If you take a look into your bathroom at home, one thing in particular will most likely catch the eye: plastic. Whether its toothpaste, hand soap or shampoo – everything is packaged in single-use plastic. And although the impact of plastic on the environment is well known, on average in Germany, an adult consumes around 30 single-use plastic bottles of 250 milliliters each per year – that is ten bottles of shampoo, eleven bottles of shower gel, five bottles of hand soap and five bottles of conditioner every year (Levy & Frey). When the bottle is empty, it ends up in the trash; however, plastic can last up to 450 years on the planet – even in the ocean. So why keep buying new dispensers? This is the question Jo Witte asked herself when founding her company Levy & Frey. Within three minutes, customers can mix their hand soap, shower gel, shampoo and conditioner at home – packaged in one hundred percent reusable and microplastic-free bottles. The distinct mission of the founder is to create a clean self as well as a cleaner world.
At the age of 16, Jo Witte discovered she had psoriasis, which led to a completely new view on the “correct” body care of the young woman. Seven years later – after completing her master’s degree, and then volunteering in an elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai, Thailand – the Berlin-born entrepreneur, opened her eyes to the consumption of single-use plastic. Back in Berlin, she dealt more intensively with the subject and – with a penchant for natural body care herself and the mission to make sustainability socially acceptable – Levy & Frey was born. To the founder it was important to create a solution that would make it possible to incorporate a sustainable lifestyle into everyday life – without compromises, change of routines or sacrificing quality: “We want to enable each and every one of us to pursue a more sustainable lifestyle whilst embracing high quality standards within the body care industry,” says Jo Witte.
Over six months Levy & Frey developed and tested their products with the goal to create shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and hand soap that do not make any difference to conventional body care and, on the other hand, result in a wonderful feeling on the skin and strong, beautiful hair. Levy & Frey’s products are 100% nature-based, made of vegan and cruelty-free ingredients. “The challenge lies within the texture of ingredients, meaning that we can solely use nature-based ingredients that naturally appear in powder form. My absolute favorite is white tea, which stimulates the healing and detoxification processes of the skin, improves the oxygen supply of the cells, dissolves impurities and tightens the skin,” says the founder. The 25-gram powder sachets that make 250 milliliters of product, contain natural and high-quality raw materials that make intensive and rich care possible. Additionally, the brand decided against microplastics, parabens, silicones or other artificial ingredients such as surfactants, an ingredient that creates the foam with conventional care, to make the products fully biodegradable. The scents that smell like geranium leaves, bergamot peel, rosemary, tangerine and cedarwood are all unisex.
Levy & Frey’s products are packaged in high-quality, long-lasting PET-bottles. Instead of using rPET, recycled PET made from single-use plastic, which has lower quality than that of new PET, and can more easily lead to microplastic secretions in the product, Levy & Frey made the conscious decision to use the extremely durable PET that can be used repeatedly. With good care, the Levy & Frey bottles can be used for several years without any problems; afterwards, the bottles and closures can also be completely recycled. Yearly, that results in 93% less plastic consumption and 77% less CO2 due to lower transport weight and volume: only the light powder is sent and then mixed with water at home (Levy & Frey).
Levy stands for loyalty and solidarity, Frey means freedom, living freely: an interaction that carries the mission and thus further shapes the idea of sustainability. That is why it is important for the brand to keep transport routes as short as possible and to support regional producers. Therefore Levy & Frey produces exclusively in Germany. They also created a fair price structure: The starter sets form the initial investment in a more sustainable everyday life. Then, only the powder bags are needed, and especially with a subscription model that will be available soon, a lot of money (and plastic) can be saved.
With innovative solutions and the end of the vicious circle of single-use plastic consumption of conventional cosmetics and personal care products, Levy & Frey wants to make sustainability accessible for everyone: “Sustainability should no longer be a complex option but rather be an easy integral part of our everyday lives.” Take a shower, do something good for yourself and the environment without routine changes or quality compromises. In this way, everyone can contribute to a more sustainable consumer behavior and a greener future. Besides their own customers, the brand would also like to convince hairdressing salons, hotels or offices to use their products.
by Marie Klimczak