‘Plastic-free’ considered most essential factor when buying beauty products

According to a new survey, consumers are more concerned over whether or not beauty products are plastic-free than vegan, natural, or ethical. Here’s a list of Thred’s favourite conscious cosmetics brands and what they’re doing to reduce the industry’s environmental impact.

It’s well known that the booming $500 billion a year global personal care industry relies on plastic. And, despite the eco-movement that has since sprung up to combat this, beauty’s over-use of a material so detrimental to the world’s oceans has caused irreparable damage. However, with more and more consumers taking a stand when it comes to plastic wastage in our products, major cosmetics companies have begun to adapt, following in the footsteps of brands already focused on addressing the issue at hand.

These brands, acknowledging that 65% of the British beauty community report feeling concerned about whether or not plastic has infiltrated their skincare and makeup routines (Cosmetify), are at the forefront of the industry’s sustainability progress. From organic oils and sulphate free shampoos, to suncream in aluminium tins, and lipstick cases made from beach waste, here’s a list of the best plastic-free beauty brands on the market that have made it their mission to reduce pollution.

Oh, and if you’re worried about ditching those go-to products you’ve grown fond of and have been using for as long as you can remember, don’t be. ‘Nearly any product you love has a more eco-compatible dupe that you’ll equally love,’ says sustainability expert Ashlee Piper. ‘When you’re ready to get that replacement, enjoy the hunt: there’s a lot of adventure and fun to be had in researching, smelling, and sampling new products.’

Suntribe

With 10% of the world’s coral reefs threatened with bleaching from the chemicals found in sun cream, and 14,000 tonnes of the stuff ending up in the sea every single year, it’s pretty safe to say that SPF is a sustainability nightmare. Determined to save our oceans (and our skin) therefore, is Suntribe, a brand that’s come up with an alternative vessel for its SPFs, packaging them in recycled aluminium tins with recycled paper labels. Not only that, but its mineral-based SPF30 is 100% natural and organic, produced using beeswax, coconut oil, and non-nano zinc oxide as a UV ray filter so it’s reef-friendly too. Check it out here.

UpCircle

Launched in 2018, this London-based beauty brand wraps every single one of its face-and-body bar soaps in recyclable cardboard. Most revolutionary though, is its decision to completely eliminate the use of palm oil from its production process, an ingredient found in a large majority of soaps and cosmetics and one renowned for contributing to worldwide mass deforestation. Crafted from excess spices and coffee granules (a natural exfoliant), they’re also vegan and cruelty free — yet still amazing for your skin. Plus, if you thought you needed plastic to get that natural looking glow, think again, because organic cinnamon and ginger oil will do the trick while pink clay will help to reduce inflammation. Check it out here.

Lush

Lush opens packaging-free Naked shop in Manchester - and the staff ...

With one of the most extensive plastic-free offerings out there, Lush has long stressed its dedication to reducing waste. ‘While bathroom routines can be a minefield for single-use plastic packaging, there’s a whole host of ways to reduce your plastic footprint that don’t mean compromising on quality,’ states its website. Supplying everything from shampoo and conditioner bars to shower gel, moisturisers, deodorant, and soap paper, everything is vegan, made from natural ingredients and essential oils. The bars — equivalent to three 250g bottles that would normally last you up to around one hundred washes — are a game-changer and form part of the brand’s ‘Naked Packaging’ initiative promoting ‘pamper without the packaging.’ Additionally, for the non-zero-waste items, customers have the option to trade in five empty containers for a free product — a win-win in my opinion. Check it out here.

White Witch

If it’s a full-blown pamper session you’re after, White Witch is the Irish beauty brand well on its way to becoming the number one sustainable destination for all things relaxation. Its range of organic skin balms, cleansers, and moisturisers are all packaged in reusable glass jars with cork lids and to further reduce waste, customers can also choose to opt out of extra cardboard packaging at checkout. Using solely natural ingredients such as seaweed sourced from local coastlines, oats, and wildflowers, the Deep Cleanse face mask is designed to draw out impurities and remineralise the skin’s surface. Check it out here.

Axiology

Last but by no means least is my personal favourite, Axiology, an innovative cosmetics brand that has found the solution to used plastic lipstick tubes becoming landfill fodder due to taking over 450 years to biodegrade. Made with recycled aluminium (which can go on to be repurposed once again just like your average soda can), its lipstick tubes are revolutionary and come in compostable packaging made from Bali beach waste. And, while you’d assume this may signify a limited range of shades, this is simply not the case with Axiology which offers over thirty targeted to suit all skin tones. Check it out here

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