We’re diving into the topic of sustainable sourcing...and the essential role of sustainably-sourced ingredients in the making of our premium natural toothpaste.
To let you in on a little secret, sustainable sourcing is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It considers the social, ethical, and environmental impacts of sourcing from every angle. It also places a huge emphasis on long-lasting, beneficial relationships.
We’re talking about supply chain relationships, but we definitely think these types of relationships are important in every area of life.
Sustainable sourcing often gets mixed up with its popular friend: ethical sourcing. To differentiate between the two: ethical sourcing tends to focus more on the human side of things, so it’s only one component of sustainable sourcing.
Because we think ethics should apply to humans and the planet, we value+support sustainable sourcing for every ingredient in every single tube of Davids Natural Toothpaste. It’s one of the reasons we’re able to claim that our toothpaste is the best choice for nature+america+you.
Here’s a deeper look at why….
what is sustainable sourcing?
Sustainable sourcing has become extremely important across all industries...from toothpaste to food and product beyond+between. As many supply chain processes have expanded into developing countries, some wrongfully seek lower labor+production costs...at a much greater expense: the health of their workers, their local economies, and the environment.
The ultimate goal of sustainable sourcing is to avoid these inhumane practices, build long-lasting relationships with suppliers, and continuously work to improve the collective social, ethical, and environmental impact of the product.
At Davids, that’s exactly our mindset when we choose our ingredient suppliers. By using only sustainably sourced ingredients, we’re able to provide you with a premium natural toothpaste and peace of mind….knowing that your toothpaste upholds strict social, ethical, and environmental standards. On top of that, 98% of our ingredients are also sourced in the US, allowing us to sustain American jobs too.
To paint a picture of the importance of sustainably-sourced ingredients, consider palm oil. You’ve probably noticed some heat around this ingredient recently...and for good reason. Palm oil is used across so many different industries….and has an impressively unsustainable history. The unsustainable growing+sourcing practices surrounding palm oil have resulted in:
- 2.5 metric tons of sewage per palm oil mill...which pollute the surrounding soil+water.
- Heavy air pollution through deforestation, smoke, and carbon dioxide.
- The destruction of over 20 million hectares of Indonesian rainforests (an area the size of Missouri).
- Poverty for thousands of Indonesians and rainforest communities.
It’s a good thing more and more companies are focusing on sustainable sourcing….so much so that the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil was formed. Luckily, we’re seeing the same demand for sustainable sourcing for so many everyday ingredients. In the world of toothpaste, we’re doing our part to make sure that all of our ingredients are responsibly+sustainably sourced.
Today, we’re taking a deeper dive into one of our specific ingredients: hydrated silica. Like palm oil, it’s a perfect example of how sustainable sourcing can make a huge difference in ingredient quality+impact, so let’s take a closer look.
what is hydrated silica?
Hydrated silica is a mineral that’s found on the Earth’s surface (again, Happy Earth Day!) and is used in many toothpastes to polish+remove surface stains. Many conventional toothpaste brands use low-quality, imported silica that *can* damage your enamel and the environment.
However, we use the highest quality, ultra-fine hydrated silica sourced+made in the US. The microscopic particles in our hydrated silica are specifically designed to safely clean and polish the enamel on your teeth...and leave as little impact on the planet as possible!
does hydrated silica damage tooth enamel?
The short answer to this is: no, not by default.
As an abrasive ingredient, it tends to get a lot of people wondering, “Is hydrated silica safe?” We’re here to set the record straight! Just because an ingredient is abrasive doesn’t mean it’s bad….abrasive ingredients actually play a critical role in breaking up and removing plaque+stains from your teeth.
There are a lot of different factors that affect how abrasive your toothpaste may be, such as:
- The number of abrasive ingredients in it
- How all of these ingredients work together
- The quality of the ingredients
Several studies show that the particle size of hydrated silica in toothpaste (aka the fineness of the ingredient) is directly related to the “harshness” of the ingredient and its “wear rate” on your enamel. However...on a surprising note, the amount of hydrated silica in your toothpaste is not linearly related to this wear rate.
In other words, the phrase “quality over quantity” fits here.
This is where quality, sustainable sourcing comes in. Knowing+trusting our domestic hydrated silica supplier...and the standards they uphold...allows us to rest easy knowing that the hydrated silica in Davids is very safe to use. We know first-hand that our suppliers honor our need for hydrated silica with ultra-fine, microscopic particles that effectively clean your enamel without harming it.
You may have heard us talk about this before, but toothpastes are rated on a scale of Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA). According to the ADA, toothpastes below an RDA of 200 are considered safe for your enamel. Regardless of the flavor, all of our toothpastes have an RDA between 101-111, which means they're well within safety limits.
So, the hydrated silica in Davids not only avoids enamel damage, but it helps remove plaque that could lead to cavities down the line.
is hydrated silica bad for the environment?
The environmental impact of silica depends on the specific methods used to mine the ingredient. Large-scale silica mining has sparked concerns about air and water pollution...since silica particles are often small enough to affect air and surface water quality near mining areas.
Don’t worry, this is where sustainable sourcing comes in...again!
An Environmental Impact Assessment of silica mining in Wisconsin reveals that these concerns can be resolved through sustainable sourcing practices. The study assesses all of the environmental+public health concerns regarding silica. It concludes that silica mines can use certain engineering practices to limit their environmental impact, protect public health, and allow for the responsible development of industrial silica mining….without the need for any legal bans.
On top of that, the Environmental Working Group gives hydrated silica a score of 1, meaning it has the second-lowest hazard rating….right behind EWG verified (which Davids is!).