Whether you’re shopping online or in an actual shop (what kind of monster are you?!), it’s a given that you’ll see the word ‘sustainable’ more than once on at least one of the products you are browsing. In a world where brands are racing to market the latest ‘eco-friendly’ product that boasts of ‘all natural’ ingredients, it is getting increasingly tough for consumers to discern what is really sustainable. Truth be told, it’s hard to even begin to think about it when, in the same world, fast fashion can ensure that you’ll never have to repeat an outfit in a month. And why in the world would you buy just one bottle of moisturiser when you can buy three at the price of two?
A greener state of consciousness
Contrary to popular belief, the real threat to our earth’s depleting resources right now is not the fact that people still enjoy their juicy steaks, no. The real culprit lies in us humans over consuming pretty much everything. As manufacturing costs become lower, things become cheaper, and now everyone can own a tree killing mobile phone.
So how does one start living sustainably? Perhaps the first step is to be conscious of what you buy, what you consume, and the packaging that it comes in. Now before you forsake all packaging as evil, it helps to understand that plastic packaging on food items actually helps to reduce food waste. The key here is to reduce landfill contribution on the whole, and you can do this by supporting brands producing eco-friendly products in equally eco-friendly packaging. Talk about guilt-free beauty routines!
Seattle-based Herbivore Botanicals has come a long way from its days of making soap in the kitchen of co-founders Julia Wills and her husband, Alex. They first started selling out on Etsy before eventually continuing that trend on a bigger platform, Sephora. Fun fact: today, Herbivore’s soaps are all handmade by Julia’s father.
All of Herbivore’s products are made from 100% natural ingredients; the kind of natural that means discontinuing a product simply because there’s no way of procuring more of its ingredients. Everything is packaged in recyclable glass containers that look so cute you might want to skip the bin in favour of reusing them as plant pots instead.
Shop at herbivorebotanicals.com or find them stocked at Sephora.
Ăether’s cosmetic palettes don’t come with a mirror inside. Not at all strange once you find out that the reflective coating applied onto glass for mirror use makes it almost impossible to recycle. From their 100% recyclable packaging materials, down to the soy ink used for printing, this is a cosmetics brand that is firmly committed to keeping their products sustainable.
Not only are Ăether’s products vegan and cruelty-free, the brand also pledges a portion of their sales to environmental based charities.
Shop at athrbeauty.com
Founded in Singapore, Vanderohe first began as an online publication as a creative release for founder Olivia Thorpe. A personal battle with a skin condition led her down the path of creating her own natural blend of facial serum that launched the brand deep into awards in their first year of operations.
From day one, Vanderohe was built with sustainability as its ethos and they keep up to their promise by using only recyclable and biodegradable packaging. You’ll find yourself marvelling at their products’ beautiful dark violet bottles, which is made from unique Mirron glass that’s totally recyclable. No detail is overlooked, down to the carbon balanced print that appears on their product.
Shop at vanderohe.com
Aveda is one of those beauty brands at the forefront when it comes to sustainability. The first ever product made by founder Horst Rechelbacher was a clove shampoo that he formulated after returning from a trip to India, where he was introduced to the science of Ayurveda. Today, not only are all of their products vegan, they also hold claim as the first beauty company to use 100% post consumer recycled (PCR) plastic for their packaging.
Aveda is currently experimenting with bio-plastics made from sugarcane and to prove their commitment to the environment, the company has funded enough wind turbines through an NGO to power their main manufacturing hub.
Shop at aveda.com
All of Ethique’s products come in the form of bars, from shampoos to scrubs and even their moisturizers. You’ll get everything wrapped in paper packaging, which means that you can throw them directly into the compost bin without thinking twice about its biodegradability. To make storing of their bars convenient, Ethique also has designed in-shower containers made from bamboo and cornstarch that are meant to withstand time and moisture.
This beauty brand pays a lot of attention to where their paper packaging comes from – everything is sourced from renewable forests in New Zealand and the brand even makes sure that all the wastewater from their paper is chlorine and acid free.
Shop at ethique.com
A holistic brand that views skin-care routines as medicine, Para Botanica places emphasis in being earth-friendly right from the start. All of their potions contain ingredients from organic sources and are made in small batches. The real unique element lies in the brand’s use of Reiki that goes into making all of their products.
Everything from Para Botanica is beautifully packaged in 100% recyclable materials, including those that are used for shipping. Their glass containers are made from Miron glass, so you can be assured that your potions are protected from harmful effects of light while protecting the environment.
Shop at parabotanica.com
If you’ve ever been tempted to taste a Lush soap bar, don’t worry – you’re not the only one. All of Lush’s products look good enough to eat and they’re actually made from 99% all-natural ingredients too.
The brand puts in a lot of thought into what goes into making their products as well as how they’re packaged. In fact, 35% of Lush’s items are sold unpackaged and everything else is contained in 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic, or recycled ocean plastics. You can feel less guilty about your carbon footprint when you order Lush online because your products will arrive in biodegradable packing peanuts, recycled cardboard boxes and reusable metal tins.
As an added bonus, when gifting Lush products you get to choose from pretty organic cotton fabric wraps that are – you guessed it – zero waste.
Shop at lush.com