An estimated 120 billion beauty packages are made each year and most are made of virgin plastic. Canadian entrepreneur and former executive hopes to change that with the launch of OSHEN, a sustainable brand utilizing recycled ocean materials – 8 million tons of plastic ends up in our oceans each year.
OSHEN creates sustainable storage products for more organized homes and cleaner oceans. The brand debuts with the launch of the first makeup storage case made with recycled ocean-bound plastic. The case holds up to 200 pieces of makeup/tools, is easy to clean, features a unique stand-up brush section, and is compact enough to fit under a countertop, but pretty enough to leave on top.
The OSHEN Makeup Case is 32% recycled ocean bound plastic. OSHEN sources recycled ocean-bound and ocean plastic from Oceanworks, the leader in responsible plastic, to ensure reliable traceability of materials. The brand works with an ethical factory to produce design-forward, quality functional products to bring customers more sustainable storage solutions.
“We focus on three pillars of product design: style, function and sustainability. We feel that the responsible way to make a product is to reuse existing materials, said Tonia Krauser, Founder.” There is an endless supply of plastic in our oceans, and more being added to waterways each day, so we choose to use recycled ocean plastic and ocean-bound plastic to create our products. We believe in a place for everything, everything in its place.”
Meet Tonia Krauser, Founder of OSHEN
Tonia Krauser is a Canadian entrepreneur. Her goal is to bring more sustainable storage products, using recycled ocean plastic, to consumers. Tonia is a former marketing executive in the financial and non-profit sectors, having spent a decade working to reduce food waste. When she’s not experimenting with makeup she is shuffling her sons to hockey and volunteering with local animal rescue groups.
“As a beauty lover, I wanted to create a makeup case that proves sustainable products can be beautifully designed and highly functional,” said Tonia Krauser, Founder. “Using more sustainable materials costs a little more and takes more time, but it’s the right thing to do. And the end result is a gorgeous product that we feel good about.”
What was the inspiration behind starting the eco-conscious beauty brand, OSHEN?
My inspiration came from a sense of nostalgia, of being a teen and being so excited when I got my first makeup case. I still remember bringing that bright pink and purple case home from the mall, taking the time to organize all my makeup and the feeling of contentment when everything was in its place. The makeup case category just hasn’t evolved with beauty consumers like me.
I’m now in my 40’s, own more than 6 lipsticks and bright pink isn’t exactly part of my décor. So I wanted to recreate that feeling of nostalgia, but with a modern approach, which means better design and more eco-conscious materials.
How is the environment currently being impacted by over production of plastic?
When plastic was created, there was never an end game. The question of, ‘what will we do with this material when we’re done with it?’, was pretty much glossed over and now we’re all paying the price for that short-sightedness.
I say ‘we’ as in the collective ‘we’ – people, animals, the planet. Plastic is everywhere and we’re all impacted by it. From negatively affecting communities, creating erratic weather to micro-plastics in the bellies of the fish we eat, the impact is all around us. It can definitely be overwhelming. The more informed you are, the more concerning it is. But when I feel overwhelmed by environmental news I think of the saying, ‘we don’t need a handful of people doing zero-waste perfectly, we need millions doing it imperfectly.” Which to me, means if we all just do a little bit more, make better choices, ask a few more questions, it’s better than the alternative.
To try to stimy the destruction of plastic we need to do two main things: one, simply use more of what we already have, which is an endless supply of ocean plastic when we’re making new products. And two, we need to prevent that plastic from ending up in waterways in the first place. Our hope at OSHEN is that we are demonstrating that ocean plastic plastic can be, and should be, used to make really beautiful, highly functional products.
What is the OSHEN brand commitment to limiting wasteful plastic? (ie. Oceanworks)
OSHEN’s commitment to limiting wasteful plastic started with our partnership with Oceanworks, the leader in sourcing responsible plastic. The OSHEN Makeup Case is made with 32% Oceanworks recycled ocean-bound plastic, which is a very high percentage for a product like this. But it doesn’t stop there. There are always ways to be more sustainable.
In everything we do, we give equal weighting to design, functional and sustainability so we’re prioritizing the environment at every step. We continue to work with our manufacturer to try to increase the amount of ocean plastic used in each case, we pack our products with limited packaging and only use recycled materials. As we grow we have longer-term environmental initiatives that we’d like to achieve, like reducing our carbon footprint, but mostly we’re hoping to inspire other manufacturers, especially the larger ones, to use ocean plastic. If you’re not using ocean plastic, why not?
Why did you decide to create OSHEN makeup cases as the first initial product launch?
As a beauty lover myself, frankly I was disappointed in the makeup cases on the market. Thirty years ago we saw innovation in that space, but since then it’s been the same-old, same-old. It’s either the bright purple case geared towards pre-teens or it’s the boring black box that actually holds very little makeup, is difficult to clean and is made with cheap materials. I knew that makeup lovers were looking for a more beautiful place to store their beauty products and I knew we could do better. We have more organizing products in the pipeline, all made with ocean-bound plastic of course.
What was the development process like, how long from start to finish did it take to create the fully functional makeup case?
We started the development process before the pandemic, so it was challenging to say the least. Using ocean plastic does add more time to the process, but not much. The OSHEN Makeup Case started with an idea, then I did a rough sketch which I used to do market research amongst beauty lovers. I took the feedback into account and made edits. Then had a local 3D printer create my first prototype. Then more market research!
Once the prototype was fine-tuned, I researched recycled material suppliers and connected most with Oceanworks. They provided factory recommendations and after the due diligence process, I landed on a factory that had the most experience in working with ocean plastic. Due to the pandemic and subsequent supply chain issues it took twice as long as expected to bring the OSHEN Makeup Case to market. But we stayed the course, didn’t cut corners and stayed true to our initial vision, even if it meant pushing back the launch more than once!
How is this makeup case better than other makeup cases on the market, in terms of eco-friendliness?
It’s the first makeup case made with recycled ocean-bound plastic, so right away it’s the most eco-friendly makeup case on the market that we’ve seen. Each case prevents 1.3 pounds of plastic from entering our waterways.
What does it mean to be a Pact member, and what is the significance in beauty and wellness?
Being a Pact member means that OSHEN is committed to bringing more sustainability to the beauty and wellness space. One way to do that is to work alongside like-brands who are prioritizing sustainability and making change.
The beauty industry has historically been a big contributor to plastic waste with 120 billion packages every year, most ending up in landfill. Pact has created a platform to change that and we’re happy to be part of it. The reality is, as humans we’re going to consume things.
We’re going to enjoy the limited time we have here on earth doing things that make us happy but that doesn’t mean that we need to be destructive along the way. We can have nice things and be more eco-conscious. It’s just a matter of having choice.
If you could have your makeup case sold in any retailer, which would you chose and why?
I mean, when I was in school for marketing it was the year Sephora was coming to Canada and I did my final public relations project on Sephora! So yes, Sephora would be my dream retail partner.