Founders Matthew Malin and Andrew Goetz talk about how science and sustainability influence all parts of their modern apothecary brand, from the design of their minimalist packaging to the interior of their newest store.
Q: What is your green philosophy?
A: "We have always focused our efforts on natural ingredients-those tried and true ingredients that you would have found in an apothecary more than 100 years ago. Today, technology and modern science allow us to manipulate pure ingredients, like peppermint oil and lavender, so they perform better and won't irritate sensitive skin. So essentially, we combine the best from nature and technology to create the most effective products."
Q: Where do your ingredients come from?
A: "We do our best to source the finest-grade, highest-level and most cutting-edge ingredients locally or as close to New York, our home base, as possible. In doing so, we support our community and lessen our carbon footprint."
Q: Do you use parabens or chemical preservatives?
A: "Currently, our products are free of parabens. We strive to use naturally-derived preservatives that maximize a product's shelf life and protect it from any potentially harmful bacteria and fungus that can easily be introduced by a dirty finger."
Q: What else have you eliminated from your formulas?
A: "Since we began, we have always avoided potential irritants, including waxes, silicones, and traditional oils-ingredients that clog pores and sit on the surface of the skin where they never fully penetrate and often attract dirt. We also don't use harsh detergents, colorants, dyes and synthetic perfumes, or even sunscreens in creams as these substances can cause irritation. We do offer sunscreens for individuals who choose to use them"
Q: What is the shelf life of your products?
A: "A minimum of two years when stored at room temperature and tightly sealed in between applications. Our paraben-free preservative system wards off any fungus or bacteria naturally, so you don't have to keep your (MALIN + GOETZ) products in the refrigerator to maintain shelf life."
Q: How does your packaging reflect your green philosophy?
A: "Since the launch of our business, we have purposefully used as little packaging as possible, and only the kind that is recyclable. This is not only eco-friendly, but it also eliminates costs associated with excessive manufacturing. We appreciate the clean, simple, classic lines of our bottles, which are produced locally, and recall the look of chemists' from a century ago."
Q: What else have you done to reduce your carbon footprint?
A: "In addition to our ingredients, we work with local manufacturers to create our formulas and thereby lessen our carbon footprint by not needing to shipping across large distances. Our manufacturers are in nearby Connecticut, New Jersey, and Long Island, New York. Our second Manhattan store on West 82nd Street and Amsterdam Avenue in New York was built with wood reclaimed from a Long Island Gold Coast mansion that had been demolished. We were lucky to salvage some beautiful French carved oak panels and reinterpret them in a fresh modern way for our chic apothecary."
Q: Are all products 100% recyclable?
A: "Of course. All of our packaging is recyclable, and most is biodegradable. We recommend taking your empties to a recycling center, or you can drop them off at any of our two stores in Manhattan and we'll do it for you."
Q: Do you test on animals?
A: "We have never tested on animals and do not plan to ever do so. We are pretty big dog-lovers. In fact, a whole portion of our website is dedicated to our ‘Product Hounds' or our customer's best friends. Of course, our mascots, Bob and Junior are there, too."
Q: What is the difference between natural and organic, and which best describes your brand?
A: "There is a lot of debate today on what exactly constitutes natural versus organic. We consider ourselves to be natural, since we start with the most trusted natural ingredients and enhance their performance without relying on unnecessary chemicals or preservatives that could potentially harm you and the environment."
- Interview by Kari Molvar