Modern consumers can easily identify what products are worth their money. Millennials are considered one of the most powerful consumers in this generation. According to a report from Accenture, millennials in the United States alone spend around $600 million annually. Around 75% of millennials also shop with the environment in mind. Green consumers, as some may call them, needless to say, are driving more into a sustainable lifestyle.
The “clean beauty” trend is one of the most recent and necessary movements in the beauty industry. There are plenty of sustainable, vegan, and environment-friendly beauty options that have risen in the beauty market in the past few years. More and more companies have dedicated specialized teams in formulating and planning for better and greener products that they are yet to produce and sell.
While some beauty companies are working on different ways to reduce their environmental impact, plenty of them still fail due to the following reasons: They focus on what is inside the bottle but not the bottle itself. Conventionally, products for beauty and hygiene are often made with harsh chemicals that may actually do more harm when washed away from our sinks. These chemicals are released into the environment and may cause severe damage to nature.
The harsh components of the product may lead to marine life endangerment including changes in behavior and death of small animals and plants. They may even decrease the quality of different water systems such as rivers and lakes that are also necessary for our survival. This is why both old and new beauty companies have taken the step into researching natural ingredients as alternatives in making their products.
Manufacturing products in a sustainable and human way while using vegan, organic, or all-natural ingredients can also be expensive and difficult to manage. However, it is a call that should be answered to help eliminate some of the problems the beauty industry contributes to the environment.
Although more and more companies take the environmental impact of their product seriously and are dedicated to finding ways to lessen it, they fail to see the bigger problem.
They fail to acknowledge the damages unnecessary packaging does to the environment. The beauty industry is often considered a big polluter. One research in 2015 showed that the industry contributed 146 million tonnes of plastic from product packaging each year. Most commercially sold cosmetic items use single-use or plastic packaging. Some of these are excessive and only used for aesthetic reasons.
Landfills, as well as oceans and other water systems, are cluttered with used packaging that is not only a waste of space but also a waste of resources in producing them. Due to the idea that beauty products need to be ‘pleasing to the eyes’, other organisms and parts of the environment are suffering. Removing toxic and harsh components in beauty products is a good step, but what else should be done? What can you do?
It’s easy to find ways to help the environment while taking care of yourself at the same time. Here are three best practices into kickstarting your sustainable beauty switch:
1. Shop Package-Free Products
Plastic packaging such as bottles, sachets, pouches, and boxes, when not discarded properly contributes a lot to the myriad of problems related to the environment. These materials do not easily breakdown and can last for hundreds of years. When you switch to using package-free products, you also help the environment by reducing the number of wastes.
Zero-waste skincare products are perfect if you are starting a minimalist and zero-waste lifestyle. There are plenty of products available in the market which has impressive properties. Due to the clean beauty trend rocketing in recent years, companies have also taken the step towards creating products that require minimal to no packaging. Shampoo and conditioner bars, soap bars, toothpaste bites, even lotion bars are some of the products that require little to no packaging. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but they are also extremely eco-friendly.
Ethique Face Bar
Best For | Normal to Dry Skin
Brand Ethics | Vegan, Cruelty-free, Plastic-free
Packaging | Paper
Price Range | $17
2. Look for Products That Come in Glass or Aluminum
The next best option is to find products that come in glass or aluminum packaging. Aluminum packaging is recyclable while glass packaging can be used as long as it is intact. This is a good alternative to buying package-free products especially when they are in liquid form.
3. Find Refillable Products
Some beauty brands have gone beyond others by offering refills that are less expensive and more sustainable than buying the same product again in new packaging. Picking up on this clean trend and being assured that even a small change such as this can improve the condition of the planet is fulfilling. Several beauty companies are already reducing their environmental footprint and helping restore nature in its best form.
Price Range | $15- $30
Price Range | $16- $42
Elate Cosmetics is a certified vegan, sustainable, cruelty-free, low-waste, ethical brand that commits to taking care of the environment while providing the best and safest beauty products. They have a line of impressive makeup for the eyes, face, and lips. They also initiated a refill program for some of their products. According to their website, they don’t issue additional boxes nor packaging, instead, their refills come in seed paper envelopes that can then be planted in your garden to sprout wildflowers. Talk about cute and creative.
Price Range | $26- $225
Luxury brands like Kjaer Weis also play a vital role in preserving our planet. They initiated a refill program of their own. They offer refills on foundations, mascara, lip pencils, lipsticks, and much more! Kjaer Weis believes that the packaging should reflect the beauty of their products, hence they created sustainable yet beautiful packaging for their refills.