“Samudra means ‘ocean’ in Sanskrit”
All roads lead to the ocean; as the name suggests the ocean is the driving force behind Samudra Skin & Sea, their mission, vision and advocacy. Founder Shilpi Chhotray has an extensive background in marine biology, conservation and ocean advocacy. Her love for the ocean and dedication to the betterment of the environment is rooted in her eco-friendly skincare line, Samudra Skin & Sea. Shilpi teamed with up with inspiring and likeminded women, and together they built a socially-conscious skincare brand based in San Francisco, California. They are a mission-driven company seeking to provide products that are made from pure ingredients that gives value to an individual’s personal wellbeing, and is good for the planet. Every step of the way they have the best interest of the planet in mind with a focus on protection of the ocean. Their ethos, is staying authentic to their love for the ocean by providing a line of skincare products that combines ecological integrity, personal wellness and honest ingredients. They believe in educating consumers and the community about sustainable practices and providing sustainable products that are good for people and the planet. They take pride in going one step further by actively supporting ocean awareness campaigns.
Made with love and the ocean in mind
“Our products are 100% organic and natural, vegan, cruelty free, and handmade in small batches. Protecting the ocean is the driving force behind our methods.”-Samudra
There is nothing better than finding a product that is both good for you and the planet. Samudra Skin & Sea recently relaunched their zero-waste packaging with a very eco chic new look. The quality ingredients, made with love and the ocean in mind product itself is fundamental and not going anywhere. Essentially, a new look, but same amazing product!
“Armed with a unique expertise in ocean conservation and social responsibility, she created a skincare line that blends ecological integrity and personal wellness using fresh and honest ingredients. Guided by this simple ethos, we built a mission-driven company committed to pure skincare that is good for people and planet.”-Samudra
Q&A with #Girlboss Shilpi, Founder of Samudra Skin & Sea
1. What inspired you to start a socially-conscious skincare line?
It was several experiences that started to coalesce around the same time. I’ve dedicated my career to ocean advocacy and wanted to take the message outside the circles I was constantly talking to, those who already understood the need to protect our ocean. My background in marine conservation led me to learn about the mystical world seaweeds from a conservation, ecological, and socio-economic perspective. One of my trips took me to India where I witnessed the benefits of sustainable seaweed harvesting which was also empowering local communities of coastal women. I began to learn about Ayurveda, an ancient system of holistic healing and how seaweed had medicinal properties for skin. I was pretty inspired and as someone suffering from eczema and chronic dry skin, I wanted to bring that knowledge and apply it into a nourishing line of plant-based skincare.
- What is the heart of Samudra and its products?
Wild harvested seaweed from the pristine waters of the Mendocino coast. Mendocino is full of magical marine life including several hundred species of seaweeds. It’s about 3.5 hours north of San Francisco, California. It’s my happy place!
- How do you go about choosing the ingredients? Are they locally sourced and made locally?
All of our products are sourced based on their sustainability protocol and US-based. We try to source as many certified organic ingredients as possible which is better for us and the planet. We’re proud to have our roots in California which is full of amazing produce and ethical agricultural practices.
- How does the ocean and conservation continue to inspire and influence your products?
The ocean is the driving force behind our mission and vision. It dictates every step of our supply chain which is why we take a serious stance against plastic-waste, toxic fillers, and promote ethical gathering of our core ingredient, seaweed. We also partner with marine conservation campaigns that benefit people and marine life including The Marine Mammal Center, 5 Gyres, and The Blue Business Council. It’s imperative that we are 100% committed to our “ocean-first” business model for us to continue to grow our brand.
- What advice would offer to someone wanting to make more socially-conscious consumption habits?
Look at your day to day lifestyle and take inventory of the amount of plastic waste in your life. See if you can reduce it by taking simple steps like carrying a reusable bag, water bottle, and shop for groceries in bulk. You’ll be amazed to see how easy it actually is to find healthier alternatives than plastic. It’s a process but with a little commitment you can get there. And here’s a tip… recycling is NOT a viable option. Most recycled items since the 1950’s have been shipped overseas so it’s integral we stop plastics at the source and begin supporting companies that use compostable and reusable packaging.
- What is your favorite Samudra product?
I love the soap bar for body and hair. I work for the Break Free From Plastic global movement and we’re constantly trying to communicate ways to use less, buy less, and experience more. This is true for the soap bar which is 100% biodegradable and comes in compostable packaging. It’s meant for hair as well which means there’s no need for bottled shampoos and conditioners which contributes to a huge amount of the plastic waste ending up in our ocean, roads and waterways. Samudra is all about “less is more”.
- What was the biggest lesson you learned from founding Samudra?
Every brand has its ebbs and flows and it truly takes a village. I’m forever grateful to my incredible team and community making it possible for Samudra to connect the dots between personal wellness and ecological integrity.
“All our products are composed of organic and natural ingredients without irritants like fragrances, dyes, synthetics, GMO’s, microbeads, glutens and parabens.” -Samudra
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