Can Beauty be sustainable?
Most of us have heard of the term 'sustainable', but what does that actually mean?
In the Dictionary 'sustainable' is defined as being 'able to be maintained at a certain rate or level'. For beauty, sustainability means working with the environment, not against it, whilst ensuring a future for all of us. It is imperative that brands are sustainable from seed to bottle, and that means responsibly sourcing raw materials and ingredients, packaging, labels and inks that do not dwindle or damage natural resources as well as negatively impact any communities where ingredients are grown.
So why is sustainable beauty so important?
The beauty and personal care industry are saturated with brands making claims about how they take measures to care for the planet. However, with consumers now demanding transparency, many brands have been caught out when making sustainability claims. ‘Green washing’ is where brands claim they are ‘green’ AKA sustainable, but perhaps inadvertently revealed a clink in the supply chain showing that the products or packaging were not as sustainable as originally claimed, or where growers did not receive adequate pay, or had to work in poor conditions to produce the goods, whilst seemingly saving the brand money behind the scenes. Luckily, I believe these unethical practises are coming to an end now as we are all much more aware of our impact on the planet as well as whether brands meet our values or not. I believe any beauty brands who do not embody sustainability will struggle to survive in the future.
In fact, in a study conducted by Accenture in 2019 confirmed that 50% of consumers said they would pay more for a sustainable product, so awareness is growing. Whilst sustainable products tend to have a higher price point than traditional products, due to having to scrutinise each step of the production process in order to truly claim 'sustainable', if every consumer demanded sustainability and only supported those brands who truly embody this it would force the Industry as a whole to make important changes and stop cutting corners which would, ultimately reduce the cost and create fairer practises for everyone globally.
None of us are perfect however we can make simple changes every day. Some of the ways I try to live more sustainably are:
Sourcing beauty brands who are vegan to ensure no animal is harmed along the way.
Only using reusable or refillable packaging to cut waste and prevent microplastics which affect our health as well as the oceans.
Using reusable shopping bags, make-up remover pads and ear tips, toothbrushes, sanitary pads and ditching the plastic.
Sourcing brands who promote 'waterless' (link to first newsletter here) when they formulate in order to protect water resources and offset carbon emmissions.
Supporting brands who work with and empower communities in need.
Buying less food to reduce my food waste.
Avoid fast-fashion brands-whilst they are cheap, often poorer communities globally bear that cost.
Walk, cycle when I can instead of using polluting cars.
Consume less, repair things, grow plants, trees, fruit and vegetables.
Trade skills with friends and help my local community!
We would love to hear about some of the ways you live sustainably, or if you have any questions, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
About Jo Givens
Jo is a trained Facialist, Make-up Artist, Skincare and Trend Analyst, Massage Therapist, Health and Wellness Coach, Treatment Designer, Beauty Expert and Public Speaker with three decades of global experience across the Spa, Cosmetics and Wellness Industries. She has trained hundreds of five-star Facialists and advised top global cosmetic brands, as well as presenting and demonstrating her facials on QVC Beauty and How to Look Good Naked. Her skincare tips have been featured in Elle and Vogue UK. She has previously worked for brands such as Liz Earle, Carol Joy London, Barefoot Botanicals and Face Gym.