Name: Autumn Blum
Items sold in LMC gift store: Neck gaiters and Sunscreens.
Where you’re from and currently reside?
Florida born, grew up in Sarasota, and now living in Wauchula.
You have done extensive research on the ingredients that go into your products. What are some of the mainstream toxic ingredients that tend to harm our ecosystems and human health?
There are so many endocrine-disrupting chemicals in our daily lives, and our skincare is no exception! Oxybenzone, Avobenzone, Octocrylene, Octinoxate and Parabens are all commonly found in mainstream sunscreens, even those labeled as "reef-safe." These chemicals have been shown to bioaccumulate in our bodies, and are also detrimental to our aquatic world as well.
How have you given peace of mind to customers in terms of packaging during the pandemic?
We ran out of our sugarcane resin packaging very quickly, and since it was impossible to find sustainable packaging after the pandemic, I looked for other ways to make our hand sanitizer more eco-friendly. We quickly came up with larger size bottles and our refillable pocket sprayer, so consumers can buy our hand sanitizer in bulk and refill/reuse the pocket sprayer. This reduces plastic waste and has been a great success.
What projects or products are in the works that you’re excited to roll out?
We are always working on creating new products that make the planet a better place. We are driven by our customers’ wish list, and I'm excited to be getting some of those wishes for products fulfilled soon, including a new reef-safe sunscreen stick, and expanding on our Essentials line!
Do you have a life motto that has powered your business?
Nourish your tribe! I knew when I started Stream2Sea that educating would be a big challenge. What I wasn’t prepared for was how quickly my tribe of friends and colleagues would grasp what I was trying to do and told EVERYONE THEY KNEW! We grew because of the passionate advocates in my tribe, helping to share the mission that everything we put on our bodies DOES make a difference because all streams lead to the sea.
What is one sustainable or eco-friendly trend in which you’d like to garner more awareness?
I am very passionate about educating people to read their ingredient labels. Don't just trust the marketing material on the front of a package. My latest educational mission is to let people know that shark by-products can be lurking in their skincare. We've identified products with squalene that say "natural" and look like a nice, eco-friendly product, but contain shark liver by-products. That's disgusting, but by educating passionate individuals, I believe we can encourage these companies to make a change. Squalene and squalane are lovely ingredients, but make sure they are derived from plant-based sources like sugarcane or olives.
The other trend that I’d love for people to continue is making their voices heard. Consumers vote with their wallets and big business is paying attention. As consumers demand better packaging options, more sustainable products and cleaner formulas, businesses will continue to make better decisions. And every drop in the good bucket helps!