The ethics of Unedited.
‘Unedited’ as a word can mean many things? A raw script, an unfinished art work, a piece of music and something in its original form, unadulterated, undiluted and wholesome.
We as a company (Ink Oil® Ltd) didn’t just pluck the name Unedited for our products out of thin air and a focus group, we thought about what underpins our collective ethical values and how we would like to see the world from an idealistic perspective. So, ‘Unedited’ became the name & value that we agreed on to unify our emotional and pragmatic view of our product.
Unedited, as a product had to embody the very principles that we hold dear to ourselves as individuals and as the company Ink Oil Ltd. These being the ethical treatment of animals, the protection of the environment, renewable resources, and the ending of single use and non recyclable plastics in all circumstances. Also, giving back to the community in which we work and employ people, sustainability in farming methods and the promotion of organic production of our coconuts and other ingredients.
Unedited tattoo moisturiser and our parent company Ink Oil Ltd embody all of these principles!
We have worked hard for the last 3 years to achieve what many said would be impossible, but we stuck to our principles and to what we believe in, and as a result, we are extremely proud to release our first product; Unedited Tattoo Moisturiser.
Unedited is not just a brand? It’s a lifestyle, a passion and a fear for our planets future..
A revolutionary alternative to plastics
The tube we use for Unedited Tattoo Moisturiser and the same type of tube we will use for all of our products going forward is not plastic? It may look, feel and act like plastic but it is far from it! It is actually made of wood? Yep, you did not read that wrong; Spruce sawdust from carpentry warehouses in Germany to be more precise.
The sawdust is mixed and reconstituted using a liquid-glue based and biodegradable composite that formulated the material in to an impervious plastic-like molecular structure. This composite is malleable and can easily be shaped into tubes and containers. Further more, it is clean, free of contaminates and certified as food level packaging.
This is a revolution in the world of sustainable packaging, snd bizarrely enough is more cost effective than using plastic for our tubes.
We don’t need to import from or manufacture in China as our tubes are made in Germany, this keeps our carbon footprint way lower than that of our competitors who do use plastics, manufacturing and shipping from China.
The cap is made of polyethylene, thats the same material that kayaks and leisure plastics are made from, its from recycled pellets and goes back to recycled pellets ready for melting and re-suing again and again.
It was go the highest importance for us to use wood based and plastic free tubes for Unedited! We didn’t want to be like every other cosmetic company out there just using more non sustainable, throwaway solutions, Unedited as a the product would not exist if this was the case, we stuck to our guns and found the perfect solution.
There are a multitude of cosmetics companies out there championing how ethical their organic and vegan products are but at the end of the day, this means nothing if it comes to the consumer in a single use plastic tube. It will still end up in landfill or god forbid, in the ocean. They still uses petrol-chemicals for their production and their plastic packaging will last a thousand years before it breaks down.
To us, this was unacceptable and thus, like pioneers searching for undiscovered tree frogs in a rain forest, we found exactly what we were looking for. Maybe not a miracle as such but to us, a revolution in packaging.
If you have ever been to Sri Lanka, you will know exactly what I am talking about when I say that it is by far one of the most beautiful places on earth? Its made up of a massive bio-diversity in animals, flora and fauna and unmatched by anywhere else on earth.
It has three micro climates, from the tropical sun-drenched beaches, to the snow on top of Adams Peak in the mountains and a temperate climate in the hill country. You can grow anything from Coconut palms, turmeric and rubber in the lowlands, take a 2 hour drive and you’ll be high enough in the hill country to be able to grow cabbages and potatoes.
Sri Lankans don’t really need the education many western nations require when it comes to recycling and sustainable farming practices, they are not a throw away society like many countries in the west? The Sri Lankan people love their country, and see it has their mother, they love their animals and don’t kill them for food or profit (being a predominantly Buddhist nation). They give back to the land with sustainable farming methods and they look at their further generations to do the same by instilling the same values that previous generations invested in them. They are not in a race to catch up with the western world to turn their backs on tradition. As a major country, Sri Lanka still only has one city, Colombo! The rest is pretty much unmolested by modernity.
An Ethical Society
But society is not as equal as in the west, there is a massive divide between rich and poor and the middle class are not a wealthy middle class as in the UK or the US. The rich of Sri Lankan ruling classes seem blind to this, there is a tangible imbalance of have and have-not’s. This is not a Sri Lankan problem but more a South East Asian problem and an endemic class divide that occupies many developing countries. Thankfully, unlike India, there is no caste system. But what makes Sri Lanka different is education, investment into infrastructure, sustainable agricultural projects and investment into young people. People are not oppressed in Sri Lanka, there are as many opportunities to thrive as there are in any western democracy. Sri Lanka is a free country and a very open democracy that everyone in this small nation is encouraged to engage with. Politics is the main subject that people talk about here, pretty much like the english talking about the weather. No matter if rich or poor, it is encouraged to have an opinion and the democracy there is passionate about the freedom of expression. But with impeccable manners.
St Anne’s Factory
The plantation and the factory that the coconuts for our cream comes from is based in the north-west of Sri Lanka in a province called Puttalam. The plantation itself has been working for over one hundred years and is owned by a dynasty who have always championed fairness, aspiration and equality in the surrounding communities. The family who own the plantation and the factory invest in their people and in their land! The coconuts harvested from the lands are not only 100% organic but they are also fairtrade.
Many families working on the plantation and the factory have been given housing, schools, electricity, fresh water and health care! But this does not stop at the workers, the family have for many years shared this out to the whole of Puttalam. We as a company are very proud to be associated with the St Anne’s Factory in Puttalam, we have enjoyed working with them and the people there and continue to do so.
I have personally stayed and worked at the factory, we have a lab there for product development purposes. I got to know the people and in the creation of our cream have worked along side them, we consider them friends & colleagues, not associates or paid labour. Without them, our product would not have that ethical, and sustainable, fair and free aspect inshrined into it. This is what it means to be ‘Unedited’.
Unedited’s Values & Commitments
- When you buy Unedited products, you will not be adding to the problem of more single use plastics being discarded into the already fragile environment.
- When you buy Unedited products, you will not be adding to the coffers of cosmetics companies that test their products on animals and use animal based ingredients.
- When you buy Unedited products, You will not be making a factory owner rich who oppresses workers and pays slave labour wages, you will not be making some large cosmetic corporation who invests its money into pharmaceutical giants a profit.
- We will only ever use vegan and organic ingredients in our products
- We will only ever source ethical and sustainable ingredients
- We will always put workers first for the production of our ingredients and our products
- We will always seek and if we can’t find, we will create sustainable alternatives to single use plastics.
- We will always endeavour to invest into communities that we work with
- We will always endeavour to be carbon neutral as much as we possibly can? From Biodegradable Jiffy bags to the minimised transportation of our raw materials.
Brian Roe – Founder of Ink Oil® Ltd