Resupply feels like the blueprint for companies just starting out. Nenow is under no false impressions of where she is getting her materials from, but makes sure that even if it’s not locally sourced, that her suppliers are still held to a high ethical standard and are upstanding sustainable businesses. One thing I would love to see as a consumer is a bit more transparency on her website, as the information regarding the ingredients and practices, I got straight from her while engaging in discourse regarding sustainability. However, the level of forthcoming she displayed during the interview indicates a refreshing level of trustworthiness. While it is important to note that a lot of initiatives Resupply is on track to undertake are in the planning stages, I believe it’s crucial to recognize that these are not just pretty words to placate a questioning consumer, but are plans to fulfill values that are clearly guiding the trajectory of this company. She is extremely adamant about investing in her community and continually reviewing the processes of Resupply to determine how it can be more sustainable. Additionally, she is clearly committed to helping others on this journey with the nature of her products and her steps to educate her community through utilizing social media engagement. Talking with her, it is just abundantly obvious that she is a moral leader, not just proposing actions others should take, or theories they should pay attention to, but taking the time to make these actions more accessible to others herself. And that is why I think this business is going to go far, because Resupply is doing exactly what Nenow says is necessary to the movement of sustainability: (helping) people finding meaning within their actions.“
Wouldn’t it be great if we had a “one-size-fits-all” product to encourage more sustainability, while abundantly fulfilling consumer needs? The lemongrass hand and body soap from Resupply does just that. I was able to find out directly from the founder of Resupply, Rebecca Nenow, just what all goes into this soap, as well as where she gets all of her ingredients from. This essentially all-purpose soap is made of organic coconut oil & organic olive oil from Azure Standard, an organic product company based in Oregon. It also uses castor oil, organic lemongrass essential oil, and potassium hydroxide (lye) from Bulk Apothecary, from Streetsboro, Ohio. Lastly, it contains hydroxyethlcellulose, which is a plant-derived cellulose thickener from Lotioncrafter, which is located in the San Juan Islands of Washington State. These are all naturally-occurring ingredients, and Resupply wants to be sure that they “know where it comes from, that [I] could go over to the farm or the store and not be concerned by what I’m seeing.” The consumer buys this soap in a glass jar, that when bought at the Farmer’s Market in Boone, North Carolina, can be returned when emptied to receive a $2 deposit back.
Besides encouraging a circular economy for their consumers, Resupply seeks to cut down on plastic waste, which can be seen through the packaging of their products. The glass jar can of course be repurposed, or reused to refill a infinite cycle of the soap, extending the life cycle for as long as you deem fit. The stickers that Resupply uses to advertise their brand logo on their products are Greenguard Gold certified, which means that “each sticker meets rigorous chemical emission standards and helps reduce indoor air pollution”. These stickers are produced on a material (matte) that doesn’t contain PVC or halogen, which, when disposed of, could cause air and water pollution. Even the business cards are made on directly repurposed cardboard!
Becca was able to walk me through the process that she has for making this soap, which largely involves slowly combining everything in a large crockpot. Firstly the oils, excluding the essential oils due to the low volatility (if it reaches too high a temperature, it evaporates), then the lye, eventually diluting the solution with water, and finally adding the essential oil and thickener. Resupply is cognizant of where they’re getting their materials from, and uses companies they can put their trust in, such as Azure Standard. Not only are the products from Azure Standard all organic, grown without the use of pesticides or harmful chemicals, but Resupply is able to make use of Azure Standard’s existing, efficient , routine delivery routes. Resupply makes this product in and directly sells to the Boone community, stimulating both the sustainability and economic growth of this beautiful mountain town.
Resupply, registered as an LLC 2020, was founded by Rebecca Nenow on the basis of “seeking a solution to reduce waste”, looking towards providing an option for a community with “limited options and high expenses.” when it comes to sustainable living. It’s incredibly evident that she cares about serving her community, and while Resupply may not even be a year old yet, when I asked Becca about plans for the future for possible sustainability or social responsibility initiatives, she was at no loss for words. One thing Resupply strives for is continuously reassessing what resources are in the local community, and how they can be incorporated into the production of the goods Resupply yields. Nenow is currently in the process of assessing local organizations and transitioning into acquiring ingredients she has been using from them, rather than from organizations farther away. There are plans for social initiatives; plans for further fiscally supporting the community.
Resupply has also been receiving more and more recognition within the Boone and Appalachian State University community through social media, where Nenow constantly shares infographics about things like the connection between food waste and a closed loop economy, “plastic and our health”, practices to reduce waste around the home; all of which to educate the community and promote further encouragement to live more sustainably.
Rebecca Nenow, Founder of Resupply, Interview February 19, 2021
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