Feb 10, 2023 • Emmeline Clein
We have been living in the self-care industrial complex for a few years now, which means we are all pretty used to being bombarded with instagram ads promising us that the right serum or bath salt will take our minds off our melting planet and late stage capitalism. Honestly, sometimes, for a minute or so, it can work. But all the consumption is, in the end, contributing to the destruction of our planet, producing waste and carbon emissions at a rapid clip. The best thing for our planet would be to never buy products, but none of us are perfect people, and acquisitiveness has gotten the best of most of us on bad days. So, we’ve curated this list of brands that reduce waste, package sustainably, and source fair trade and organic materials.
We have all succumbed to that late night urge to click buy now, but one of the easiest ways to reduce your waste production is shopping in person. Buying your beauty products irl gets rid of carbon emissions created by shipping, and reduces excess packaging waste. Credo has eight locations where you can find a selection of products that meet the industry’s strictest safety and sustainability standards.
Lush has been prioritizing sustainability since it became a mall staple, years before other brands began hashtagging their environmental efforts. Almost all of their products – from bath bombs to bar formulations of soap and shampoo – were designed to not need packaging, which completely eliminates an entire layer of the waste created by the beauty industry. They also formulate their products with almost no water, so you can feel a little less guilty about that long shower if you use your Lush soap in there.
With a roster of vegan haircare and makeup products, Bleach London considers sustainability in all its retail decisions. Their eyehsadow palette is a choose your own adventure that allows you to only purchase shades you will actually use, and refill your existing palette when you run out to avoid repurchasing containers. To top it off, their products are packaged in 100% recycled cardboard.
Loli makes the eco-friendly choice at every stage of production. Their efforts include cutting out excess water on the manufacturing side, using up-cycled food supplies in its product formulations, and packaging their products in recycled materials that can themselves be recycled again, and using compostable material for their labels and bags.
This Swedish brand keeps its carbon emissions in check by streamlining shipping between factories and warehouses across its international supply chain, and uses boats to bring materials from the countries where they are harvested to the countries where products are made. All their products are encased in either glass or recyclable plastic.
If you’re in the mood to treat yourself, Tata Harper is a lavish indulgence that might put a dent in your wallet but definitely won’t leave a mark on your conscience. Gwyneth loves these products, so that should give you all the proof you need that we are talking serious luxury here. The product lineup is housed in recyclable glass bottles, and labels printed with ink made from soy.