UK-based startup Shellworks markets Vivomer and Shellmer, two packaging materials sourced from bio-based ingredients. The supplier's catalog also includes sealant, dyes and stock products made of its materials.
Vivomer is a material made by British company Shellworks using plant-based ingredients, microbes, and fermentation. Small objects made from this material - packaging primarily destined to the cosmetics industry - take about a year to break down, while larger items are said to break down within five years.
For the production of thinner, less compact materials, Shellworks has developed Shellmer using extracts from shellfish waste, notably chitin-rich lobster shells which the supplier says are suited to making natural, biodegradable materials.
Careful not to reveal its manufacturing process, the company says that it harnesses the power of micro-organisms present in marine and soil environments. At the end of the packaging’s useful life, the same organisms see the material as a food source and consume it, eliminating all trace of micro-waste as they do so.
Shellworks' stock portfolio also offers finished products: a “home compostable” dropper pack for oil formulations, a skincare jar with spatula (available in 30, 50 and 100ml formats) and a bottle with screw-on cap (120, 200ml).
The supplier’s portfolio also includes natural seals conceived for its catalog products as well as natural dyes.
Founded by former Apple executive Insiya Jafferjee, Shellworks received a capital infusion of €6.2m in 2022. The company’s aims to prove that it is possible to entirely eliminate petroleum-based components from packaging, including for sensitive products like cosmetics. Shellworks is already working with brands like Bybi, Liha, and Sana Jardin.