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Firsthand Supply Chooses Parkway Plastics Inc. for Sustainable Hair Care Packaging

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Firsthand Supply believes what you put on your body matters, so they make products that matter.

Firsthand Supply just celebrated its second year in business in a bold, but inspiring move to reveal a rebranded product line that matches their core values and beliefs -- "What you put on your body matters, so we make products that matter."

Entrepreneurs, Josh Hester and Filipe Inacio of Massachusetts, were eager to move on from their day jobs in digital marketing and coffee roasting, respectively. Over the last several years, the duo had worked on ideas together of what they could do that would be fulfilling, and found themselves beginning an unexpected chapter in their lives. 

Josh and Filipe in front of the exterior of the Firsthand facility

A Brazilian native, Filipe's thick coarse hair requires products that will hold and style, which are also safe for his sensitive skin and scalp. He had come across a hair product that was made with natural ingredients, but it was lacking in effectiveness. Upon reading the ingredients listed on the label of the container, Filipe realized he could purchase the ingredients online. 

Filipe working on production in facility

After vigorous research and development testing, Filipe and Josh had come up with their first product -- an all-purpose pomade made from simple clean ingredients that's safe to use, with effective style and hold.

Holding All-Purpose Pomade

In November 2017, the two quit their jobs and dove into further developing Firsthand Supply. Sales began picking up throughout the course of the year, and they regrouped at the one-year mark, asking themselves, "Why are we doing this? What are our values and how can we push our company in that direction?"

Josh working at computer in office

Not chemists by trade, nor having had any prior experience in barbering or styling, they dug deep within to discover where their passion was stemming from and what purpose they were being led to fulfill. 

Andrew working on production in facility

"We really wanted the company to be about people and so through that lens came the brand narrative of "make things that matter because people matter." 

"We are guided by a set of values that pushes toward becoming the most human centric company in the cosmetic and personal care goods industry.  ... We're building a company that values people on both sides of the transaction -- through honest sourcing, sustainable process, and a heavy dose of give-a-damn." - FirsthandSupply.com

With this in mind, it meant changing the visual aspect of their brand, from ingredients, to product names and even the number of products they offer.

Applying their mission's vision to the 16 products they were offering, they thoroughly examined each product to see if it met their standards. Believing in transparency, they wanted customers to understand exactly what ingredients were in the products - in the end, 3 products made the cut. 

Firsthand Supply never uses "parabens, phthalates, harmful sulfates, synthetic fragrances, toxins," nor do they "do any testing on animals".

Some formulas changed slightly to include moisturizing Aloe, and the new scents reflect the switch from fragrance oils to essential oils (because some synthetic fragrances are known to be made using harmful ingredients, which you can read more about on their Honest Sourcing page).

Scooping Texturizing Clay

With the new switch in product names and ingredients, Filipe and Josh knew they'd also have to reconsider the packaging of their products to match the company's renewed values -- "that's where Parkway Plastics came in." 

Parkway Plastics Inc manufactures high-quality containers and caps for every industry. We aim for sustainability in every possible way. We value a sustainable factory process and are aware of the importance of choosing the right way to source and process material.

Parkway Plastics believes in regeneration by reusing, regrinding and recycling material. We aim to not only be sustainable, but also environmental. Parkway's annual plant shut down is part of its sustainability program and our strict regrind policy has proven to reduce material waste." - ParkwayJars.com

Filipe and Josh toured Parkway's manufacturing plant and experienced firsthand the behind-the-scenes of their containers being made, from start to finish. They opted for a recycled plastic (HDPE). The final product shows "little inconsistencies and imperfections in the jars and lids which we liked as it gives a nod to the story of the plastic used to make them." Read More: Sustainable Process

"Working with Parkway Plastics Inc was great -- seeing the whole process, and the people having so much value in their jobs, we were just stoked. If we were to have a factory, what would we want that to look like? This is how."

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Photos provided by FirstHand Supply

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