The Price of Sustainability: No Tox Life Lip Butter vs Burts Bees

The Price of Sustainability: No Tox Life Lip Butter vs Burts Bees

What is the price of sustainability?

Our new series will explore cost differences between zero waste, small-batch, plant-based and plastic-free products vs some of their "big brand" counterparts. We are interested in why these products are perceived to be more expensive, and if they are, what is making them more expensive. 

The first product we're tackling:

No Tox Life Vegan Lip Butter

Our new paperboard tube lip butter packaging is roughly 5 times more expensive than the plastic tubes we used to use.
lip butter no tox life
Even though we order very large quantities of these paperboard tubes for our manufacturing, the price difference is not mitigated much. Paper costs more than plastic. 


Design and pricing:

As part of our new design and pricing, we had to figure out how to make it valuable for customers even though our paperboard packaging choice was 5 times more expensive. 

no tox life packaging

The formula:

Our formula is packed with organic ingredients and nourishing oils and butters. Our lip butter is buttery vs oily and has a matte finish, plus it tends to last longer on the lips. Check out the ingredients here. 

lip butter no tox life
The tube capacity:

We made the tube hold twice as much capacity as a "normal" lip balm. So for every two plastic tube lip balms you go through, you'll generally go through one of ours. 

No tox Life lip butter tube capacity

'But why is it so expensive?'

However, we still have people asking why the product is so expensive compared to a big brand plastic tube lip balm.

To break down the numbers for you, here is a comparison on pricing between our product and Burts Bees.

Comparisons will be using net weight, which is defined as the weight of the product excluding any packaging weight. So just the weight of what's inside the tube. Net weight is the standard measurement for cosmetic products in the US that are solid or semi-solid. 

No Tox Life lip butter vs Burts Bees lip balm (prices from 03/03/2022):

Burts Bees is pretty well known in the natural products world. They started off almost 40 years ago selling at small natural stores and are now sold in the biggest USA retailers including Walmart and Target. They were purchased by the Clorox company in 2008 for $913 million. 

no tox life vs burts bees
Burts Bees net weight: 0.15 oz / 4.25 grams

No Tox Life net weight: 0.3 oz / 8.5 grams (double the amount)

Burts Bees price per tube: $3.59

No Tox Life price per tube: $6.98

Burts Bees price per ounce: $23.93

No Tox Life price per ounce: $23.27 (roughly 2.75% cheaper)

no tox life vs burts bees


In this instance, the small-batch, vegan, and paperboard tube was the cheaper option per ounce. But overall it was not cheaper because it was double the product weight compared to the smaller plastic tube.

Buying the No Tox Life product is basically buying in bulk. It's cheaper overall to buy more, you just have to pay more up front when you do so.

What sustainable product do you want to see us tackle next on price? Let us know!

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1 comment

I bought my No tox life Lavender Earl Grey lip balm at a no-waste store in Bend,OR. I love the texture and the taste/smell so much! Also I have been careful not to lose it in the washer as it is cardboard and wouldn’t survive a wash like a plastic tube. Now that I know it’s twice the quantity of my Burt’s Bees lip balm I love it even more! No more Burt’s Bees for me.

Jennifer Brenner

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