These concepts are like juggling balls, and we here at Saigu try to find balance between them. However, it’s not always easy, because they are not the same, sometimes they are mutually exclusive, and we are forced to make hard decisions. So, we want to explain what each of these words means, to then ask which one matters the most to you.
When creating Saigu Cosmetics, we made the choice of only using ingredients that come from nature. This is essentially a lifestyle choice, an attempt to go back to the source, to what the Earth gives us. There is a very sensitive issue health-wise, since many people feel and believe that natural products are better for their skin: however, there is no scientific unanimity in this regard. In fact, in nature we can find many elements that can be toxic or cause a reaction, while some chemicals are perfectly safe and even have positive properties.
Natural does not mean sustainable, since there are ingredients, such as rose oil, that require the massive use of thousands of flowers. Also, going to the other side of the world to get exotic ingredients with alleged properties is not very sustainable either.
Natural doesn't mean vegan either. In fact, many natural ingredients are produced with animals, such as beeswax, carmine from cochineal beetles, lanolin, collagen etc. These are habitual ingredients in cosmetics (not only in natural cosmetics, in fact), and elaborating vegan products requires an extra research effort.
On the other hand, if you look for products that exclusively use non-animal ingredients, but don’t care about anything else, many of them can be found in traditional industries. For instance, nail polish can be completely vegan, because it’s entirely made of synthetic chemicals - none of which are natural, so they won’t have animal products either. Lipsticks can be vegan too if made of synthetic colorants, and they can offer a range of colors that are impossible to achieve with natural ingredients. And so on with any makeup product you can think of.
Again, this concept has nothing to do with the previous two, and it implies that the environment is your priority, especially above economical benefits. Therefore, you choose raw materials that are locally manufactured, which can cost 4 times more than any material coming from Asia. You go for recyclable, biodegradable packaging, look for local ingredients, etc. You also keep an eye on research, and the development of even more sustainable options.
What about quality?
In Saigu we believe that the best we can do for the environment is to create high-quality products. Because only this way people will choose us over other brands with different priorities. We don’t want you to defend your values by sacrificing your habits and using products that don’t achieve your expected results. We believe that, as a brand, it’s our duty to give you all, since we’re already in for the ride: quality, comfort, natural ingredients, veganism and sustainability.
However, please don’t think that’s easy: sometimes we find ourselves in the middle of an existential crisis, because we have a product that, with an animal ingredient, will achieve a 10 out of 10 quality, while the vegan alternative will barely get to a 6… So we ask ourselves, in the long run, what’s best for the environment? Getting rid of the non-vegan ingredient right away, and giving you a mediocre product that you won’t buy again, or gaining your trust with high-quality products while we keep working on finding a substitute for that ingredient, which will allow us to eventually develop a vegan, top quality product?
Every day we face dilemmas such as this one, and, even though we would like to have everything perfect from the very beginning, we know we are walking a path, and what matters is taking steady steps, going forward. Marathons are run little by little, buildings are made brick by brick, and the world is changed day by day. So thank you for walking this path with us, regardless of your initial reason for joining!