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12/06/2024 Origin by Ocean

Lather, rinse, repeat, rethink

The key to sustainable personal care products has been hiding beneath the ocean's surface all along.
Lather, rinse, repeat, rethink
Chemistry 2.0

With their new Meri product range, Finnish brand Ole Hyvä has become the first in the world to use Origin by Ocean's revolutionary algae-based ingredients to replace the harmful oil-based chemicals found in the vast majority of beauty products. Consumers now have the opportunity to be sustainable in their hair and skincare decisions and to help protect our oceans from the damaging effects of the pollution caused by such products.

Traditional shampoos are a major yet often overlooked source of environmental damage. Thousands of everyday products, from shampoo to household cleaners, contain petroleum-based ingredients. In the US alone, over 20 million barrels of petroleum are consumed daily, which says everything about how deeply integrated it is into our daily lives. 

When rinsed down the drain, these oil-derived chemicals pollute our waterways, with traces found in wastewater, groundwater and even drinking water. The Meri range tackles this problem head-on by swapping out petroleum-based ingredients for our sustainable algae-based alternative, Caerulo. By using renewable algae, Caerulo cleanses with a dramatically lower carbon footprint and much less reliance on dwindling fossil fuel reserves.

Transforming destructive algae into an eco-friendly ingredient

ObO_uutiskirje_9_2023_caeruloThe environmental credentials of raw materials are coming under increasing scrutiny as conscious consumers seek out sustainable and ethically-produced cosmetics. A lifecycle assessment published in the SOFW Journal compared the environmental footprint of petroleum-based 1,3-butylene glycol, a common ingredient in personal care products, with that of Brontide, a naturally sourced alternative produced by Genomatica. 

The study found that the bio-based production process for Brontide had about half the global warming potential and primary energy demand from non-renewable sources compared to the conventional petroleum route. By opting for ingredients like Caerulo, which are made through cleaner, greener production methods, Ole Hyvä is seriously reducing the environmental impact of the Meri range and making the personal care industry more sustainable.

But the environmental benefits of algae don't stop there. We harvest our Caerulo alginate from fast-spreading invasive algae species that would otherwise cause devastating algal blooms. Left unchecked, these blooms create ocean 'dead zones' by releasing damaging excess nutrients into the water. By removing this destructive algae and transforming it into a valuable commodity, we're doing our part to regenerate fragile marine ecosystems and protect precious biodiversity. 

Sustainable beauty without compromise

Meri_Ole_HyväDoesn't being sustainable mean compromising on results? Nope. In fact, Caerulo offers unique performance benefits compared to its synthetic counterparts. When applied to the hair and scalp, it forms a lightweight protective film that locks in moisture without weighing hair down. This makes Meri's algae-enriched formulas ideal for dry, sensitive and problem-prone skin, delivering a gentle yet effective clean without the need for harsh sulphates and other irritating chemicals.

The drive towards natural and sustainable cosmetics is fuelled by advances in green chemistry and biotechnology. A recent review in Environmental Science and Pollution Research showed the enormous potential of marine organisms like micro-algae, macro-algae and halophytes as sources of bioactive compounds for cosmetic applications. These marine-derived ingredients offer a wealth of skincare benefits, from antioxidant and photoprotective properties to anti-ageing and moisturising effects.

Cutting-edge biotechnological processes such as fermentation and genetic engineering are enabling the production of safe, effective and eco-friendly cosmetic ingredients at competitive costs. As the beauty industry embraces a "zero waste" philosophy and seeks out new generation natural ingredients, algae-based cosmetics like the Meri range are poised to play a starring role in this sustainable revolution.

As for the Meri range's sustainability credentials, they extend far beyond its star ingredient. All products in the line, which includes shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and hand wash, are proudly biodegradable and microplastic-free.

Equally impressively, Meri has eliminated another scourge of the oceans—plastic waste—by packaging the entire range in 100% recycled and recyclable bottles. With a shocking 9 million tons of plastic ending up in our seas every year, this is no small feat. For ultimate eco-friendly points, the bottles are also available in a refillable format.

Minimising your carbon footprint, one shower at a time

meri tyrsky_shampoomeri_tyrsky_käsipesu

Choosing the most sustainable soap for your skin and the planet can significantly impact your carbon footprint. According to a study from the Institute of Environmental Engineering at ETH Zurich, bar soap made from simple ingredients like plant oil or animal fat and lye cuts greenhouse emissions by about a third compared to liquid soap.

Traditional liquid soaps, which often contain petroleum-based detergents, generate more carbon emissions due to their energy-intensive production and packaging processes. Bar soaps generally come with minimal packaging, reducing waste and transportation emissions. 

By opting for eco-friendly products like the Meri range, which combines the best of both worlds with its low-carbon algae-based ingredients and minimal plastic packaging, consumers can further support sustainable practices and contribute to a healthier environment.

In other words, by choosing Meri over conventional products, consumers can directly support cleaner oceans and reduce global oil dependence through an action as simple as their morning shower. More than that, you can send a powerful message that sustainability and high performance aren't mutually exclusive. As more people prioritise planet-friendly products, consumer pressure will steer the industry onto a greener path. And that's good for everybody.

Make the switch to algae

The Meri range is an exciting glimpse into a cleaner, greener future for the personal care industry. By replacing environmentally harmful petroleum-based chemicals with renewably sourced algae, our partnership with Ole Hyvä is setting a new standard for sustainable production, one that could soon become the norm as other brands follow suit.

The only question that remains is: when will you make the switch? Do your skin, hair and the planet a huge favour by exploring the Meri range today and become part of the growing ocean-positive movement.

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