Tuesday, July 8, 2008

W3LL: Hippie Tested. Diva Approved

via: Austinist

Calling all people who want to look good, be good, and do good. A new kind of shopping is making its way into Austin and bringing sustainability to a whole new level. Dubbed W3LL People, this the ultimate skincare boutique located at The Bridges on South Lamar.

No risk of greenwashing here - from the materials used in the d├ęcor and building to all the ingredients in the products, W3LL was created to bring a fresh, safe focus on skincare by providing products with proven, medical-grade nutrients that actually work and are not harmful for the planet.

Most conventional skin care products have extended shelf lives because they are packed with preservatives and other "scientific" fillers and chemicals. As it turns out, not so good for the planet or your skin. With the skin absorbing over 80% of what it comes into contact with, it makes a person take pause. While Europe has placed a ban on certain chemicals in many personal care products such as parabens and phthalates, the U.S. government does not require safety testing or have any regulations in place. At W3LL they have culled a list of the top ten worst of worst chemicals that we all should avoid and that you won't find in any of the products they carry.

W3LL was inspired by three friends who met at UT. James Walker, Renee Snyder, M.D., and Shirley Pinkson all shared a common passion in fashion, beauty, sustainability and doing good. The owners of W3LL embrace the challenge of creating a sustainable shopping experience. "We are learning as we go, trying to be conscious and deliberate to do the right thing. There is a level of education that has to happen and we want to create a safe haven that is fun and modern, so people can focus on the good stuff - taking care of themselves and their skin," says Walker.

The space itself serves as a respectable example of doing all things green with a variety of materials and processes. From meeting LEED energy requirements with its AC/electrical units and finish-out, to the zero/low VOC paint, to the eco-resin packaging and display, to the reclaimed chairs bought at a local thrift store, to the recycled denim insulations visible to the eye, you feel better just walking into the space. Whether you are a hippie or hipster, everyone will find something friendly at W3LL through a variety of product lines that are natural, organic, and scientifically proven. A few to take note of:

Ren (based in the UK, pioneers in all natural skincare, excellent men series); Luzern (all organic, luxury offering); Arcana (started by a German chemist turned homeopath/naturalist, proven driven science)
OSEA (marine based, family owned in Malibu, good men series - rumor has it the Luke and Owen Wilson use this line to get their glow on); Raw Gaia - 100% organic, nice baby and children line

W3LL is also coming out with its own product line that is crafted and manufactured in Taos, New Mexico. Its anti-oxidant lip balm (loaded with pomegranate which is a natural SPF) includes PLA biodegradable packaging and its eyeshadows and blushes come in aluminum cans that can be brought back for a discount. They also give 5% of all profits to its environmental partner World Wildlife Fund. Perhaps this goes into too much information for those of us not necessarily wise to the sustainable way, but the calm, fun, and hip atmosphere of W3LL makes you feel good just by being there. The tagline says it all: "Hippie tested. Diva approved." Stop by the W3LL Exclusive Preview Party @ The Bridges on S. Lamar on Saturday, July 12 from 2-8pm and take part in the W3LL experience – your skin will thank you!