Official Mary Jean®

Mary Jean® Cruelty Free Beauty & Home Fragrance

What does it mean to be sustainable?

For many people sustainability means a care and responsibility towards the wildlife, our oceans and marine life and nature and to ensure there is a fair and secure resource for our children and their children in generations to come.

At Mary Jean,® ethical values are inclusive of a sustainable vision. There can't be one without the other.

There is a lot of misinformation on the internet and from marketing advertisement about brands being sustainable, eco-friendly and green credentials. Many believe simply to throw money at a charitable organisation working in the field of ecological well-being, that's their part done. But then there are some who are making changes in their business, genuine change for the better.

Many brands believe that if the packaging can be recycled then their range is sustainable. But that effectively moves the commitment and onus on to the consumer which isn't fair. Many consumers are now conscious of the need to recycle thankfully but therein lies another problem: local authorities often are unable to recycle or manage the waste of a particular type.

Government departments still struggle to pass down guidelines to local authorities and support groups. Often is the case there is a severe lack of funding at the local authority level to ensure facilities are adequate and properly managed. The result is that much of the waste is either incinerated or buried with landfill waste.

Believe #1

Plastic is green, ecologically safe. The thought that plastic can be sustainable is pure science fiction. It never has been and never will be.

With the introduction of bio-plastic synthesised from sugar cane and other plant based materials, the impact of "green plastic" is still largely unknown.

More research is needed but the consensus is that this revolutionary alternative too is a poor choice. Not biodegradable, renewable or sustainable as propagated.

Many alternatives to plastic exist today.

Aluminium and glass for bottles, jars and related containers. Plastic trays used in the food manufacturing industries could easily be replaced with affordable card packaging. The technology is now available to business and there's no excuse for manufacturers to not demand their supply chain to adapt and modernise.

The injection moulding processes are much the same whether using plastic pellets or a paper mache paste.

Believe #2

There are enough food for everyone. There is little truth in that statement, because as we consume as never before, more species are in danger of extinction.

Many environmentalists and animal conservation experts are now waking up to the fact that the only species that will survive are those we find edible. The vast majority of those species we can't put on our plate their numbers will continue to decline.

Land and water use are also being stretched to breaking point. A greater cause of deforestation and habitat loss to native wildlife and indigenous people. And in recent times, how the Coronavirus managed to come into contact with humans.

And there is the argument for the welfare of animals how they are treated throughout their short lives.

With mass breeding and wholesale livestock management the obvious concern must be one of animal suffering. Systematic abuse of established guidelines and ethical ignorance are rife and widespread.

Believe #3

Oil dependency is a thing of the past. Sure thing many more countries are reviewing their energy policies. Many leaders are keen to use renewable energy releasing their grip on coal and gas fired generators for their electricity.

But how realistic can it be to remove oil from the energy supply chain? When entire economies are still thriving on the demand, and are dependent so much on it.

Present day, only 28% of the world's energy needs are met through renewable means.

The really good news is that there are world leading countries. Having already made sweeping changes, Sweden are in number one place completely carbon neutral and free of the oil and gas dependency debt.

Germany as well are way in front of many an equally modern and economically advanced country. And their society have led in the percentage of waste that is recycled, too.

It is empowering to learn we are moving closer to reaching 100% renewable energy supplies. And we must, because the world needs more energy and we can't continue to pollute our planet. Advanced technology based infrastructure such as public transportation and haulage will run on electricity alone, diesel free.

All manner of electrical vehicles at the planning stages will be dependent on a surplus supply of clean energy.

Share your Thoughts

Tell us what do you think of these important issues that concern us all? Let's hear what you've got to say, share on our social media channels. Many more people like yourself are reassured that pressure does exist for change, and they are not alone in their sustainability fight.


At Mary Jean,® ―as we understand it― sustainable practices are not merely the task of reducing a plastic overhead or improving our just-in-time ordering.

Being sustainable is a continual improvement on business processes and as a family business, it becomes a whole lot more personal and real.

But it is also about being open and honest and not using marketing to blurry substance with glory seeking sound bites and catchy headlines. We've all seen them haven't we? They jump out at you and draw in an audience but are meaningless.

As a family and consumers we'd like to see larger businesses really spend their wealth on serious change and not just greenwash over these demanding issues. Whether that actually happens or not and how quickly is down to each of us to apply pressure in the right places.

Official Mary Jean®

Family owned and conscientious. Scotland's premier soap manufacturer.

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