Newsletter | Special Edition: How stress turned clean

Hiya! Today’s issue is a pretty special because we got to chat with Lindsay Dahl, the Chief Impact Officer of B-Corp certified it-brand, Ritual. We talked about all things supplements, sustainability, and why those drugstore multi-vitamins may be doing more harm than good. Read on for a treat 😉

— Ioli Baltas, your wellness editor

Conscious World ✨

What Makes a “Good Supplement” with Ritual’s Chief Impact Advisor

With the release of their new Stress Relief Supplement, we sat down with fan-fave supplement brand Ritual’s Chief Impact Officer, Lindsay Dahl, to talk about the dos, donts, and musts on all things supplements.


What is the standard practice for supplements out on the market; why is traceability important to Ritual?


The supplement industry has exploded from just 4,000 products on the market in the early ‘90s (the last time Congress passed laws overseeing supplement safety) to 95,000 products today. With this growth, the number of products mislabeled, marketed with unsubstantiated health claims, and contaminated with contaminants like heavy metals, has also grown. 

When shopping for supplements, consumers want to know if their products are safe and if they work. Ritual’s traceability promise—knowing where your nutrients come from and why they are there—is Ritual’s core way of answering those safety and efficacy questions.  

We transparently share the decisions behind our products, where we source our ingredients from, our supplier names and why they are there. We share our third-party testing and certifications (our whole line recently became Clean Label Project certified), and prioritize clinical studies and scientific research to show they actually work. We also don’t shy away from discussing the complexities behind our decision-making and bringing our customers along in the journey. This is what has made Ritual one of the most trusted brands in the supplement category. 


What does “Clean” mean for Ritual formulas?


We don’t overly rely on “clean” as a marketing term, but it is a helpful term to signal to consumers that we go the extra mile to keep their safety top of mind including selecting ingredients carefully and conducting extensive third-party testing for contaminants like heavy metals and pesticides. 

At Ritual, all our ingredients are made traceable, showcasing the supplier, the ingredient source and final place of manufacturing so you know what you’re putting in your body and why. A good example of how traceability relates to “clean” is our protein powder, we source regenerative organic pea protein, which helps reduce the risk of heavy metal contamination, common in plant based protein powders. We go on to have third party certifications for this product, achieving the Clean Label Project Purity Award (meaning it tests in the top third of products with the certification), and we take transparency a step further by publishing the latest heavy metal test results for this product on our Certificate of Traceability.


What is something you wish everyone knew about the standard drugstore supplements they’re taking?


The easiest way to ensure you are purchasing high-quality supplements is to prioritize brands that are third-party testing and leverage clinically studied ingredients and/or human clinical studies on the whole product (not an industry standard). Having third-party testing and certifications means you don’t just have to take a company or manufacturer’s word for the efficacy of their products – you have a third-party who’s verifying the formulas and ingredients. Look for certifications like USP Verification and Clean Label Project. 

We also recommend that people zoom in when they see “clinically studied.” When people see “clinically studied” they often interpret it to mean the whole formula has been clinically studied, which can be misleading. Whole product clinical trials are important to show that the finished formula you consume is having the desired nutritional benefits in the body, but they can be rare in the industry. Many companies use ingredients that have been clinically studied, but at different doses or in different forms than the actual studies. At Ritual, we’re committed to having clinical studies on every Ritual product by 2030. 

It’s also common practice (and now consumer expectation) to see a long list of nutrients packed into the traditional multivitamin. As it turns out, more is not always better. Overdosing on one nutrient may impact the intake or absorption of another. Ritual completed a comprehensive review of the scientific literature to understand what nutrient gaps existed from the average diet and designed our products to help fill common nutrient gaps.


Ritual just launched their Stress Relief supplement, what can you tell us about the sourcing of their new BioSeries technology?


Creating effective products goes beyond just selecting science-backed ingredients, but actually thinking about how those ingredients work once they are inside the body. This is where our innovative approach to dose delivery comes into play. Our BioSeries technology first debuted with our sleep supplement, Sleep BioSeries Melatonin, and we’ve used the technology again with our newest supplement, Stress Relief. 

BioSeries is our breakthrough innovative three-in-one tablet in capsule technology which is designed to optimize our formula delivery through customized release profiles. In the case of Stress Relief, the BioSeries technology combines instant and extended release for all day support, and is designed to dissolve with the body’s normal cortisol release in mind.*

Stress Relief includes three different clinically-studied ingredients: Shoden® Ashwagandha, Suntheanine® L-theanine, and Saffron as affron®. Suntheanine® L-theanine provides quick stress relief within the hour and a non-drowsy sense of calm. Shoden® Ashwagandha is clinically-studied to help reduce stress and Saffron as affron® is shown to support a positive mood.*


How is Ritual sustainable? Are there difficulties in being a sustainable supplement in the supplement space?


We’ve continued to invest in building an industry-leading sustainability program, applying the same level of scientific rigor as we do to the efficacy of our formulas. We’ve built key programs including sustainable packaging, ingredient traceability, climate action, human rights and advocacy. We were the first supplement company (and still only) to disclose the carbon footprint of each of our products, a signal to consumers that we are not just setting climate goals, we are actually measuring, sharing and reducing the carbon impacts of our products.  We are on track to hit our goal to have sustainable packaging by 2025 (defined as packaging that is recyclable, recycled content or refillable).  And we are steadfast to maintain our goal to have 100% of our ingredients made traceable on our website, showing the supplier name and final place of manufacturing. 

We encourage all the sustainability nerds out there to take a deep dive into our annual Impact Report!