Anti-plastic combo: cosmetics start-up relies on refill, glass and home-compostable fiber bags

Image Source: Necessary Good

London-based startup Necessary Good declares plastic a “hate object” and relies on refill glass flacons and fully home-compostable refill bags for its skincare products. The cosmetics segment again shows itself to be a (relative) “early mover” in the search for more packaging sustainability in general and in the substitution of plastic as well as in the use of reusable or refill in particular. The fact that a “small player” is once again treading this path also fits into the picture.


Necessary Good was only founded in March 2023 and offers a small range of skin care products. The start-up’s claim alone makes it clear that special attention is paid to packaging: “Formulations you love without the packaging you hate.”

To meet this claim, the startup relies on home-compostable fiber refill bags and a reusable glass bottle.


The reusable glass bottle

For its refillable glass bottle, Necessary Good gave packaging manufacturer Croxsons detailed packaging specifications and had two sizes of cylindrical glass bottles made with slanted shoulders.

  • The startup encourages its customers to refill the glass bottles as often as possible.
  • At the same time, however, it offers to exchange the used bottles for new ones free of charge should the containers become too unsightly over time in the opinion of the consumers.
  • However, Necessary Good is not completely without plastic. The bottles are equipped with screw-in atomizers, overcap dip tubes, lotion pumps and screw caps as closures.


The refill bags

Perhaps it’s also because the brand focuses primarily on refill pouches on its website. Necessary Good sees them as the “ideal solution to the waste problem in the cosmetics industry.” Specifically, according to the company:

  • “OnRepeat” refill pouches are made of fully compostable cellulose and lined with a bio-based coating that is also compostable.
  • The outer packaging consists of a folding cardboard box made from 100 percent recycled paper and is 100 percent recyclable. This is complemented by FSC certification.
  • Interestingly, despite offensive slogans (“We are working to reduce our carbon footprint and be as waste-free as possible”), Necessary Good does not dispense with outer packaging.


Avoidance strategy: waste and plastic

Necessary Good says it explicitly itself: they don’t want packaging that customers hate. Without calling a spade a spade, this is about plastic. And in a certain sense, it is about packaging per se, since the claim is to be as “waste-free” as possible.

Even if purists and activists may find contradictions here, such as the folding box as outer packaging: With glass, recycled paper and a bio-based coating as well as complete recyclability or compostability and the “refill” factor, one already fulfills one’s own objective a good deal.


Exemplary for the trend

Necessary Good fits into the big picture of the current sustainability revolution in packaging. The cosmetics segment is once again proving to be the driving force – with start-ups as pioneers with high sustainability standards. Refill and reusable packaging are sure to score points with the target group, as are glass, bio-based fiber materials and coatings, and compostability.

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