For as long as we can remember, plastic has been a major component of the beauty industry. Think about it: How many layers of cellophane and hard plastic casings are you left with after opening up a shiny new product, only to be tossed away without a second thought? Plastic pumps, bottles, tubes—the list goes on—end up in the trash almost immediately. But it’s time we gave them a second thought.
According to Business of Fashion, last year, the beauty industry alone generated 142.6 billion units of packaging, with the majority of it being thrown away in landfills. Sure, those millennial pink plastic jars may be pretty, but why are we ignoring what happens when they’re emptied?
Though the beauty industry still has a long way to go, thanks to the rise of the conscious consumer, brands are finally starting to embrace the idea of using more sustainable packaging alternatives.
Below, find seven beauty brands that are changing the way we treat ourselves—and the Earth.
LUSH Cosmetics is known for their all-natural, cruelty-free array of products. But this year, they launched a new initiative that really cemented their stance on ethical beauty: “naked” packaging. The brand has released a variety of package-free skincare and makeup products, with the latest being a “naked” lipstick that’s wrapped in biodegradable wax.
This beloved hair care label deserves praise for its latest step in sustainable packaging. Earlier this year, the brand announced it would become the first beauty company to sell its products in 100% recycled ocean plastic.
The ultimate in sustainability, This cult-favorite brand uses reusable metal packaging and sells refills of their famed products, so consumers can cut down on their carbon footprint.
While a few of us let our empty perfume bottles sit on shelves—or worse, in the trash—Le Labo is working to change that. Not only are their scents made from all-natural ingredients, but their rustic glass containers are labeled with recycled paper and can be refilled at any of their boutiques (plus, you get a discount for reusing it!).
This Vermont-based brand is the crown jewel of sustainable packaging: all products are held in glass bottles made of sand, and any plastic resin used for pumps are made of corn instead of petroleum, making it a “renewable resource,” according to the brand’s website.
The Body Shop
If there’s one brand that made sustainable beauty cool, it’s The Body Shop. Since its inception in the 1970s, the company has been pushing for cruelty-free, ethically-sourced products. Now, they’re working on cutting down their carbon footprint in their packaging; in 2016, they announced they’re striving to omit the use of any fossil fuels from at least 70% of their packaging by 2020.
This Brooklyn-based indie brand is on the rise for its intriguing food-grade glass packaging, compostable labels, bags, and boxes, and use of ethically-sourced natural ingredients. Bonus: They also donate $1 for every $75 purchase to organizations that work against human trafficking.