We all hate it. At naikii, we're trying to do without it as much as we can.
We looked at an enormous amount of caps before we settled on the cork. Even the wooden caps we were sent had a plastic liner inside. That didn’t feel right to us. We wanted something light to ship, ecological and that could do away with any plastic components. We looked into Bamboo. It's a fabulous material and can be really beautiful, but the manufacturing was going to be a real issue. We realised that the raw material would have to be shipped from China to the USA, then manufactured and then shipped to us. The enormous number of miles that the material would have to travel was something that we wouldn't have felt good about.
We needed something closer to home, something we could get manufactured nearby, something that didn't originate on the other side of the world. I'm not sure who came up with the idea, it may have even come about because my husband is a wine buff, but cork seemed to match exactly what we wanted. Cork is an amazing material. It's light and has a slight elasticity (think about a cork in a bottle). It's a super-renewable resource as it is harvested from Cork Oaks, which are then left to grow for 9 years before they are harvested again.
We got in touch with Oliver Beach at PureTree Cork in Devon. To his eternal credit, he didn't bat an eyelid when we told him of our plan. On the contrary, he seemed rather excited by the idea. We gave him our design and sent him a bottle so that he could manufacture something that really worked. He was amazing and came up with a cap from Portuguese cork that grips onto the pump, but isn't so tight that you can't pull it off. It also feels lovely in your hand, warm and soothing. Our caps are made from the waste product that can’t be used for bottle stoppers.
We didn't want to use the plastic overwrap that covers most perfume boxes. It makes things tamper evident, but in most cases it's not recyclable or biodegradable. Neither are most perfume boxes. Most boxes are laminated, which makes them impossible to recycle (lamination is a form of plastic that is fused onto the cardboard). That's why we designed the box that we did. It's naked of lamination so it's completely biodegradable (you can put it on your compost heap if you want) and recyclable. Because of the tear strip, it's tamper evident, so there is no risk of anyone getting into your perfume before you do. We also decided to make it a dual use box. It's both a shipping and retail box and no extra packaging is needed to send it to you. We just print out a label, stick it on, and pop the box in the post.
Our bottles are clear glass and recyclable. Just prise the pump off (please be careful) and put the bottle in your normal recycling. Clear glass is accepted pretty much everywhere. The pumps are a bit of a conundrum. We can't find any that are plastic free or even that use bioplastic. And, boy, have we looked! If you know of any, don't keep them to yourself, tell us.