FOLLOW YOUR GUT: A Life Well-Lived With the Founder of Common Good

FOLLOW YOUR GUT: A Life Well-Lived With the Founder of Common Good

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Meet Sacha Dunn, the Founder and CEO behind our favorite all-natural, sustainable soap and cleaning company, Common Good.

As is often the case, a lot can be summed up from a name. From the very beginning of Common Good, back before the term sustainability was such an important part of our collective conscience, Sacha has been on a mission to reduce plastic packaging. Sacha was inspired to offer families, just like hers, safe, plant-derived products for the home that came in beautiful bottles that could be refilled.

It was a simple, yet innovative solution that tackled plastic waste while offering healthy home products that were good for people, planet and animals. Just check out their ingredient list here.

With over 100 refill stations worldwide at various retailers, and an expanded product line, Sacha is making good on her mission to reduce single-use materials in homes. And we’re totally hooked on refilling with Common Good.

So much so that once we realized their pumps fit beautifully on our bottles, we developed a fun program to encourage employees and consumers to refill empty Health-Ade bottles with Common Good soap! The collaboration resulted in this fun video.

If this sounds like a fun Earth Month project, you can find a refill station in your neighborhood here.

Without further ado, read on for our third interview in our FOLLOW YOUR GUT blog series, featuring Sacha Dunn of Common Good.

Explain who you are and what you do

I’m Sacha Dunn and I’m the founder and CEO of Common Good. We make safe, green, refillable household soaps and cleaners.

Where did your passion and desire to start Common Good come from?

I come from Sydney, Australia where everyone refills their laundry bottle with a carton or plastic pouch. We (my husband, Edmund Levine and I) moved to the USA in 2001 and were surprised that we couldn’t refill bottles here. But it wasn’t until we had our first kid in 2005 that we realized that we had to do something.

We were suddenly doing so much more laundry, hand-washing bottles, cleaning toys, and all the other stuff that you have to clean when you have a baby.

The amount of plastic packaging we were recycling (and in NYC, you’re never really sure that it is being recycled) was alarming.

I started looking into the formulations and realized that our “green” products had ingredients that weren’t great, especially for kids and that clinched the deal. We worked out a way to create refill stations in stores so people could bring their bottles back and refill them over and over. And in the process, we developed formulations that were much better for people, pets and the environment.

How is Common Good reducing plastic waste as a company?

Our #1 mission is to reduce the amount of plastic consumed with household products. We started with in-store refill stations, where customers bring their empty bottles back to the store to refill them over and over again. Now we’re launching a refill box that uses 83% less plastic than the equivalent in plastic bottles.

The new packaging gives everyone access to refills, even if they don’t live near a refill station. As an extension of our low-plastic packaging product mission, we try to use as little plastic as possible at work and in our personal lives.

We have to embrace the lifestyle change of rejecting plastic at every opportunity, whether it’s saying no to a straw or plastic bag, or choosing how we pack and ship our products.

How do you stay inspired?

I love designing our products and finding ways to reduce the amount of plastic needed. That creative process is fun and reminds me why we started this in the first place: to make a difference. I also love looking at products that we don’t make yet to see how we could improve formulations and packaging on new items.

And playing around with new scents is really fun. I also love reading emails and letters from people who use Common Good or who just discovered us. They write to tell us how happy they are or how much they love the product. That’s the best.

Aside from your soap and cleaners, what’s your favorite all-natural DIY home remedy?

It’s hard to go past baking soda and vinegar just for the sheer effectiveness at cleaning drains and toilets and things. But I think my favorite is making herbal sachets to put in with stored seasonal clothes. They’re effective at keeping moths away without toxic chemicals, and months later your clothes are smelling sweet, not musty. Plus they’re fun to make.

Best advice you ever received?

Don’t listen to those who say you can’t do it.

Describe the “happiest and healthiest” version of yourself.

I am happiest when I’m on vacation with my family. We always do something active because Edmund and the kids can’t sit still for too long. Whether it’s a weekend in upstate NY or a trip back to Australia to visit family, we’re always active, eat well, and relax. It’s a good recipe.

What’s next on the horizon for Common Good?

We’re about to launch a low-plastic refill box! After years of research and testing, we’ve created a refill box with the least amount of plastic, and unlike refill pouches, we’re using plastic that can be recycled. Not only less plastic per ounce but now we can ship to people who want to refill but aren’t near a refill station.

What does “Follow Your Gut” mean to you?

Do what makes you happy and whole. It takes hard work and lots of compromise but it leads to a life well-lived.

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    Today's blog is written by our very own Daina Trout, MS, MPH

    Daina is not just our Co-Founder, she is also a nutritionist that has spent her adult life dedicated to finding and sharing health and wellness through food. With 2 masters' degrees in nutritional biochemistry and public health, Daina has called upon her education often while leading the way at Health-Ade - from how we make every batch of kombucha, to how we talk about gut health to consumers, to even how healthy our employee workplace is! She even writes a few blogs here and there. Happy reading! :)

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