In what areas do you want to see women progress in 2020?

Angela: I would love to see more female founders take leadership positions, whether in the boardroom or in the government. The idea of women in power should be normalized. I love the quote from Ruth Bader Ginsburg, where she says “When I’m sometimes asked when will there be enough [women on the Supreme Court] and I say, ‘When there are nine,’ people are shocked. But there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.” That’s the world I want my children to inherit. 

We were lucky to have a handful of really amazing female mentors as we were starting Yumi, so I consider it part of our responsibility to pass along key insights, learnings (and hacks!) we have picked up along the way that could help make someone else’s journey that much easier. 

What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

Evelyn: While tremendous progress has been made to address gender inequality in recent years, I fear that it’s still not happening at an appropriate pace.  Anytime I attend a business conference or walk into a room of potential investors, the decision-makers are still mostly male.  

It’s definitely hard to reconfigure a decades-old patriarchal-based system overnight.  While the conversation has grown louder around giving women more opportunities at the executive level, it doesn’t always solve the deep-rooted gender biases that have festered for generations.  Fortunately, at least in my own experience, I’ve met some really wonderful male executives who have stepped up to help, and be a champion of women. We need women, men, and those who currently are in positions of power, to drive towards this future. It’s promising to see these kinds of examples firsthand, and I only hope more men in positions of power will follow suit. 

Which women inspire you the most and why?

Angela: My mother. She was a refugee, a businesswoman, a pillar of strength, that deeply inspired my career. As a young girl, I was in awe of her passion and saw firsthand how that passion and that grit built a business that ultimately employed so many people.

What is your self-care routine?

Angela: Spending even just 10 minutes on my skincare routine every night feels like such a treat.  And I love that there are so many new products available that offer cleaner, more natural solutions to anti-aging.  I have such a busy schedule these days and sleep is scarce. So any chance I get to give my skin a little extra love, I try and take it. 

Just as we all know how important it is to fuel our body with whole, organic ingredients, it’s equally important to think about what’s inside the topical products we are applying to our face and body each day.  And this is something I’ve spent more and more time thinking about since becoming a mom. It’s amazing to see women in this industry (like Lauren!) educating consumers about ingredients that matter, and leading as a true pioneer in the beauty space.

 

 

Still thinking about what to gift this holiday season!? We’ve rounded up our top picks, for the holidays and even beyond, for the special people in your life. Happy hunting!

For the traveler

Mejuri travel case– Never worry about twisted necklaces or missing pieces -a must have for any traveler.

Comrad compression socks not only come in all the best colors but also help decrease the risk of blood clots while flying.

Slip’s sleep mask zodiac collection are stylish for the bedroom or the plane. Customize with your loved ones zodiac sign.

For the Beauty Junkie

Ilia discover clean color set- We love Ilia for the their dedication to clean beauty but also their gorgeous highlighter , mascara and beautiful stick blush and lipstick. Works for any complexion!

Goldfaden MD Mist RX– Give the gift of protection and nutrients with our newest launch ultra fine mist. You also get a hand painted cosmetic bag by famed Australian artists Jennifer Lia.

Kevon Aucoin  jewelpop glass glow mini lip collection- glosses don’t come any cuter than these or more wearable. The colors work for everyone!

Credo Glow and Go Box

For the Eco Friendly

ManaNalu water– started by Jason Mamoa this incredible product will rid the world of plastic water containers and start a wave of change that demands our purest water be packaged in aluminum, one of the most recyclable materials in the world.

Bagpodz reusable bags set of 10- hold up to 50 pounds and is sure to satisfy the most sustainable friend!

Social Paint Lip colors- clean/natural/organic, certified gluten free, cruelty free, anti-aging, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory-and GORGEOUS, need we say more. Note to self-by extra for yourself!

For the Foodie

Mouth.com– has always been a goto for New Yorkers. Based in Brooklyn and uber cool these baskets will be the centerpiece of any home or office holiday party.

Zingerman’s fruit cakes– anything made by Zingermans is delicious and homemade. We are loving the fruit cakes which may cause sticker shock, but worth every penny! These are sure to leave a lasting memory.

For the friend who has everything– This friend is usually the hardest to shop for but this year if you can knock their socks off.

Panconessi constillation ear cuff- the perfect edition to any holiday outfit! A statement piece they will be thanking you for forever.

Cool Hunting’s Omakase– Our friends at Cool Hunting collaborated with Japanese artisans to celebrate and share their integrity, attention to detailed and expert craftsmanship. This gift is unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

Stocking Stuffers- something for everyone.

Moma’s rainbow cocktail napkins-for the hostess with the mostest or just a regular joe, you cant go wrong.

Slip silk hair ties– scrunchies are back and Slip has a set of 4 in adorable carry case.

Godiva chocolate filled star ornaments- sure to satisfy any sweet tooth and so festive!

Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel seasoning- literally what it sounds like and one of our favorites.  Check Amazon for it!

 

Wishing you and you family a very happy holiday season!