By Samantha Lees

The message of health and sustainability in the hospitality industry goes beyond the kitchen. In order to provide guests with a truly sustainable experience, opportunities abound for restaurants and hotels to embed sustainability in all its offerings. One of which is to support small local businesses that work towards a circular model, even for products outside of the kitchen. Does your business procure sustainable, health-conscious personal care items? We spoke to Anita Patel, co-founder of skincare maker ZeroYet100, about sustainable personal care, safe ingredients and saving trees along the way.

Using Natural Ingredients

“Consumers need to know that what they’re putting in their body matters.” Yet among the multitude of skincare brands available in Hong Kong, ZeroYet100 founders Anita and Sheetal were frustrated by the lack of effective products that did not contain a long list of unnatural, unpronounceable ingredients. Moreover, the lack of awareness of what goes into things like chemical deodorants and the associated side effects was worrying: aluminium, parabens, phthalates are among some of the ingredients linked to health issues like cancer, skin irritation and weakened immune systems. 

Anita and Sheetal thus took it upon themselves to make all-natural skincare in Hong Kong and founded ZeroYet100, to signify that their products contain nothing synthetic yet are fully effective. They did so not only to provide a safer choice for consumers, but also to raise awareness that what we put in our body matters, and hope to help people shift to healthier alternatives for themselves and their family. 

Their lineup of products includes moisturizers, serums, face wash and toner mists.  Using carefully curated natural ingredients with healing abilities, their unique formulas are gentle on the skin yet functional for everyday use. 

Sustainable and reusable packaging

“When we started, sustainability meant nothing to us – we had no idea.” It wasn’t until customers and some eco-conscious retailers started giving feedback about their plastic packaging that they realised that sustainability was also a concern. “The only mantra that had been drilled into us was ‘Save water, save paper.’ It used to be all about saving trees.” Stepping into the natural and organic community, Anita and Sheetal were themselves educated about the importance of sustainability. So not long after their launch, they re-designed and changed their packaging to be largely recyclable or up-cyclable packaging. “Customers trust you when they see that you’re trying,” says Anita. “The learning never stops.”

Photo: ZeroYet100

Their containers can be dropped off by customers, which are sterilized and reused for testing and sampling, reducing waste where possible. There are also refills sold at a discount, and even the paper containers can be reused 2 to 3 times, which can then be put in the recycling bin. 

“We prepared ourselves for the worst, we thought that this is literally going to finish us.” Like many other small business owners, Anita was mentally preparing for ZeroYet100 to go under due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with retail already down since the protests started in Hong Kong in 2019. But what sustained them through the year was the increase in online sales in Hong Kong. “With the pandemic, people aren’t out shopping much, so people search online and there we are. People find us on social media and through word of mouth.”

Partnering up to drive awareness

“We’d love to work together with Food Made Good HK and its members to get awareness out there, to help us build connections with those that share the same interest,” says Anita. ZeroYet100 are looking to collaborate with the hospitality industry to bring their naturally-sourced, sustainably-packaged products to hotels and restaurants, thus enabling them to spread that message of health and sustainability to a wider audience. Their small, pint-sized, minimalistic packaging is ideal for small spaces such as restaurant or hotel bathrooms, as travel kits or for being out and about. “We want customers to understand more about the products they’re using by building that awareness.”

From 8-14 February 2021, you can use the discount code “FMG10” at checkout to get 10% off your purchase!

To find out more about ZeroYet100, visit https://zeroyet100.com/. Members can contact Anita through the Online Community and/or get in touch with Food Made Good HK to connect on how to bring sustainably minded personal care products to their outlets and hotels.