Are you wondering what a healthy material is? Or why you should care? Well, if your company has any goals related to compliance, sustainability or circularity, then material health is relevant for you. No matter what your goals are, material health is a prerequisite for showing up to the start line.
Material Health Overview
Material health starts with knowing exactly what chemicals and substances are in your product. We’re not just talking about the main components, we’re talking about every chemical and particle. This includes the formulation for the coating or the impurities in the wood.
In a time when regulations are constantly evolving, customers are asking for more product transparency, and the world is actively moving towards a circular economy, it's more essential than ever that material health is a core strategy when it comes to your product development.
The Compliance Lens
Say a new customer just asked you if you’re Cal Prop 65 Compliant, or if your product has any LBC Red List chemicals, in order to answer that question, you must know the details of your bill of materials. Are you looking to expand your market and start selling into the EU? In order to cross the border, it’s probable that you’ll get tested for compliance with EU REACH. Wouldn’t it be better to test it yourself so you know your products will pass the test? It’s time to start finding out what your product is made of.
The Circularity Lens
Where does your product go once it leaves your warehouse? Does it go to a shelf at a big retailer like Home Depot or straight to a consumer? What about after that… when the owner no longer wants what they bought, does it go into a landfill or can components be repurposed? If there are precious goods, it would be to your advantage to know the answer. However, in order to know whether a product can be recycled or repurposed, as I said at the beginning, the prerequisite is to know the detailed list of ingredients.
The Sustainability Lens
It’s the buzz word of the decade. If you sell a product without a “Made Sustainably” emblem on the label, or don’t have a ‘sustainability’ tab on your website, you’re missing out on a growing customer base. It’s time to develop a sustainability initiative or risk benign left behind. And, as you’ll have noticed the trend of this article, the place to start is material health. In order to know how or where a product should be recycled, you must know what kinds of chemicals are in the product. Even if they don’t pose a threat to the consumer when used as instructed, if the item is thrown into a landfill, components are broken and harmful substances can leach into the earth.
Implementing a Material Health Strategy
Material health is the foundation to achieving your solutions. Whether your goals pertain to meeting compliance standards, creating sustainability reports or designing circularity programs. Toxnot is your one-stop shop for gathering supply chain data to support a wide array of goals.
So, what’s your strategy? A great start to learning more about material health is through our product transparency playbook. Download it for free below.