Our founder, Jana, has had a lifelong love affair with the sea, growing up spending summers in the coastal town of Sorrento, Maine. The salty air and rocky coast is a powerful inspiration behind Captain Blankenship, and this fascination has always included seaweed, particularly the varieties that are common to Maine.
Seaweed brings us back to the primacy of the ocean. More than ever, people are aware of the amazing health benefits of eating seaweed - it's the superfood of the sea! It is an incredibly nutritious food, high in iodine, zinc, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. It is also incredibly beneficial to our skin and hair. Seaweed extracts help soothe skin and scalp and add shine, strength and help smooth frizz in hair. Some common seaweeds that are wonderful as both food and in beauty products are Atlantic wakame and nori, oarweed, bladderwrack and rockweed. Find this proprietary blends of seaweeds in our Cleanse Shampoo with Aloe and Seaweed, our Texture Sea Salt Hair Spray and Nourish Hair & Scalp Serum with Argan & Camellia.
How Seaweed Helps Climate Change
“While forests have long been considered the best natural defense in the battle against climate change, researchers have found that seaweed is in fact the most effective natural way of absorbing carbon emissions from the atmosphere. Unlike tree planting, seaweed does not require fresh water or fertilizers and grows at a much faster rate than trees, expanding by up to two feet a day. But seaweed’s biggest comparative advantage is that it does not compete for demands on land.”
Since our beginnings, Captain Blankenship has taken sourcing seriously, often sourcing main ingredients directly from farmers or collectives, like our Nilotica Shea Butter, sourced from a women’s collective in Uganda. Our goal is to choose ingredients that are sustainable and regenerative, provide a proper wage and living for the people who procure the ingredients and nourish the body and soul. Seaweed goes far beyond these goals in its ability to sequester carbon. The BBC reports that “Globally, seaweeds are thought to sequester nearly 200 million tonnes of CO2 every year.” That’s as much emissions as the entire state of New York produces annually.
The beauty industry has a long history of creating “fad” ingredients that are the next big thing, when in reality, the production and harvest of these rare ingredients devastates ecosystems and sometimes exploits workers. With our focus on the environment, the fact that producing MORE seaweed is actually helping to mitigate climate change makes the choice to use seaweed as widely as possible a no-brainer.
Regenerative Ocean Farming
While we use seaweed in our products, we also use our dollars to support the environment as a member of 1% for the Planet. One of the nonprofit partners we are proud to support is GreenWave, an incredible nonprofit with an innovative and holistic regenerative ocean farming model that grows food for local communities and helps fight climate change.
The nonprofit was created by Bren Smith who is credited with developing regenerative ocean farming also known as “3D ocean farming” on his Thimble Island Ocean Farm in the Long Island Sound. They have a polyculture farming systems, meaning instead of farming one monoculture they diversify their farming. They grow seaweed and shellfish together with a very small footprint.
“Regenerative ocean farming has been identified as a key solution to climate change. It has the power to sequester carbon on land and sea, reduce methane production in livestock, rebuild marine ecosystems, enrich soil, and address the global plastics problem.” We are so excited to be able to support GreenWave’s powerful mission to create and support regenerative ocean farming systems worldwide. We also hope to start sourcing Sugar Kelp from them in the future to use in our seaweed extracts.
Speaking of seaweed extracts, Captain Blankenship has recently sourced a variety of seaweeds directly from a farm in Maine, which is right near Jana’s home, to make into proprietary extracts. We are so happy to expand the use of seaweed in all of our existing and future products in exciting and innovative ways. Formulating with seaweed not only allows us to create products full of marine magic but also helps fight climate change in a real way.
“Seaweed can play a huge role in fighting climate change by absorbing carbon emissions, regenerating marine ecosystems, creating biofuel and renewable plastics as well as generating marine protein.”
Read more about our sustainability efforts here.