Owner Andrea McFadden (left) of Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm and Alyssa McFadden hold their latest products, body butters housed in biodegradable containers made of wood. - Carli Berry/Capital News

Owner Andrea McFadden (left) of Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm and Alyssa McFadden hold their latest products, body butters housed in biodegradable containers made of wood. - Carli Berry/Capital News

Kelowna lavender farm make steps towards sustainability

The Okanagan Lavender Herb Farm continues on the path of sustainability

A Kelowna lavender farm continues to make steps towards building a completely sustainable business.

Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm has started using biodegradable cosmetic packaging for four of its oil-based products. The cosmetic pots, made from wood chips and created by the Finish company Sulapac, completely degrades within 24 months, said owner and founder Andrea McFadden, of the lavender farm.

The search for the biodegradable material started when McFadden attended a trade show in the US and noticed how many products were placed in plastic.

All of the farm’s soaps, teas, jams and body products are housed in glass and aluminium, and in the past few years, McFadden said there’s been a shift towards more sustainable containers.

“I think it comes from people realizing we are doing so much damage to the planet and what’s happening in the oceans affects our climate… so even though we’re a small company, we make the steps to make a big change,” she said.

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While aluminium has a large carbon footprint, they’re hoping to eventually move away from it as Sulapac releases more products, she said. Currently, there is only a 30-millilitre cosmetic container that is suitable for the farm’s product, but they’re hoping to eventually adopt more of the eco-friendly containers for their other wares.

If presented with the opportunity, McFadden said she would switch to Canadian made products, but Sulapac is the company that is currently offering a truly biodegradable product. The farm is the only company using Sulapac in North America.

The 30 ml containers house four oil-based products: the Calendula Body Butter, Botanical Body Butter, Lavender Hand and Body Salve and Rescue Hand and Bottle Salve, all made with international award winning oils. Prices for the products range from $26.95 to 39.95.

McFadden said the farm has made an effort to avoid plastic for the past few years but didn’t find a truly biodegradable container until now. The business has also been purchasing only fair trade items for the last 10 years.

“Initially, that impetus would have come to us with our desire. Now today, with the customer, they’re asking for that. We have customers that walk in and say we want something that’s from your farm that doesn’t have anything from China in it,” she said.

The pursuit for sustainability comes from how McFadden was raised, she said.

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“I was born in 61 at a time that when you were at school, you had water fountains, there were no single-use water bottles. I was also raised by parents who were raised in the depression and I grew up on a farm. So our family canned everything we grew… so I think today it’s becoming trendy again, for us it was the way we were raised.”

With the new containers, she hopes other companies and manufacturers will also adapt.

“Our philosophy is if we bring them in, then other manufacturers will be interested in them.”

The eight acres of farmland is used to grow 20 different types of plants, with lavender taking up the most amount of space.

For more information on the lavender farm visit https://www.okanaganlavender.com/.

@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

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