Okay, this can be confusing! But we will do our best to explain what sustainability in the beauty industry can look like. A beauty product or brand may be considered sustainable by looking at all or one of the different aspects contributing to a product – whether it be the choice of ingredients in the formulation, the production process, packaging, shipping and distribution, as well as recycling options offered. Sustainable formulations and the sustainability of the production process should go some way to fit in with the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry.
What this means is a product containing both natural and synthetic ingredients may be regarded as sustainable if the production process fits in with green principles. Similarly, a product without natural or organic ingredients or eco-friendly packaging may be regarded as contributing to the sustainable movement if there is a recycling programme in place. E.g. if there is an incentive-based programme to return empty product packaging back to the brand. Also, if a brand contributes to charitable and green organisations and projects, this could also be seen as a sustainable business practice contributing to the sustainability mindset and movement.
However, similar to other industries, sustainable, natural beauty brands have in the past, received a bad reputation for compromising on quality or smell. But, do not underestimate consumer demand for eco-friendly products. Because of this demand, well known and favourite brands are creating and rethinking products as they are increasingly compelled to adopt sustainable business practices. Next time you are visiting a store stocking your favourite brand, why not ask the consultant if they have any sustainable products available?
Established beauty brands are also conscious of new sustainable beauty brands, arriving on the scene, keeping the industry as a whole on their toes! Once you’ve found a few brands you can trust to be eco-friendly, all you have to do is try out their products and pick your favourites!