Sustainable Body Care

Spotlight on The Orange Owl

This week’s Member Deals Spotlight shines brightly on The Orange Owl! This Vermont-based vegan skincare company provides our Wellness department with a full line of fabulous body care products and from February 8th – 14th, they’ll all be 20% off for member-owners! It’s a perfect time to pick up a few DIY Spa products for your Valentine, or to simply pamper yourself! Read on to learn more about this wonderful local business and the fabulous female powerhouse at the helm:

About the Company

The Orange Owl is a vegan skincare company based in the beautiful state of Vermont. The core mission of the company is to provide simple and environmentally friendly alternatives to essential products used regularly in our lives. ‘Going Green’ is not just a buzzword or about being fashionable to the folks at The Orange Owl. Instead, it is one of the vital components that goes into designing all of their merchandise.

Inspiration for The Orange Owl’s products is derived from a number of sources. From the smell of early morning coffee with a hint of cinnamon, hikes along some of the most beautiful trails in New England, to a plethora of experiences in founder Askhata Nayad’s home county of India, epiphanies happen all the time. It’s from these experiences that the colors, scents, and textures of her products are born.

Giving Back

She has also not forgotten that as you move ahead in life, it is important to give back to society. To this end, The Orange Owl is involved with The Schooling Project, an organization in India that works towards financing the education of underprivileged children. The Orange Owl donates 5% of every purchase made to benefit The Schooling Project, which works together with Global Concerns India to provide avenues for children to gain the financial means necessary to stay in school. In addition to basic education, the team does a fantastic job of offering workshops with the children to build their confidence and helps them explore various technical fields ranging from photography, to film design, and green design.

About the Owner

Akshata Nayak was born and raised in the city of Bangalore in southern India. She moved to America for her graduate studies in late 2003, earning a Masters in Biochemistry and, a few years later, a Masters in Applied Clinical Nutrition. After working in basic research in the fields of Immunology and Emergency Medicine for six years, she decided to shift her focus.The Masters in Applied Clinical Nutrition was a step in that direction. It helped emphasize some basic policies of trying to establish a balance in people’s lives when it came to overall health.

When she’s not busy owning and operating The Orange Owl, she also serves as a nutritionist at Alternative Roots Wellness Center, a holistic health center started with her husband. She lives in Vermont and loves to cook, read and repeatedly change the cushion covers in her living room. She is having the proverbial blast.


Akshata believes that establishing a relationship with you is just as important as having you enjoy her products. After all, knowing the people behind the items you use regularly makes the purchase more personal. So, indulge and treat yourself. Leave your problems behind. Experience these wonderful products!


Spotlight on Tom’s of Maine

Tom’s of Maine is basking in the glow of the Co-op Spotlight this week and all of their wonderful body care products are 20% off for member-owners! This discount is in addition to the everyday low price on many Toms of Maine products offered through our Co-op Basics program, so it’s a great time to stock up and save! Read on to learn more about the philosophy of care for people and planet that the Tom’s of Maine community holds dear:



According to Tom’s Of Maine General Manager Nancy Pak, “…we’ve always believed that our goals should include more than just making a profit. We have also worked to operate in a sustainable manner and to be a positive force for good in the communities where we operate. Our philosophical Reason for Being inspires our strategy; our Stewardship Model is a practical tool which guides our decision-making on what belongs in our products, and our Goodness Goals set the path for continuous improvement. We are proud to operate our business in this manner – our employees are passionate about making good products, caring for the planet and supporting communities – and wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Reason for Being

n 1988, after 18 years in business, the Tom’s of Maine community recognized a need to formalize their values and beliefs into foundational documents to help guide the future growth and management of the company. Led by their co-founders Tom and Kate Chappell, the community met and grappled with such thorny philosophical concepts as ethics, science, legality, emotion, and morality and how it all applied to running a sustainable business. Out of this brainstorming session, the Tom’s of Maine Reason for Being was born:

To serve our customers’ personal care needs with imaginative science from plants and minerals; To inspire all those we serve with a mission of responsibility and goodness; To empower others by sharing our knowledge, time, talents, and profits; and To help create a better world by exchanging our faith, experience, and hope.

Stewardship Model

The personal care industry tosses around words like “natural”, “sustainable”, and “responsible” without a lot of accountability or transparency to support these label claims.  Tom’s of Maine feels that it is important to define and be true to these constructs. They believe that every ingredient and package they use should be a reflection of their commitment to their customers, communities, and our planet.

Tom’s Standards for Natural:

  • Sourced and derived from nature.
  • Free of artificial flavors, fragrances, colors, sweeteners, and preservatives.
  • Simple and understandable ingredients.
  • Ingredient processing that supports our philosophy of human and environmental health.
  • Free from animal ingredients.
  • Not tested on animals.

Tom’s Standards for Sustainable:

  • Originating from recyclable or renewable plant-based resources.
  • Striving to reduce waste through recycled content, recycling, and biodegradability.
  • Promoting the use of sustainable growing and harvesting practices.

Tom’s Standards for Responsible:

  • Delivering value to our consumers.
  • Sufficient research conducted to show safety and efficacy.
  • Purposeful in system of ingredients, with complete transparency about the purpose and source of the ingredient.
  • Sourced from suppliers and regions which promote basic human rights.
  • Honesty in all claims made for ingredients, packaging, and products.
  • Conform to the requirements of regulatory authorities (Food & Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission) and other professional organizations with which we have chosen to partner (American Dental Association).

Goodness Goals

  • Maintain cruelty-free animal-free product standard.
  • Maintain no artificial colors, flavors, fragrances or preservatives.
  • Reduce waste to landfill per ton of product manufactured at our Sanford, ME manufacturing facility. Progress in 2013 and 2014 surpassed our original 2015 goal of 75 kg/ton. So close to zero waste!
  • Increase the amount of recycled and reused materials expressed as a percentage of the total waste generated at our Sanford, ME manufacturing facility.
  • Reduction of virgin materials as a percentage of packaging weight.
  • Transform 100% of our corporate philanthropy to consumers and employee teams. We give back 10% of our profits to the community. In 2015, our customers help us determine where these funds would be used via our 50 States for Good program. Thanks for helping us make a difference!
  • We’re always looking at ways to help our team maintain and improve their health through our year-round wellness initiatives. Here we track the percentage of employees who participate in these programs.
  • Continually mobilize and empower more employees to use the 5% Volunteer Benefit (12 full days per year). Tom’s of Maine holds a company-wide annual volunteer day each summer in which we have 90% participation. However, we’re working to get employees to volunteer more often year-round!
  • Reduce carbon emissions from transportation of our finished products (in kilograms of CO2 per ton shipped). This is an increase from 2013 because of the delivery logistics to more outlets on the West Coast. We use rail to get most product across the country, but we still need trucks for some shipments. We’re on it, though, and working on a plan to fix it to meet our goal.
  • Reduce carbon emissions from our Sanford, ME manufacturing facility (in kilograms of CO2 per ton produced).
  • Partner with our contract manufacturers to reduce their energy use and carbon emissions.
  • Reduce overall water consumption in our Sanford, ME manufacturing facility.

Click HERE to read the Tom’s of Maine Goodness Report.



Click HERE to learn more about Tom’s of Maine’s commitment to protecting our planet through responsible sourcing, manufacturing, and packaging.

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