Podcast 93: Innovative beauty packaging with mushrooms and seeds

Podcast 93 Innovative beauty packaging mushrooms seeds

Imagine beauty packaging given to us by nature and that returns sustainably to nature once we, as beauty consumers, have unboxed our product and have no further need for its protective cartons, space filler materials, outer casings and more. Imagine then the infinite possibilities of magical mushrooms and plantable cosmetic containers.

If this sounds far-fetched, just listen in to hear how organic matter from mushrooms is literally growing consumer packaging and how eye, brow and lip pencils and liner casings are sowing the seeds of bee-friendly, wild flower meadows.

Might the beauty industry be looking to the very nature it reveres in its cosmetic formulations for answers to reducing the tidal wave of unsustainable packaging it creates? This episode of Green Beauty Conversations has some fascinating insights into how sustainable packaging is literally growing before our eyes.

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Green Beauty Conversations has covered just about every angle on sustainable beauty, and many on greenwashing too. But, when we heard about two innovative companies using nature to create packaging that is truly cradle-to-cradle in their life cycles, we just had to discover more. The Magical Mushroom Company and Sprout World are redefining the notion of ethical sustainability in beauty products and packaging.

Podcast host and Formula Botanica CEO Lorraine Dallmeier talks to Michael Stausholm, founder and CEO of Sprout World – the company behind the first makeup pencil in the world that can be planted and grow wildflowers; and to Natasha Walker, Business Development Manager at Magical Mushroom Company which develops a natural packaging alternative to fossil fuel-produced polystyrene and other polymers.

Mushrooms and seeds are literally growing innovative beauty packaging. The @formulabotanica podcast talks to @magicalmshroom and @MStausholm of Sprout World about growing and sowing the seeds of sustainable packaging. Click To Tweet

Hear from Sprout World about:

  • how following their success with plantable stubs of graphite and coloured pencils, the company almost by chance decided to explore how to apply their concept to beauty products. Sprout World’s seemingly small innovation is making big changes to beauty industry and consumer mindsets.
  • how they embed seeds into the ends of cosmetic pencils to encourage beauty consumers to give back to nature by literally giving back to nature – truly creating a ‘second life’ for their beauty containers.
  • how the company uses seeds native to the markets its products are sold in. For example, it embeds only European wild flower seeds or herbs in pencils sold in the European market and so on with other regions of the world.
  • why they went to great pains to ensure the beauty formulations within their plantable pencils were 100 percent natural, certified non-allergic, vegan and more.

Hear from Magical Mushroom Company about:

  • how the pioneering and fascinating science of how mushrooms grow, and how their organic constituents ‘talk to each other’, has helped create innovative mycelium-based packaging.
  • how the company can grow customised packaging in just seven days from computer design to finished organic product. Mycelium packaging uses agricultural by-products such as hemp waste combined with mycelium, which is the branching root-like, ‘glue’ structure of mushrooms, to bind the waste materials together in days.
  • why mycelium packaging can be formed to create almost limitless, strong packaging solutions. It is particularly useful for beauty products as it is an excellent solution to protect glass containers, present gift sets in and to replace much of the redundant filler packaging used in mailing products.
  • what you can do with the mushroom packaging once your beauty product is unboxed – from using it as a seed tray to seeing it decompose completely in the ground without the need for chemicals or energy-hungry composting plants.

Meet our guests

Michael Stausholm, Founder & CEO Sprout World

Michael Stausholm, CEO Sprout WorldMichael Stausholm is the founder and CEO of Sprout World, the company behind the first makeup pencil in the world that can be planted and grow wild flowers. Michael began his career in the shipping industry, working for A.P. Møller/Mærsk and travelled to Indonesia in 1993, where he lived for 14 years. Today he lives in Copenhagen. His greatest interests are green entrepreneurship and sustainability. Michael Stausholm has just been included in the Worthy 100 list 2021 published by the New York-based Worth Media. The list honours 100 entrepreneurs in the world that use their businesses to do good.

Michael Staushold on Linkedin
Sprout World website
Instragram: @sproutworldofficial

Natasha Walker, Business Development Manager, the Magical Mushroom Company

Natasha Walker, Magical Mushroom CompanyNatasha Walker is Business Development Manager for the Magical Mushroom Company that grows natural, sustainable and home-compostable materials for protective packaging, horticulture and interior design solutions. The company’s mission is to grow strong, natural packaging to replace polystyrene to help sustain a better world. Natasha joined Magical Mushroom through her passion for the environment and has a background in international sales and marketing. Being exposed to the world of packaging and export, she understood the requirement for workable solutions.

The Magical Mushroom Company website
Instagram: @magicalmshroom


If you enjoyed this episode, you might also like to listen to our other episodes on sustainability issues:

Biodegradable beauty: a license to greenwash the beauty industry?
Top sustainability challenges and concerns for the beauty industry
Are indie brands falling behind on sustainabiity?
Can a beauty brand ever be carbon neutral?
Are beauty brands falling behind on sustainability?

Green Beauty Opinion – Podcast 94: How do we make solid formulations feel luxury?

In this Green Beauty Opinion, Lorraine challenges consumer perceptions about the image of solid formulations as homespun artisan goods rather than luxury cosmetic purchases. Why won’t consumers see solid formulations as on a par with their high-performance emulsions and serums? Lorraine challenges us to start shifting perceptions by changing our own behaviour by both formulating and choosing solid cosmetics. Listen in for another thought-provoking green beauty short.

Listen to Lorraine’s Green Beauty Opinion:


Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed listening, please share, subscribe and review this episode on iTunes, Spotify or Youtube so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Lorraine Dallmeier

Lorraine Dallmeier is a Biologist, Chartered Environmentalist and the CEO of Formula Botanica, the award-winning online organic cosmetic science school. Read more about Lorraine and the Formula Botanica Team.

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