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Gilchrist & Soames: Sustainable Dispenser Solutions with Luxury in Mind

By Michele de Bourbon, General Manager/SVP for Gilchrist & Soames
12 March 2024
7 min read
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The hospitality industry is becoming increasingly aware of its impact on the environment, and luxury hotels are no exception. Sustainability is now a key focus for most hotels and resorts looking to create a memorable guest experience while minimizing their carbon footprint. This includes using eco-friendly products and services that promote energy and water conservation, waste reduction, and responsible sourcing. By adopting these practices, hotels contribute to a more sustainable future and enhance their reputation as responsible businesses.

For nearly half a century, Gilchrist & Soames has been crafting personal care items for some of the world’s most prestigious hotels. We pride ourselves on our unwavering commitment to sustainability, which is evident in our efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle at every opportunity. With a dedicated focus on minimizing plastic waste, we are steadfast in our goal to reduce the environmental impact of our products. We are actively working towards reducing plastic usage in all aspects of our operations.

We have provided dispenser solutions for 18 years and have consistently evolved with the market by analyzing customer feedback and adapting our methods accordingly. We understand the importance of staying competitive and relevant in the industry, and we are proud to have positioned ourselves as an industry leader in sustainability.

With the increasing demand for dispenser solutions due to state legislation eliminating single-use plastic bottles, Gilchrist & Soames is well-positioned to support our customers’ sustainability initiatives. We offer a wide range of environmentally friendly and easy-to-use dispenser solutions made from high-quality materials that are durable and long-lasting. Our team of experts is always ready to advise and guide our hotel partners on the best dispenser solutions.

For example, our Mini Bracket dispenser system is highly sought-after among hoteliers due to its patented design and elegant sophistication. The system comprises retail-style bottles, which come in various exquisite designs and are housed in individual brackets made of either aluminum or ABS plastic. These brackets are discreet yet sturdy and provide a stylish and practical solution for dispensing amenities in hotel bathrooms. 

Dispenser solutions are a great alternative to single-use amenities. They can provide a property with significant savings of up to 77% of plastic on average (compared to 30ml bottles and based on 100 rooms with an occupancy rate of 70% per room per month). This means fewer plastic bottles and containers will end up in landfills or oceans. 

Beyond reducing plastic waste, properties can implement dispenser solutions to provide cost-effective, eco-friendly, and efficient waste-reducing options. 

Reducing Product Waste

Dispensers allow guests to dispense the precise amount of product they need, thereby reducing liquid waste. The fill level of the dispensers is easily monitored, and products are only replenished when they are empty, resulting in minimal waste. 

Lower Carbon Emissions

Properties can reduce the frequency of deliveries and lower the number of trucks on the road, ultimately leading to lower emissions. Additionally, dispenser solutions require fewer resources to produce, positively impacting greenhouse gas emissions and the environment.

Water Conservation

Dispenser solutions help conserve water by minimizing the manufacturing process time and reducing water usage during production. This has a significant impact on water conservation efforts and is an excellent way for businesses to reduce their environmental footprint.

Product Integrity and Guest Safety

One of our top priorities is to ensure that our dispenser solutions not only provide the intended benefits but also protect the integrity of the product. In particular, we are mindful of any potential risks of tampering that could occur. Therefore, our dispensers are designed to be tamper-resistant so that nothing can be modified or altered in any way that could compromise the product’s quality or safety. This means that our customers can have confidence in the durability and reliability of our products, knowing that they have been designed with the highest standards of quality and safety in mind. 

In fiscal year 2023, we reported a reduction of more than 168 million single-use bottles, translating into nearly 2.1 million pounds of plastic saved. By transitioning customers into large bottle formats, including dispenser solutions, gallon options, hand wash pouches, and bag-in-a-box, Gilchrist & Soames has significantly reduced plastic waste. To put this into perspective, this is equivalent to the plastic needed to create 33.6 million 16.9-ounce water bottles. If these water bottles were connected end-to-end, they would span a distance of 4,246 miles (6,833Km), which is the approximate distance from Plainfield, Indiana to Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA or Toronto, Canada to Bologna, Italy.

We take great pride in our ability to craft truly exceptional and immersive luxury experiences. We believe true luxury goes beyond just physical possessions; it’s a sensory and emotional experience that can be achieved through meticulous attention to detail, innovative and creative design, and carefully crafted formulations. In the luxury sector, we understand that every aspect of the guest’s experience is crucial, and we leave no stone unturned in our quest to provide unparalleled service levels. We also recognize that amenities play a significant role in enhancing the customer experience, and we make it our priority to provide our customers with the finest personal care amenities available.

Our portfolio comprises a selection of owned brands and influential retail brand partners of varying scope and scale to complement a variety of hotels, including Aromatherapy Associates, Acca Kappa, and Lockwood New York, that cater to the luxury space.

Aromatherapy Associates is a world-renowned brand that shares the therapeutic powers of essential oils and their positive effects on physical and emotional well-being. Founded by therapists Geraldine Howard and Sue Beechey over 30 years ago, the brand has won the World’s Best Aromatherapy Brand by the World Spa Awards five times. Made from 100% essential oils, the fragrance opens with an accord of delicate, sweet lavender, followed by a heart of herbal lavandin and beautifully fragrant ho wood with exotic rich ylang ylang to close. Products include Leaping Bunny Certified formulations, RSPO-certified soap, and 30% post-consumer recycled plastic packaging.

Acca Kappa, another brand in our portfolio, was founded by the Krull family and was born of Italian taste, culture, and elegance. Their professional hairbrushes, hair care products, fragrances, and body care collections are inspired by the flowers and plants found in Italian gardens. White Moss, their signature fragrance, interprets the precious essential oils of Lavender and Juniper, invigorated by base notes of Musk and Amber. An exceptional olfactory harmony exalts the freshness of the Italian spring, where nature is narrated through sensuality and poetry.

Lockwood New York started as a personal passion project by Carina Liebeknecht, who suffered from sensitive skin all her life and learned to take care of it from an early age. Retail products are made on Lockwood Farm, located in the beautiful Hudson Valley. Their clean formula with natural fragrance oil utilizes a blend of herbal rosemary and spearmint, floral geranium, and a heart of pine and citrus to create a refreshing scent with a woody base. 

All of these brands are available in our Mini Bracket dispenser system. We believe that by helping our customers achieve their sustainability goals and providing incomparable guest experiences, we are making a positive impact on the environment and creating a better future for everyone. Step by step, it all adds up to a green today and an even greener tomorrow.

About the Author

Michele de Bourbon is an accomplished professional with a remarkable track record spanning over two decades in the luxury fashion and beauty industries worldwide. She currently serves as the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Gilchrist & Soames, where she has significantly contributed to the brand’s success. Her impressive career trajectory has seen her hold pivotal roles at iconic fashion and beauty brands, including Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, Calvin Klein, and Estee Lauder. Michele’s extensive experience and well-rounded industry knowledge are a testament to her expertise and unyielding commitment to excellence.

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