Rethinking packaging – Couple’s plastic-free business making impact

July 2022 Posted in Business, People

By Melissa Wagoner

When Garron and Rebekka Lamoreau moved to Panama in 2014 to teach at the country’s International School, they discovered something they never anticipated – plastic waste everywhere. 

“There’s plastic in every waterway and on every beach,” Garron recalled. “The canal is there and the ships just drop their garbage, these big freighters… drop garbage. And it becomes very apparent that everything is single-use.”

Garron and Rebekka Lamoreau – owners of Silver Falls Sustainability Co. – with their  children, Cooper and Jovie.

Garron and Rebekka Lamoreau – owners of Silver Falls Sustainability Co. – with their
children, Cooper and Jovie.

Concerned, the couple began noticing the way plastic packaging was being used in seemingly unnecessary ways – like individually wrapped bananas, complete with individual Styrofoam pads.

“We became very anti-plastic,” Garron said. “So, we started making things for ourselves, like shampoo in a wine bottle.”

Then, Garron was diagnosed with cancer.

“And we started looking for healthier things,” he said, recalling the way their adventure into DIY products expanded to include, not just the use of sustainable packaging, but chemical-free ingredients as well. 

“You can eat just about everything we make,” he pointed out, recalling the first shampoo bar they created – a lavender and rosemary blend they called Frenchie Falls, after one of their favorite hikes. 

“That was in 2018,” Garron said. “I made it on a whim one weekend and thought, let’s see if anyone buys it. So, I put it on Facebook and got a few orders.”

Then those orders turned into more orders as word-of-mouth spread and before a year had passed the Lamoreaus’ business – eventually coined Silver Falls Sustainability Co. – was booming.

“Our message was different,” Garron said, when asked about the speed of the company’s success. “It wasn’t – here’s another bar of soap. It was – here’s no plastic.”

And they didn’t stop there. Not only does Silver Falls Sustainability Co. use sustainable, plastic-free packaging and organic, locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, they also plant a tree for every product purchased through Ecologi, a European-based nonprofit that supports a host of climate action projects – including the reforestation of mangrove trees.

“So far we’ve planted over 30,000 trees,” Garron said.

And kept an estimated 100,000 pieces of plastic from entering the waste stream, all with two young children – Cooper, aged three and Jovie, four months – underfoot. 

Because, while Silver Falls Sustainability has grown a lot in the past four years, it is still based, almost exclusively, out of the Lamoreaus’ Silverton home.

“We’ve gotten to spend a lot of time with the kids,” Garron pointed out.

But with only two employees, the workload can be a bit overwhelming.

“You never feel like you’re done with the day,” Rebekka admitted.  

That won’t be changing any time soon. As of July 1, Silver Falls Sustainability Co.’s distribution increased  to include sourcing not only the Roth’s store in Silverton, Life Source in Salem and their own website, but also the well-known supermarket chains, Market of Choice and New Seasons.

“But we’re excited to get into the medium-sized chains… to give people a plastic-free product,” Garron said of the benefits this expansion will have for the company and the environment at large. 

“We want to leave the world a greener place than we found it.”

Silver Falls Sustainability Co.

A carbon-negative, Silverton-based company offering earth-friendly hair, bath and body products as well as some cleaning and household products. 

• Silverton Roth’s

• Life Source in Salem

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