SUSTAINABILITY MATTERS - So long, Samples - Credo
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Clean Scene



By: Mia Davis, VP of Sustainability and Impact


You know this feeling when you watch a film that brings a situation to light in such a striking way that you cannot forget or just move on? That happened to the Credo team last year, in Spring 2020, when we watched The Story of Plastic. The Story of Plastic’s truth-telling narrative, amazing editing, and arresting images were pivotal. We paid particular attention to the parts that address single-use plastics, like those used for sampling in the beauty industry. 

As of June 1st 2021, Credo will no longer offer single-use sampling in-store and online. This radical decision, first milestone of our Sustainable Packaging Guidelines, was necessary when we realized the impact these small items had on the environment. As the sample packettes accumulate, they don’t get recycled (they can’t be) and end up contaminating our waterways and our food chain. We needed to make a change. 

Since inception, Credo has offered two ways to sample products: 

  • Online and in-store: Single-use sachets or packets – In 2020, Credo distributed 660K samples 
  • In-stores: Our Clean Beauty Experts create custom samples for customers in little plastic “clamshells”. In 2020, Credo bought 60K units of these clamshells
Approximately 800 billion single-use packets are produced every year. Whether it’s condiment, or beauty, they have a tendency to end up as pollution, entering waterways, headed for the ocean, where they will ever-so-slowly breakdown into tiny microplastics that contaminate wildlife, and the food chain.1 

As of June 1st 2021, Credo will no longer carry sachets/packets or offer single-use plastic clamshells. We will offer eco-friendly alternatives for consumers to try and discover products.

In-store: Customers will be able to purchase small reusable jars made of upcycled plant fiber. These jars can be reused when you travel, or in-store to sample again when you bring back your sanitized jars . When you are done with the sample jar, we’ll take it back to ensure it is disposed of properly-- either in an industrial compost facility or in a waste-to-energy facility.

Online: Our online customers already have various options to try and discover new products through travel sizes, discovery kits, our rewards program and our multi-branded gifts. 

We hope that our 130 brand partners follow suit and stop single-use sampling altogether–not just at Credo. Our planet cannot handle it. We ALL have to start saying no to this casual consumption, and create other ways to try new products. The result of our collective efforts will undoubtedly be worth it. Learn more about our Sustainable Packaging Guidelines.

More about Mia Davis:

Mia is the VP of Sustainability and Impact at Credo. Her career began in the environmental health movement. In 2007, she co-led the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Davis was Head of Environment, Health and Safety at Beauty Counter for 5 years, and she's now helping Credo brands and customers define and lead the "clean beauty" sector.

Learn more about our Sustainable Packaging Guidelines here.


1 These packets are usually mixed materials–plastic, foil, sometimes paper. The layers cannot be separated and therefore cannot be recycled, and they will not biodegrade–not into a safe, benign compound, anyway. Not back into soil. Animals ingest them, and their predators ingest them, and so on. Microplastic trespassers are in our bodies.