SpaRitual beauty products and nail polishes seem to be taking over the world, while simultaneously trying to save it. Founded by lifestyle futurist, Shel Pink, SpaRitual is an environmentally and animal friendly brand that I stumbled upon five years ago, instantly becoming obsessed with it. I was honored to be given the opportunity to talk with SpaRitual and pick Shel’s eco-friendly, creative brain. SpaRitual is a different kind of beauty company and they certainly have a reason to be proud. They incorporate chakras, colour therapy and beauty rituals into their products and place heavy emphasis on using natural ingredients, recyclable packaging and incorporating environmentally conscious concepts into their everyday products and operations.
FrockOn: Tell me a bit about the history of SpaRitual and how it developed into the company it is today.
Shel Pink: We captured the attention of the spa industry when I founded and launched SpaRitual in 2004. With a clear idea of an enlightened consumer in mind, I called them SpaRitualists, and created a brand to honor the mind, body and spirit. The SpaRitual philosophy encourages women to understand beauty as a holistic connection to oneself and to the environment. SpaRitual is the company it is today because of the dedicated team of SpaRitualists that work on the brand day in and day out to communicate to the world that beauty and sustainability are not mutually exclusive.
FrockOn: What inspired you to create SpaRitual?
Shel Pink: At the time “eco”, “organic” and “vegan” were not conscious concepts in the beauty industry. I saw an overwhelming need for a brand that could begin the dialogue. I now see the green movement transitioning towards a discussion of slow ideals in direct response to a lifestyle that has become too fast.
FrockOn: What are the principles and ideas that SpaRitual bases its decisions on?
Shel Pink: In the development phase of products, packaging and support materials we are always asking: What is the environmental impact? How can we minimize that impact? Are we provoking thought on beauty and sustainability? Are we helping women to live holistically? Does the product formula feel and smell beautiful? Does it perform to our high level of quality and standards?
FrockOn: Tell me a bit about the rituals featured on your website.
Shel Pink: Each of the rituals have been custom-designed for salons and spas to meet the needs of their clients and their lifestyles. Each of the signature treatments and protocols use both ancient and modern techniques with a global approach to relaxing and resting. The treatments enhance the overall experience for the guests by incorporating essential oils and organic ingredients. SpaRitual is known for its luxury treatments for the hands, body, and feet.
FrockOn: Why are parabens, toluene, formaldehyde and DBP something that consumers should be weary of?
Shel Pink: Our brand philosophy is to use sustainable and ethical processes that give our customers the healthiest alternatives in the professional beauty industry. The SpaRitual brand strives to protect the safety of nail technicians and their clientele all over the world by being one of the first professional brands to use a truly 3-Free lacquer formula in the market because we believe that healthy nails and healthy people are beautiful. Parabens have the ability to mimic estrogen, a hormone that is known to play a role in the development of breast cancer. First banned in the European Union, DBP was added to California’s Prop 65 list of suspected teratogens, and is also sited as an “endocrine disruptor.” In addition, the California Air Resources Board classifies toluene as a “potential ozone depletory,” while formaldehyde gas is a “probable human carcinogen.”
FrockOn: Explain what vegan means in terms of a beauty product.
Shel Pink: We utilize vegan ingredients sourced with awareness, including organic rare plant essences. Our biodegradable products, are formulated in compliance with Eco Cert standards and are free of synthetic dyes, parabens, harmful preservatives and petrochemicals. Our products are 100% vegan. We do not test on animals nor do we use animal by-products in our formulations. In addition, we require our ingredient suppliers to provide a non-animal origin certificate to confirm that they are meeting our standards.
FrockOn: What inspires the nail polish colors and names?
Shel Pink: I run a Think Tank at the company called SEEING THE FUTURE NOW. Seasonal and socio-cultural trend resourcing is the key component that drives the insights of the think tank and the development of all of our color collections. We work with outside global trend agencies, brand specific insights and our intuition to determine which trends we will get behind for that season. First we are inspired by colors and big trending ideas to name the collection. Once we have the collection name, we write the concept and name the colors.
FrockOn: What are some emerging fall trends and how does the new Imagine collection embrace these trends?
Shel Pink: Emerging socio-cultural trends are Innovation and Disruption. Imagine embraces these trends by provoking us to Imagine new possibilities in all facets of life personally, professionally and globally.
FrockOn: What is your favourite product (or product line) that SpaRitual offers?
Shel Pink: Infinitely Loving Oil with Jasmine, it’s one of our first products and has always been my favourite. Every morning I give myself an ayurvedic massage called Abhyangha with that oil.
Another addition to the SpaRitual family is their new soy candle line. I found out that not only do I love to eat soy, I love to light it on fire. Infused with essential oils, SpaRitual soy candles burn clean, don’t give off a ‘fake’ smell and have a pure aroma. For once, I could actually smell the scent of the candle I was burning, without it becoming overpowering. If that’s not enough, the packing and printing processes are eco-friendly and use recycled glass, soy-based inks and FSC-certified papers.
FrockOn: What are the downfalls of a “regular” candle and how do your new soy candles address these issues?
Shel Pink: Traditionally candles are made using paraffin wax , which is a by-product of crude oil refinement, and has been known to release ozone depleting VOC’s into the air , which ultimately has a negative impact on our health and our environment. Today, there are hundreds of cleaner and healthier wax alternatives that manufactures offer such as soy wax or beeswax. The SpaRitual wax base is a plant derived blend of Soy , Palm Wax , and Coconut Wax. Some key benefits to our candles are that they have a smaller carbon footprint than most and the scents instantly transport you into a state of well-being.
FrockOn: Why is recycling such an important part of SpaRitual?
Shel Pink: It is important because we don’t want our packaging to end up in one of the many landfills. We want them to be recycled. Packaging is an ongoing discussion at the company and we are constantly researching more sustainable options beyond just recycling a container.
FrockOn: What inspired SpaRitual to create the new Breast Cancer Awareness Collection and partner with Living In Pink?
Shel Pink: I believe that it is our responsibility to support Breast Cancer Awareness since it affects so many women. Living In Pink is a support network for women once they are diagnosed with breast cancer, connecting them with the care they need through an extremely challenging journey. It is an incredible organization that has helped many women.
FrockOn: What’s next for SpaRitual?
Shel Pink: At SpaRitual we are always looking for ways to become ever greener. We are also in development with some more beautiful and thought provoking color collections launching in 2011. SpaRitual is a lifestyle brand and you will see some dynamic innovations launching in 2011 and beyond to help you live a more beautiful, sustainable, holistic life.
Beautiful, sustainable and holistic? Bring on 2011! But before that, I’ll be dreaming of SpaRitual products under my potted, living, eco-friendly Christmas tree. Is there a color called I’ve been good this year?