Opening a fresh, cellophane-wrapped packaged moisturiser can feel good. But after the Russian doll effect, three layers of card down, is this really necessary? According to the Cosmetic Business report in 2019, the beauty industry singlehandedly produces 120 billion units of packaging each year. And if you’ve been anywhere near an internet connection, this likely isn’t the first staggering statistic that you’ve heard. 52% of UK consumers do not recycle bathroom products because it’s considered an inconvenience. We’re also left with the slight problem that good intentions are falling by the wayside due to tricky marketing. ‘Sustainable’ practices or products can be a little dubious, thanks to consciousness becoming a trend. But for this reason, at Lion/ne we want to highlight the eight brands that show us how to be sustainable with beauty without compromising on product.
ByBi is a beauty brand whose mission is to make sustainable skincare easy and accessible to everyone. They are huge advocates for making environmentally responsible beauty the norm. After all, their parents are the Clean Beauty Insiders, a pair of bloggers and podcast hosts. Bybi looks at sustainability from start to finish, which means sourcing ingredients that are renewable and ethical. One of the ways they do this is choosing resources ‘close to home’ in the UK and when they can’t find what they need, they make sure they aren’t transported by air to save on carbon emissions. As far as packaging goes, 70% of their products are packaged in glass. The company also prints directly on the bottle, so that labels don’t have to be removed (something we often forget about and probably why so few of us bother to recycle our beauty products!). The brand also favours sugarcane bioplastic, which is renewable, completely recyclable and carbon neutral. Their transparency highlights the lack of competitiveness. In a space where trade secrets are kept close in fear of copycats, fitting into the sustainable category is all about inviting people to follow suite. Bybi even has a section on their website on how to recycle individual products from their range.
Say hi to the first zero waste beauty brand. How do they do it? The simple answer, is by cutting out plastic. No surprise then, that their products such as deodorant, soaps and perhaps a little more adventurous – a self tanner (screaming emoji face) and an anti-dandruff shampoo (as well as regular) – all come as bricks. And these are potent. Their conditioner is meant to last you up to eight months! Ethique’s goal is to save the planet from 50 million plastic bottles entering the waste system, or worse the ocean, and while that sounds like quite an impossibility, they claim they’ve already saved 5 million thanks to their bars.
Find your ‘perfect bar’ and #giveupthebottle here.
The Body Shop
If you don’t remember pillaging The Body Shop for Christmas and birthday gifts as a teenager, you’ve missed out on some serious gift-giving lessons. This is one of the first stores, all the way back in 2010, to become PETA certified and campaign against animal testing. In 2019, they’re staying true to their beliefs and taking it one step further. The beloved bath and body care brand offers in-store recycling and have set up a scheme to buy plastic collected by waste pickers, which is then recycled into packaging. Their Enrich Not Exploit ™ Commitment is a series of annual reports to promote transparency around the work they’re doing, take a look here.
This brand, unbeknownst to some as a baby in the Unilever family, has its eyes set on being zero waste by 2021. It’s leading the way in answering consumers’ questions on how to be sustainable with beauty as it is a driving force for its parent company’s eco-drive. Aside from pumping out gorgeous products like the Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium Anti-Fatigue Body Wash (£22) and the Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30 (£30), they’re starting to use Ocean Waste Plastic (OWP). Their products also hold the vegan and and cruelty-free labels which means that not only are they free from animal testing but their suppliers and ingredients are too.
Neal’s Yard Remedies
Ok, where do we start. It seems that this London favourite, Neal’s Yard is making strides in every department: offsetting carbon emissions and never having tested on animals to being the world’s first CarbonNeutral® high street retailer. Oh, and that was like, ten years ago before the word ‘sustainable’ was used in every sentence. Now they’re partnering with TerraCycle® to reach their goal of being 100% recyclable, compostable, or reusable by 2025. Their Mother’s Balm (£20) contains no irritable essential oils (quite a feat for an all-natural brand!), it’s AllergyCertified and completely organic.
This global beauty brand has a place on this list for their ambitious goals to do better for our planet. They aim to increase their sustainably sourced raw material to 50% by next year. The brand is also encouraging shoppers to recycle their empties through partnering with TerraCycle® , which probably does appeal to the majority of us looking to companies to make eco-friendliness a little simpler. The ‘Recycle and Be Rewarded’ programme eventually earns you a travel-sized product. We’re not going to lie, this doesn’t sound very sexy. However, a 60% reduction in carbon output, water and waste consumption for their US factory, by 2020 might be. Plus, we know you’ll get through that gorgeous body cream ASAP.
This beautiful brand is not just about that fancy, geometric packaging and luscious locks. We recently attended an event hosted by the man himself. He is making strides to move his industry towards sustainable packaging solutions. Kevin Murphy is now using Ocean Waste Plastic (OWP) and it’s the first beauty or haircare brand to offer products that are 100% packaged in this material. They are creating a circular supply chain and will relieve the oceans of 360 tons of plastic each year. If you follow their math, this equates 14.6 million water bottles! Arguably the most genuine and best part of this process is that the brand has made this accessible to others, in the hopes of creating a larger shift and positively impacting our planet. Gen Z skincare brand Kinship has already started walking in Murphy’s footsteps. Find out more about the initiative here.
Known for those divine hair masks and the most adorable packaging, this luxe Italian brand has multiple sustainable initiatives since 2005. It comes from the holistic view that if you’re looking after your environment, you’re also taking care of yourself. Firstly, they’re aiming to offset CO2 emissions through zero-impact products and using renewable energy in the manufacturing process. Secondly, they’ve partnered with Green Circle Salons which repurpose plastic waste and take efforts to minimise toxic chemicals from entering the water system. Discover the brand here.
Words by @lionne.london, images by @alisejane_photography
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