posted August 17, 2012 by alexis |
there aren’t a lot of people who get really excited about science labs, but we aren’t a lot of people. in fact, we were so pumped about the completion of our new lab that we threw a party to celebrate. as you do.
we also spoke to product czar, don frey, who filled us in on all the new bells and whistles. here he is whipping up something for the party. that’s one of our green chefs in the background giving an informative lesson on the flammability of various types of alcohol. science is fun!
for those of us who haven’t spent much – or any – time in a formulations lab, it can seem a bit intimidating. what actually goes on in there?
we mix chemicals together and cause explosions! just kidding. there are rarely explosions. (there are never explosions.) we mix chemicals together to see how we can make our products perform better or be even better for the environment. we also do a lot of testing for effectiveness and longevity. we have to be sure our products will last on shelves so we put them through various torture tests, like spending months at high temperatures or freezing them and then thawing them over and over again. we monitor things like pH and viscosity (thickness) to make sure the product isn’t changing.
the new space is gorgeous. can you tell us about the upgrades? is this the best soap lab ever?
aesthetically, the lab is a HUGE leap forward. our old lab was not only small, but also pretty sad. now it’s bright and a little quirky. it’s a science lab that suits our brand. the windows also integrate the lab into the rest of the office, which is really unique. labs tend to be hidden away from the rest of a company, but that’s not how we work.
in terms of capabilities, we’ve added a lot of space, an extra sink and upgraded some of the safety features, like adding an eyewash station. we also built out a separate area for testing packaging components. there we can assess bottles for leakage and conduct drop tests. we even have a saw to cut bottles and caps apart to look for any potential problems internally or on a microscopic level.
that sounds fancy. how will it affect the day-to-day for our chemists?
my guess is that their favorite addition is the dishwasher. no more hand-washing beakers, spatulas and mixing blades. the extra room also allows them to make multiple batches side by side, so it really increases their ability to fine-tune and experiment with products.
why is it so important that we do all of our formulations in-house?
making your own formulas and packaging is critical if you’re going to provide consumers with something unique. one of the reasons that adam and eric founded method was because they saw the cleaning aisle as a sea of sameness. method is truly different. that goes for both the bottle itself and what’s inside. in the same way that there’s something wonderful about a meal that is made from scratch, our products are our unique recipe combining safety, sustainability and performance. you may love them, or you may not, but they are distinctly ours and they’re different from anything else on the market. we’re extremely proud of that.
are goggles really essential? what if I’m just nipping in for a second?
afraid so. especially since our green chefs are so friendly. even if you think you’re only staying for a minute, you’ll very likely end up spending more time than you think. and after all, safety is safety.
okay, be honest, how many times a day do you guys quote Weird Science?
ummmm, six? I’m actually more of a Back to the Future guy.