Products that we interact with in daily life have impacts on the environment and our own health. In addition to designing for reusability and durability, it is crucial that companies create products made of materials and processes that are non-toxic and non-irritating to our skin and bodies while minimizing harm to the environment.
Plastics are problematic for multiple reasons: one, plastic waste doesn’t break down and therefore pollutes ecosystems; and two, plastics contain toxins such as bisphenol A and phthalates that can disrupt endocrine function.
Ideally, products are designed to be plastic-free altogether, but another option is to replace traditional petroleum-derived plastics with bioplastics made from plant-based components such as cellulose derived from wood pulp; potato or corn starch; and hemp, among others. Sugarcane stalk and plant starch are new favorites in packaging because they are compostable. The high amylose content in plant starch causes gelatinization and allows plant starch to form film sheets that are highly permeable to water vapor.
Cotton is the king of textiles as it's short, slender, and hollow fibers make it highly breathable and absorbent. However, not all cottons are the same. We recommend seeking out products that are made of 100% organic cotton that is either unbleached or that underwent eco-friendly bleaching. Let’s dive into what all of this means.
Cotton is also commonly combined with synthetic fibers to enhance fabric strength, but these synthetic materials are irritating to skin, so it’s important to look for pure cotton fabrics.
Finally, cottons are often bleached to remove natural coloring matter and to give it a white appearance, but traditional bleaching processes utilize chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide and sodium hypochlorite in a way that wastes large amounts of water and produces toxic chemical byproducts.
Innovative eco-friendly bleaching processes harness sequential enzymatic techniques, ultrasound, and other technologies to achieve the same end appearance without the involvement of harmful chemical compounds.
Both bamboo and wood pulp are biodegradable. Bamboo contains antimicrobial bioagents called “Kun” that make it resistant to mold and bacteria.
Those of us with sensitive skin may have unique tolerances to various ingredients. In the same way that some people are allergic to cat fur and others aren’t, some people’s skin are irritated by fragrances. It is therefore important that companies offer product lines that are fragrance-free. Our goal at Eztia is to empower consumers to understand what they need and choose products accordingly, and to serve as a company that exemplifies healthy and responsible product innovation.