People Of The Earth - Ethical Made Easy

People Of The Earth

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Location

Australia

Made In

Australia

Values

  • BIPOC BIPOC
  • Fair Fair
  • Gender Equality Gender Equality
  • Give Back Give Back
  • Made Locally Made Locally
  • Transparent Transparent

“Born from a love of the earth and her wild places,” People of the Earth is a company providing sun protection products that are fair trade, plastic-free, and made from organic ingredients.

Merface and Sun Butter, the hero products from People of the Earth, are made with responsibly-sourced, sustainable ingredients including jojoba, shea butter, cacao butter and beeswax, and each provides UV protection to its wearer through the use of zinc oxide, iron oxide and mica (but more on this soon). They’re both also reef-safe SPF40, so no gimmicks here!

Environmental responsibility 

The People of the Earth team chooses ingredients for their environmental impact – or, lack thereof – for their products. The cultivation of shea and cacao, for example, supports native ecosystems, and the oils and zincs used are reef-safe, and will not negatively impact the watery ecosystems in which they will ultimately end up.

Let’s dive a little deeper (heh) into these UV protection ingredients. The zinc oxide used is Eco-certified, an organisation promoting sustainable practices through certification, amongst other things. As for the iron oxide pigments and mica, they are sustainably-sourced and heavy metal-free. That’s what we love to hear.!

The team behind People of the Earth is extremely aware of the detrimental impact plastic is having on the environment, particularly on our oceans and waterways, which is why they’re addressing this problem through the 100% plastic-free packaging materials they use. The People of the Earth products are made in aluminium (a material that has the highest rate of recycling), their labels are compostable, and there is absolutely no plastic used in any of the post or freight aspects of the business.

Social responsibility

People of the Earth is also dedicated to, well, the people of the earth. The growers and producers People of the Earth works with and chooses ingredients from are paid above Fair Trade wages. What’s more is not only do they buy from co-operatives who put the money back into the workers’ pockets, but People of the Earth also supports co-operatives that use their profits to either work towards environmental restoration and conservation or that are run by women.

If you can’t already tell, People of the Earth is a brand that is as committed to environmental and social responsibility as it is to providing its customers with sun safe products that actually work. The reef-safe, responsibly-sourced and sustainably-made UV protective products made by People of the Earth are what ethical sun-safe dreams are made of, and we can guarantee that we’ll be keeping a tin of Sun Butter in our bags all summer long. 

Want to know where People Of The Earth sits and what they’re working on in terms of these 5 values? Hover over these values to find out.

Behind the Brand

“It is often not as simple as 'scaling up' and maintaining the principles and ethics we have. We often have to take the long, slow road. But to us there is no other option. What People of the Earth stands for is the heart and soul of this endeavour for us.”.

Co-founders, Freja Dixon and Julia Sare (pictured)

We had a chat with sustainable sunscreen brand People Of The Earth's co-founder, Freja Dixon.

What made you start People Of The Earth?

Living in Byron Bay as Mothers and surfers we were spending so much time in the sun. Either at the beach with the kids, or in the water.
Sunscreen was a survival necessity for this lifestyle.

To read the ingredients on the back of a bottle of sunscreen was like reading a different language. We’ve both always been passionate about knowing what is in our food, so to translate this to knowing what we were putting on our skin was a natural progression.

What we found was that the chemicals in sunscreens are a toxic concoction fit to make an environmentalist weep and your cells twitch. Even natural sunblocks left a lot to be desired as they contained industrial oils such as sunflower, grape-seed and vegetable as the base- ingredients we knew were causing harm in their production…

We decided to make an alternative to conventional sunscreen products.

Something that we could slather on ourselves and our kids with the certainty that all of the ingredients were not only safe for us and the water they wash off into but were also vibrantly nourishing to skin.

We would use organic, food grade ingredients that most people would recognise when they read our label. We would NOT have to panic if the baby ate half a tub!

Then we went a big step further and agreed that every aspect of our business would be scrutinised to ensure it was socially and environmentally responsible.

We would source our ingredients locally if possible, Fair trade practice – women – co-operatives returning profits to social or environmental well being ….

These ideals really got us buzzing when we were just dreaming up People of the Earth, and still inspire us today.

Do you have a morning routine? If so what is it you do to set yourself up for the day ahead?

Freja: Coffee! Followed by an early morning walk to the beach- sometimes with my 3 year old son and my partner in tow. Always with my dog.
I love to allow the space every day to feel my connection with nature. Life can feel really full and busy but if I make the time to be barefoot in the sand and have the sunshine on my face I feel grateful- and that makes everything better.

Julia: A fruit platter for my little one is prepared prior to a few quick Salute to the Sun’s. This may give me five minutes to clear my mind for the day ahead, otherwise it is a roll about on the yoga mat with a cheeky toddler and either option is okay! Then my big boys wake-up and the house is bustling into the day.

What’s the biggest barrier you’ve found to succeeding as a socially conscious business?

It is often not as simple as ‘scaling up’ and maintaining the principles and ethics we have. We often have to take the long, slow road. But to us there is no other option. What People of the Earth stands for is the heart and soul of this endeavour for us.

Within the ethical fashion community, there’s a big question that we ask which is ‘who made my clothes?’. In the scope of People Of The Earth, who made the things you sell? Can you tell us a bit about them?

Our products were formulated by us. Literally hundreds of experiments to refine our recipe to what we have today.
Today our products are hand-made by Jules in her work-shop in the Clarence Valley.

Why did you pick the ingredients you have chosen to work with?

Every ingredient we use is considered for its social and environmental footprint.

We choose ingredients where growers & producers are paid above Fair Trade wages. Where we can we purchase directly from cooperatives who value add to their product at source & therefore no middle-men take profits. We support co-operatives who either use profits to restore & conserve the environment, or that are run by women who use profits to build schools, improve access to medical services & clean water for their families.
Ingredients are also selected for their low impact on the environments they are grown in. We select keystone species whose cultivation supports native ecosystems. Shea and Cacao being the perfect example of this.

We also select ingredients for their low impact on the ecosystems they will end up in, particularly ocean environments.

Best piece of advice you have ever received?

Julia: Life is short… just dig in and do that thing, whatever it may be!

Freja: All journeys starts with one small step.

What’s next for you and People Of The Earth?

Selling sun-care products is totally reliant on the seasons so we’d like to expand into the northern hemisphere.

One book and/or documentary everyone should read/watch? Why?

Anything on Climate Change. I know it is a big daunting topic but we all need to get informed. We all need to stand together. We all need to make changes.

Are there any other Movers & Shakers out there in your world that you think people should know about?

There are so many!!! We are contently inspired by beautiful humans wanting to create a better world and applying that to their businesses! Gives us faith in humanity.

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