Cosmetics have been and always will be an essential part of human society, but human consumption is far exceeding the rate of replenishment of the planet’s natural resources. As a result, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the health dangers posed by synthetic cosmetics and personal care products, and their disastrous effects on the environment and individuals. Therefore, the world has turned its attention to sustainable manufacturing and natural ingredients in cosmetics.
Sustainable cosmetics refer to products that are made from renewable resources and sustainable manufacturing practices. Compared to Organic and Natural products, Sustainable products are even more desirable and environment-friendly.
Not only that, but products that are only Organic or Natural are limited to a narrow group of ingredients used in their formulations and create the risk of depleting non-renewable natural resources. Sustainable cosmetics, on the other hand, can make use of an array of natural products and green practises that contribute to their goal of lowering the environmental impact of the cosmetic industry on the planet.
These green practises and eco-conscious ingredients can be utilized and implemented from ethical, raw-material sourcing, to the process of production, throughout packaging, up until shipping and even to recycling afterwards.
Well-known beauty companies that have made some exceptional advances in the sustainability of the beauty industry are L’Oreal, Garnier, Estée Lauder, and Clarins.
These corporations are working towards long-term environmental sustainability. Their strategies include powering their companies with 100% renewable energy that are generated from natural resources, such as sunlight, wind, rain and geothermal heat which is naturally replenished. Some of them even make use of 100% renewable or recycled materials for all their products and packaging, which means that zero consumer and manufacturing waste that go to landfills, all while conserving resources and reducing greenhouse gas emission with their environmentally-friendly formulas.
All these efforts have hugely minimized these companies’ carbon footprints and are completely vegetarian-friendly, by removing synthetic chemicals from their products and not testing any cosmetics on animals.
The sustainability of the cosmetics industry is not ONLY dependant on the companies who produce these products but also the consumers who buy and consume the goods. L'Oréal and Garnier have teamed up with TerraCycle to create the free Beauty Products Recycling Program where you can collect your used cosmetics products and packaging, and ship them to Terracycle to recycle, completely free of charge to the consumer.
There are many 'green' lessons to learn from an industry that was once associated with ‘vanity products’. This is just the beginning. With education and responsible purchasing practises, consumers have the power to stop pollution caused by cosmetic chemicals and benefit from totally green beauty cabinets.
Post / Michelle van Zyl
Images // Trendhunter