By Elsa de Berker, she/her
During the early days of the pandemic, Youth To The People founders Joe Cloyes and Greg Gonzalez tasked their team of expert chemists to come up with a pro-grade vegan purifying treatment to clear pores, even skin tone, and fight the most common skin issue that you, me, and everyone else in between was complaining about—maskne.
The winning result of that topical ask is the just-launched Superclay Purify + Clear Power Mask, which contains a gentle yet potent blend of French green, white, and volcanic clays, plus niacinamide, red willow bark, and blue green algae. You can read more about how the product works and why you should be using it all over your face (and potentially your back and chest, too) here, here, and here, but the purpose of this story is to highlight its packaging—specifically its jar, which is a sleek vessel, fashioned from opaque white glass with black lettering.
As business owners, Cloyes and Gonzalez’s goal has always been to expand the YTTP product range—creating formulas that cater to a wide cross section of our collective skin types, concerns, and issues—but what sets the company apart from others is their shared focus on planet-friendly practices. This includes making sure that every ounce of new YTTP packaging created is recyclable, as well as aiming for some greater, more global solutions.
“First and foremost, it’s important to note that our sustainability goals will always change [with each launch] because we’re always trying to do better [as a company],” says Cloyes, adding that “while there’s no perfect solution, we’re willing to constantly try our best and get better every day.”
For this specific launch, Cloyes and co. challenged Heinz Glas, the 400-year old family-owned glass manufacturer behind all of YTTP’s vessels, to create a jar that stood out against the rest of the product range, while offering the active formula inside of it a certified dose of UV protection. Oxidation in skincare products can result in color and consistency changes—a particularly pertinent point when you consider the standout steel hue of the mask’s blue green algae.
“UV protection around the product was our first priority, but we also wanted something that had a little bit of a different look within our line, so the white glass color made sense here,” continues Cloyes.
His short term hope is that everyone who finishes a jar of the Superclay Purify + Clear Power Mask will duly and properly recycle their empties—that means separating the glass container from its plastic lid and thoroughly cleaning both parts with hot, soapy water, before placing each in the appropriate recycling receptacle. Or, he says, you can creatively upcycle jars to be a cute little succulent planter, or perhaps even a candle holder.
Long term, however, Cloyes has loftier sustainability goals in mind:
“The first big one we have on deck at Youth To The People is to ensure that all of the plastic we use comes from a minimum of 70% recycled plastic content and waste. We originally had that targeted for the end of 2021, but the global supply chain really changed due to Covid-19, so now we’re aiming to hit that by the middle of 2022.”
Another big picture aim is to dramatically reduce—and eventually halt entirely—all brand carbon emissions.
“Currently we’re working on offsetting all of our carbon emissions to date as a company, and in the future, we’re always going to be carbon neutral, but the ultimate goal is to stop our carbon emissions period,” he says. “That’s why we’re actively working with our manufacturer to see what energy initiatives they can adopt to reduce their carbon consumption. If every company strives for this, in theory, we could start to be a carbon neutral, or carbon negative, planet.”
In the meantime, get a refresher on how to best dispose of your favorite used-up YTTP product jars, pumps, and lids here.
Written by Elsa de Berker for Youth To The People