For Shane Wolf, every day is an opportunity to do his part.
Almost exactly one year ago, on Earth Day in 2018, this Kansas farm boy (and former L’Oréal executive) launched Seed Phytonutrients, a natural hair, skin and body care line that prioritizes sustainability, preservation of seed diversity and support for organic agriculture. The company’s shower-safe paper bottle (made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper with 60% less plastic than a traditional bottle) has taken the beauty world by storm, proving that the planet can be supported with a little innovation and a lot of drive.
Here, Wolf explains why he’s on a mission to elevate natural beauty and save the world (bit by bit):
Live The Process: Have you always had a passion for beauty?
Shane Wolf: I grew up on a farm in Kansas. And, yet, I was the only kid in school that had a zig-zag perm set on popsicle sticks! So, yes, I would say that I have had a long-standing interest in beauty, but rooted somehow in a neutrality and sustainability that comes from living on the land.
LTP: When did you develop an interest in sustainability and natural ingredients?
SW: I was always quite aware of sustainability issues, even if I didn’t know to call it that. I remember a t-shirt I had in high school that said, “Stumps don’t lie” with a picture of a tree stump!
My interest in natural ingredients was sparked when I scored a product development job at one of the first naturally-inspired brands in the professional beauty space and realized that there was this whole different world compared to what I had experienced.
LTP: Seed Phytonutrients launched on Earth Day, which is clearly no accident. What is its—and your—mission?
SW: The mission of Seed Phytonutrients is to plant the seeds of health, well-being and sustainability for future generations.
I learned of a crazy statistic that 93% of seed varieties that have existed in the world are now extinct. Crazy. So, to protect seeds from over-commercialization, we partner with independent American organic farmers to harness the power of local seed varieties and create natural products that make us look good and feel good.
At Seed Phytonutrients, we believe that we can create an environment of harmonious beauty, agriculture and sustainable business.
LTP: Over the last year, what has been a marker of success for you?
SW: Launching our brand at Sephora, Whole Foods, Ulta, Neiman Marcus, Thrive Market, Earth Hero, Aerie, and many more is the crazy successful part. Getting so much distribution from buyers who see thousands of products every year, but chose ours, is humbling to say the least. It’s also very expensive to support, but that is a great problem to have!
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
SW: A five-star review of Seed Phytonutrients products with commentary about how pleased consumers are to find a sustainable option. I smile ear-to-ear every time I read one!
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?
SW: Every day is a new day that holds as much potential as the next. I live in the present each day as much as I can, knowing that my mission is to leave the world a little bit better than I found it. I try to do so with great humility. I don’t know all the answers; I’m just trying to provide one example and to learn every day from others with the same intention.