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KAYA-LINE KNUST VON “STOP THE WATER WHILE USING ME” ÜBER NACHHALTIGKEIT UND NATURKOSMETIK

Nicht nur die Modebranche, auch die Beauty-Industrie scheint sich immer mehr für das Schlagwort Nachhaltigkeit zu interessieren. Denn während es bis jetzt noch nicht auf allzu vielen Mind-Maps und Moodboards zu finden war, werden der Blick in die Zukunft und über den eigenen Tellerrand hinaus langsam aber sicher wichtiger als das jahrelange Versteckspiel mit der Verantwortung. Pionierin dieses Umdenkens ist Kaya-Line Knust, Gründerin der Marke “Stop the water while using me”, die sich auf Naturkosmetik und das Schützen der Ressource Wasser spezialisiert hat. Mit einer wichtigen Message im Hinterkopf und als Namen direkt auf den Verpackungen der Produkte setzt sie sich für Nachhaltigkeit und Mitdenken ein. Wir haben Kaya-Line Knust dazu befragt, warum wir den Wasserhahn öfter mal ab- und den Verstand anschalten sollten.

Behind every great brand there lies a great story, could you tell us a bit how you came to start ‘Stop The Water While Using Me’?

We started four years ago and we had a bunch of creatives and we got together and thought about what you can do for the water waste in the world. Then they had the idea to produce a product that actually reminds you in the shower to stop the water you’re wasting. So they had the idea but they were a bunch of creatives so they didn’t know how to translate this into a product so we took it and we made it into a product. It was me at the beginning almost all alone who made it into a product. Of course it had to be an organic product and it was important for us to have a good product all around. First take the name, take the call to action of the name. “Stop the water” makes you remember the action behind the product. We also thought about how you can make it environmentally friendly and the whole cycle so we decided to come up with a reset. We created big sizes so you don’t have to constantly throw it out and by new ones. That’s why we came up with the refill process because it was important to us so you don’t have to always buy a new soap dispenser.

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In your daily routine what other actions do you take to keep your life environmentally conscious?

Coming up with that product and working with it for so many years makes you work with your eyes open. How can you be more environmentally friendly in your own way without having less fun? So what I do, I can only speak for myself. It’s important to know that everyone doesn’t have to go so far, if you change a little bit in your life it’s going to make an impact. That for me is super important to note. When I do grocery shopping I don’t take plastic bags or even paper bags. All the products I’m using as well, soaps and detergents are environmentally friendly and biodegradable. It’s also important when you’re eating out in restaurants where they don’t specify where the meat is coming from. I’m not a vegetarian, I believe that meat can cost some money, it doesn’t have to have an organic sticker on it because it’s super expensive for the farmers to pay for the organic label. For me it’s important that the whole slaughter process is as humane as possible. I also don’t drink milk, I drink my coffee black. You can’t be perfect but you can try to be more environmentally conscious.

Even shopping for a winter coat, I wanted one really good winter coat and a down parker, but it took me forever to find one with quality down. Of course you’re going to have to pay a little bit extra but I understand when people say they can’t really afford it but then use less. When you’re grocery shopping you don’t have to eat meat everyday if you can only buy cheap meat. But it’s hard, clothing wise, I’ve really decided not to buy any sweatshop clothes which is super hard. “Oh I need this top it’s super nice.”

I love Acne but I just found out how they produce their jeans, I live off Acne jeans! They always said they were producing in Portugal but they’re really doing a lot of stuff in Southern Italy. This is where the worst sweatshops are, they have all these refugees. But our products are doing a little bit! They’re so environmentally friendly you can put it in your fish tank and your fish will be happy the next day. They don’t harm the system and that was what was super important to me.

I grew up as a hippie child so I was used to these products. My mother made me use all these organic shampoos and toothpastes that were so bad! So performance wise the products we are making have to work. The shampoo has really great ingredients in there that makes your hair super soft. Label reading is another thing everyone can do. Don’t be lazy and just go in and buy food, clothing, face cream and tampons. You’re keeping that inside you for hours! Look at what it is made of. We thought about what we could do to have a good cycle for the product. So all of our product support water project initiatives. We take the revenue and put it into water projects, around the world but up until now it was only in Africa. In January we will move to Madagascar. We didn’t want to just build another water walll; in Tanzania we have fog collectors. They are big nets and you put them high up in the mountain areas and little water droplets stick in the net and fall into the tanks below. It’s not so expensive. One net costs around 5.000 €.  

We have heard from the school in Tanzania where we put the tank in three years ago and now they have so much water they’ve asked us to put in an underground tank so the water can be stored for a longer amount of time.

In Kenya you don’t have the fog so we had to install another system. All the schools they use water from the worst resources, dirty natural lakes. We went to the school and talked to the students about water and sanitary hygiene and we asked at the beginning of the talks if the children had any issues with water and all of them knew what diseases they got from the water, because they had already had to take so much time off school because they had gotten so sick from the water. We installed the simplest water filter system, which catches 99.9% of bacteria and viruses in the water.

We only work with small NGOs because for us we prefer not to work with the big companies so that the money just goes straight into the project. It’s mainly myself and maybe another colleague. I would love to take everyone but I prefer to use the money on the project rather than travel. We have a team of ten people at the moment.

We have a lot of hotel clients who now use our products, which is good because hotels are the biggest water wasters. People approach the hotel thinking they can use however much of the products because they have paid for it or because they are on holidays.

So in Europe and Chile we have our products in some of the hotels. Of course for us it’s important to see where we ship our products to, we try to always ship by sea and not by air to limit our carbon footprint. We also check every supplier to make sure they don’t do any animal testing, and many of them have their own social projects.

What are five tips to reduce your carbon footprint?

      • Check what you eat. Read the labels and eat seasonally so the products don’t have to come from overseas. Get used to the idea that not every food is available all year around.
      • Check your body products; make sure you’re giving back to the environment cycle.
      • Be conscious with your resources. Wasting water means wasting energy.
      • Reduce usage of bags at supermarkets.
      • Try to use public transport, walk or bike everywhere.

Images via Instagram / Stop The Water While Using Me

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