in the workshop

phthalates and cancer causing ingredients

if you are a long time D+L shopper, you might have noticed all the changes we’ve made to our line over the years. while we have high standards for all duross & langel products, you may not know that for years we have struggled to find fragrances in our industry that do not contain ingredients known as phthalates. phthalates are endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in the environment (air, soil, or water supply), food sources, personal care products, and manufactured products that interfere with the normal function of your body's endocrine system. phthalates are used in many mass manufactured products to make the scent last longer on the skin. so when people tell us they wished our scents were "stronger" or tell us that our scents don't "last" on the skin, it is because we don't use phthalates in our products. we believe that these substances should be banned world-wide and since 2008, when we began reformulating our products to be sulfate-free and paraben-free, we also banned phthalates in all our fragrances. we have also excluded any materials with similar health concerns, including those on the E.U.’s ban list, and materials that are known carcinogens.

historically the cosmetics industry has never been transparent about safety. a lack of disclosure from fragrance manufacturers regarding ingredients and possible health risks was the norm. almost a decade ago, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, better known as OSHA, adopted and began enforcing labeling requirements from the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). this set of GHS requirements requires the disclosure of potential hazards of a substance in a commercial facility, and for purposes related to shipping. while not designed for fragrance or skincare safety specifically, it was an opportunity for small manufacturers like us to demand more information about the materials in our fragrances and other ingredients that might be considered questionable.

the information we obtained about these materials, the effects they have on human health, was the catalyst for broadening our perspective as to how we operate as company. both in the workshop and in the store. given our massive exposure to the materials we use during the production phase, please know that there are four material groups we do not allow in our products

  • carcinogens – materials known to cause cancer

  • mutagens – materials that change the DNA of a cell and cause disease

  • reproductive toxins – toxins that adversely affect reproductive organs and increase risk of birth defects

  • organ toxins - toxins that can cause adverse effects or disease

as we continue to observe, identify and investigate ingredients, we will continue to safely improve what we create. we are always open to discussing any concerns you might have, and will offer sources of empirical data to help you in making the best choices for you and your family.

because sarah and i skew toward unscented and essential oil products, we offer all duross & langel products NAKED (unscented). our "essentials" line uses only pure, non-chemical, unadulterated essential oils to scent the products, and we offer a wide range of custom scented products for anyone who wishes to choose their favorite essential oils to custom scent our products.

steve

Epilogue

change is inevitable. growth is optional.

It's my job to write this epilogue, and as jobs go, it's fairly easy. No sadness. No bitter sweet. Perhaps the easiest thing I'll do all summer. As I type Sarah is busy making candles, while also choosing paint swatches and trying to coordinate the carpenters to hang the door of 240 S 11th, Alli is labeling and helping customers, and I've just returned from handing the agent our official notice to vacate 117 S 13th Street after the holidays. We neither take with us nor leave behind any regrets.

When we moved here fifteen years ago, 13th Street was full of promise for retailers, and for many of those years it did not disappoint. Our space on the street gave us foot traffic, a buzzy neighborhood, and the kind of visibility that serves a business very well. While here we've been graced with multiple best of philly awards, a retailer of the year honor, and loads of love from so many magazines, papers and television programs that we've grown a solid base of regular customers both in store and online. On various occasions we spread our wings, attempted new endeavors and saw what there was to see. At the end of the day, the real joy for us has been the core business. The workshop and the store. Our tenure on 13th Street has offered us an opportunity to succeed at the brief. Live lives we love while creating quality, effective natural bath, body and skincare products.

though we try hard not to stray from the path, sometimes the path strays from us.

Our commitment to Philadelphia stays constant. We do not waiver. Center City is our home. While many might be feeling a lack of leadership, fresh ideas and solutions to the problems that seem to double by the week, packing up and running away solves nothing. It actually makes the problem worse. We hear daily from locals, suburbanites and out-of-towners how unsettling the city feels to them. At times we feel it too, and while there may be no easy fix to our problems, it does nothing to dim our resolve. Anyone who has been around here long enough knows that Philadelphia has it's own particular ebb and flow. We do however have a duty to our customers to give them a pleasant, safe and convenient experience when coming to see us. Easy access to a parking spot where you can run in and pick up your favorites is also a requirement. Our vision for the next seven good years allows us to better connect you to the hands-on experience of how things are made, and it allows us to recreate a more tactile shopping experience.

For now we look forward to these last few months on 13th Street as we build out the new spaces, and to welcoming you into our new store and workshop over on 11th Street come January 2023.

Steve

244 - 204 S 11th Street  -  workshop entry left - store entry right

you'll be able to see things being made in the workshop daily, and we will be welcoming you into the workshop space for classes, podcasts and special events throughout the year

 

sustaining our small business in the emerging economy

fact: almost everything cost more these days. as the costs continue to rise, we all feel the squeeze. at duross & langel we are choosing to view both our long and short term future through the lens of sustainability. 

noun: sustainability

  1. the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level. "the sustainability of economic growth"

  2. avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.

while most of our raw materials and packaging, as well as delivery cost continue to rise, we are currently holding the line on retail pricing. why? simple. no one knows how much longer costs will continue to rise, and any knee jerk reaction of raising prices based on the assumption that we deserve to maintain our current profit margin is hubris. sometimes the best way to thrive in an inflationary market is to find a way to cut overhead. if eventually we are forced to raise our prices, it should be measured. sustainably. for now we hold the line.

speaking of cutting overhead.. almost two years ago we announced we would be leaving 13th street the beginning of 2023, looking for a location where we can tuck into a quiet, pretty street in a pleasant neighborhood. the process can be both exhilarating and anxiety producing yet we find the experience worthy of the effort. after all, we are creating the framework for the next ten to twenty years of our lives. our intention is to stay within easy walking distance of 13th street for your convenience.

on a more personal note: my 60th birthday is fast approaching. i've always imagined i would hand make duross & langel until i physically could not. why "retire" when i love coming into the workshop? sure, i love reading and doing nothing, traveling, lying on a beach or spending an afternoon binging netflix, but our team, our brand, offers me a unique purpose. i love the activity, the comaraderie, affection, personal fulfillment and the joy it conveys. please know how much we are all so very grateful for your support, and for the opportunities that your support affords our lives.

Steve