Sustainability is a hot topic, and while we take issue with the movement being called a trend — taking action should be life, not just the coming fashion season — we’re pleased to see the space continuing to grow. One area that’s in particular need of greening up is the cosmetics industry.
Take a 2019 survey that found 50 percent of Brits don’t recycle bathroom waste such as shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel bottles. To put this in perspective 90 percent of us recycle kitchen waste. The result is 2.7 billion plastic bottles hitting landfills every year, and while responsibility in this regard lies somewhat with the individual, it helps to have a helping hand.
That’s where these eight sustainable skincare brands come in handy. Not only are they leading the way in the recycling department, but also in the upholding of ethical standards, an ever-present issue in an industry historically linked with animal cruelty. If you’re looking to greenify your bathroom cabinet then look no further.
8 Of The Best Sustainable Skincare Brands
Based in the market town of Faversham in Kent, Floragy is a skincare brand focused on leaving as little environmental impact as possible.
All of its products use recyclable glass with aluminium lids and where possible use Miron glass, which protects the oils inside from light and heat, so there’s no need for an outer box. The brand has also partnered with the charity One Tree Planted, and have committed to planting at least 10 trees every month in various places around the world.
Already one of the leading lights in the sustainable skincare industry, Ren Skincare levelled up its already susbstantial eco cred in 2019 by partnering with innovative recycling company Terracycle.
The result is bottles which use 100 percent recycled ocean plastic, an initiative which has removed 1.5 tonnes of plastic from the ocean, along with the use of Infinity Recycling technology which fully regenerates plastic waste making it identical to virgin.
Whether it’s with their wonderfully scented skincare products or their calming candles, Neom Organics is pushing the sustainability agenda with everything it does. All of its packaging is made with a minimum of 40 percent recycled cardboard, while its online shipping boxes use 100 percent recyclable cardboard, shred and paper tape. The brand hopes that these sustainable changes will save eight tonnes of waste, as it strives to become carbon neutral and zero waste by 2025.
The Body Shop
A stalwart of the British high street, The Body Shop, has been sustainable since its very beginnings in 1976. Currently, more than 68 percent of its packaging can be recycled, a number it is hoping to get up to 100 percent by 2025, while its PET plastic product packaging contains on average 25 percent recycled material, with the aim of increasing this to 75 percent by 2022.
The B Corp brand also runs a Return.Recycle.Repeat scheme which lets customers return all their empty tubs, tubes, jars and pots in store for them to be recycled and repurposes.
Born in 2018, Wake is a brand tailored to conscientious millennials, and so it makes sense for sustainability to be a key part of the company.
All of Wake’s products come in 100 percent recyclable plastic-free materials then, while all their boxes are created from recycled cardboard, which can be recycled again (this includes the postage boxes too). The only thing you have to worry about then is actually making use of your recycling bin.
Another B Corp on a mission, Aesop has set itself an admirable target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, as well as being completely reusable, recyclable, and compostable packaging by 2025.
It’s managing these goals through a bevy of small changes, including expanding its range of products offered with a screw-cap in place of a plastic pump, equalling out to a 12 gram reduction in plastic per unit. Every little counts after all.
Microplastics are a real problem in the skincare industry, used in many products to add exfoliating properties. When washed down your sink and into waterways, these microplastics can be accidentally consumed by marine life which are unable to digest it.
Thankfully, Beauty Kitchen makes sure there are no microplastics in any of its natural products along with donating two percent of every sale to one of its sustainable charity partners.
If you’re after stamps of approval look no further than London skincare brand MuLondon which can count a relative bounty of certifications to its name. There’s its B Corp status for starters, but also certifications for being organic by The Soil Association, cruelty-free from The Leaping Bunny, and registered vegan through The Vegan Society.
All of these signal a brand with social impact on its mind, and there is eco-cred here too with the brand partnering with the environmental charity 1% For The Planet, an international organization whose members contribute at least one percent of their annual sales to environmental causes.