Unwind founder Michael did not intend to get into the natural beauty business. But after years of trying personal care products and watching friends and family struggling to find a good (read: toxin-free) product that actually worked, he was compelled to create his own. “I felt an immediate difference when changing from commercial soaps to our organic herbals ones,” enthuses the native Hong Konger. “It’s our hope that by offering them an organic, natural choice, people will see the benefits too.”
Living in Hong Kong where air pollution reigns high, it’s important to make sure that we don’t attack our skin with products full of toxins. As we bathe in our favourite shampoos, lotions and oils, it can be scary to discover how many harmful ingredients you could be washing with or slathering on your skin, not to mention our waterways. While more brands are getting better at using fewer synthetic or toxic ingredients, the just-launched Unwind is taking it one step further: they are on a mission to protect the environment without sacrificing product quality. “We completely avoid all industry synthetics and petrochemicals, which are known to be toxic to all waterways,” explains Michael.
We tested Unwind’s debut line of haircare, bodycare and artisanal soap bars (they also have a baby care range) and we are crushing hard on this new Hong Kong homegrown brand. Thanks to ingredients like organic sage, certified organic extracts of Chinese ginseng, cocoa butter and other natural, plant-based elements, Unwind’s shampoo and conditioner collection is ultra nourishing; giving your tresses the TLC they need. They also make a deep moisturise lotion and shaving cream made with fair trade shea butter, which is hydration heaven.
Taking it one step further, the new company steers clear of industrial synthetics and petrochemicals, using non-toxic compositions to ensure none of their products will cause harm to your skin – or the environment. Michael is a self-professed “huge animal lover” so all the products are vegan-friendly and cruelty-free. “Climate change, pollution, and the unnecessary suffering of animals is something that – unless you ignore – are so painfully obvious,” he continues.
“I created Unwind so products can be safer, less harmful and better for our planet. You don’t have to be a vegan, but you can still choose to be cruelty-free.” Actively formulating products free of harsh chemicals that could be detrimental to you or any marine life, Unwind’s naturally biodegradable products are vegan-friendly, earth-friendly and safe for our waterways including our oceans.
The same goes for their line of organic soaps. Available in aromatic or herbal, both artisanal assortments are made using the cold process method from certified USDA organic ingredients grown and sustainably sourced from the US or Canada. Scents come from essential oils and plant extracts and they use herbal extracts, clays, mineral compounds and herbs for colouring the soaps.
Their certified organic palm oil comes from South American countries that are part of the Palm Sustainability Council, a rigorous set of environmental and social criteria in which companies must comply with in order to produce Certified Sustainable Palm Oil, (YES, not all palm oil is bad!) in order to help minimize the negative impact of palm oil cultivation on the environment and communities in the palm oil-producing regions.
Creating a brand like Unwind has not come without its challenges. When it comes to finding non-harmful ingredients and making decisions about packaging, there are no easy answers. Ma explains: “We needed to find manufacturers that were socially responsible and ethical, that could produce products following eco/sustainable criteria as well as made from organic and vegan-friendly ingredients, while also being good quality. There was a lot of trial and error.”
Unwind also has a soothing selection of baby bath and lotion products including a nappy balm. The products come in two options: lightly scented lavender (from essential oils) or unscented for babies with sensitive skin or allergies. We love the brand’s transparency when it comes to decoding their formulas. You can read every single ingredient listed clearly on their website- great for busy mommas who don’t want to spend hours doing research.
The clean and minimal packaging isn’t just meant to be design-forward. The bottles are made from recyclable PET (Type 1) and HDPE (Type 5) plastic, both recyclable in Hong Kong, and they are working on bottle collection down the line. Soaps are wrapped in fully biodegradable paper. All products come packaged in recyclable boxes printed with eco-friendly water-based ink, unlike conventional plastisol ink which contains harmful PVC and phthalates. Michael is aware there are no easy answers:“We are a small company and sourcing suitable eco- friendly packaging for the first time was surprisingly costly and time-consuming due to our smaller quantity requirements and the lack of availability, but we are committed to continuing to do better.”
Rooted in sustainability and committed to the earth, the company is on a mission to clear your environmental conscience by making good to do good. Michael knows building a sustainable skincare brand is a work in progress: “We try to be as green as we can, although we are still learning every day.”
Shop the Unwind Organics collection online. Free shipping in Hong Kong for all orders over HK$ 500.
All images courtesy of Unwind.
This is a Green Queen Partner Post.