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The Goods: Muddying the waters

25 August, 2023

Recent estimates suggest that the earth’s topsoil could be irreversibly eroded within the next 60 years. This highlights one of the many ways in which modern society has become increasingly unsustainable. Finally, brands are starting to wake up to this, and shifting their focus to a more ‘regenerative’ philosophy. The potential health impacts of this shift are remarkable, for the planet, and for us.

Many of these brands define ‘regenerative’ as a more nature-positive action that actively improves the soils we have polluted. This may be through the use of organic fertilisers and pesticides, while other more scientific methods, such as those used by fragrance brand Guerlain have seen dedicated laboratory gardens created to explore regenerative agriculture techniques. Clearly, improving soil health is becoming an action milestone for many companies.

The effects of soil on human physical and mental health is also beginning to come to light. And that leads us on to this week’s featured Goods. One brand that is diving into this muddy miracle is Bog Skincare, a cosmetic brand inspired by the incredibly well preserved 2000-year-old bog body found in an Irish peatland. The brand’s skincare products, based off the chemical composition of organic peat have been independently verified to have 300 times more anti-aging antioxidants than Trolox, the industry-standard antioxidant. Further, naturally occurring acids in peat, such as humic and fulvic acids, have been shown to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and generally lead to healthier skin.

As the relationship between human and humus becomes ever more apparent, the capacity for healthier lifestyles that also benefit our environment becomes ever greater. Whether it’s the potential for soil bacteria to alleviate depression or PTSD, or the rumoured electro-therapeutic nature of soil, the science all points to a huge range of ecosystem services that soil and its properties can have on us, and ways in which we all can give back. Mud may not be a shiny innovation, but the way we think about it is. Let’s get stuck in.

By Isaac Lockwood

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