A Beautiful World, Changemakers in Beauty | Joshua Onysko, Pangea Organics
Admittedly, I am in part fascinated by Joshua Onysko because his path to entrepreneurship has been so different from mine. I’m a “play by the rules” kind of girl – working hard, finishing (multiple) school(s), learning from big and small companies, finding the right business partner and THEN launching gloss48.
Joshua dropped out of high school at age 16, traveled the world as ski bum in Wyoming, green sea turtle egg protector in Costa Rica, and then off to live in India, hitchhiking through Alaska, and Hong Kong. Along the way, he discovered a book in his parents’ living room on how to make handmade soap. Somewhere along the way, his handmade soap side job blossomed into the largest cold-processed organic soap manufacturer in the US, Pangea Organics.
Today, Joshua runs a sustainable company in every way – taking a responsible approach to every element of the company from his people to his products. According to Joshua:
- Pangea pays a living wage (2.5 times the minimum wage) and full medical, dental and vision care for all employees with no deductibles. Employees receive a full, Colorado-wide transportation pass every year.
- Our factory has carpeting that is 100% post-consumer-goods plastic bottles and all of the paint in the factory is zero VOC, meaning no off-gassing.
- We have a 3,000-square-foot organic garden that we pay our staff to maintain, which provides them with organic produce for about half the year.
While I am a big fan of organic beauty (and food), I always say that the organic nature of a product is not a valid reason to purchase it. It also has to smell/feel/taste good and deliver all of the benefits of its synthetic sisters – if not more. Pangea has debunked the myth that natural/organic products have to smell like patchouli and yield less favorable results with fabulous products like Australian Wild Plum and Willow Facial Cleanser and Japanese Matcha Tea with Acai and Goji Berry Facial Mask. As Joshua puts it “Mother Nature, after all, is the longest clinical trial around.”
Now THAT’S natural selection!