Earth-Friendly Beauty Guide: Eco-Conscious Brands Committed to Sustainability
Sometimes the packaging and ingredients used in beauty products can be wasteful, excessive and harmful to our environment. Sure, that over-the-top packaging can be fun, but what harm is it doing to Mother Earth? Our world is precious and many beauty brands recognize that—not just on Earth Day—but through their year-round commitment to make more sustainable brand choices.
Whether it’s regularly donating to environmental causes, taking steps to provide less wasteful packaging, or using sustainable ingredients, in recent years the beauty industry has made great strides in reducing its environmental impact. While we still have a long way to go, you can feel good knowing that brands are doing more and more to make better choices when it comes to sustainability. In honor of Earth Day, here are some eco-conscious brands to help you be more environmentally-friendly when making beauty purchases:
Aether Beauty’s eyeshadow palettes are sustainably packaged. With the removal of eyeshadow pans and elastic, the paper palettes are fully recyclable and zero-waste. The brand also uses natural and non-toxic sustainable ingredients.
By using only botanically-based, 100% vegetarian ingredients, Alba Botanica consistently "does beautiful" by reducing its environmental footprint whenever possible.
The brand shared in its April catalog that 60% of its materials are now made with sustainable fibers. The brand has worked aggressively to increase the sustainability in its line by sourcing materials and using more efficient fabric dyeing and finishing techniques. Recycled polyester alone diverted the equivalent of more than 38 million plastic bottles from landfills since 2014.
Avalon Organics believes in using certified-organic ingredients from trusted sources that are safe, effective, and conscious of the greater good. This means no GMOs, no parabens, no synthetic fragrances or colors, and products free of sulfates! All Avalon Organics shampoo and conditioner formulas are now Environmental Working Group Verified, which means the product avoids EWG’s ingredients of concern, is committed to full transparency, and operates under good manufacturing practices. They are Leaping Bunny-certified, vegan, and biodegradable!
85% of Aveda’s packaging for skin care and hair care products is made from 100% recycled materials. Learn more about Aveda’s commitment to responsible packaging here.
The “Living Lighter” box from Beauty Heroes is a sustainable supply kit packed with natural beauty and home products in elegant, reusable and biodegradable packaging that will seamlessly ease you into a new way of living. Along with helping to minimize your personal approach to a more conscious lifestyle, Earth Day and every day, Beauty Heroes is proud to feature forward-thinking brands that are planet-positive and give back to the communities that sustain them in a meaningful way.
Burt’s Bees is committed to making the world a little greener and a little cleaner. The brand has a policy of sending zero waste to landfill. Each month, employees diligently volunteer to check over 200 recycling, composting, and waste-to-energy bins, ensuring everything is sorted properly. Burt’s Bees has also outfitted its facilities with energy-efficient lighting, resource management software, and efficient production equipment. You can read more about Burt’s Bees commitment to sustainability here.
The new packaging is eco-friendly by removing unnecessary printing, PVC plastics, and cutting down production and shipping to save energy. The new quick rinse formula also cuts down on rinsing time to save water!
Eminence Organic Skin Care is the first skin care brand to plant 10 million trees. The brand plants a tree in a developing country for every product purchased. The company is a Certified B Corporation, which means it’s committed to business practices that benefit the planet and make a lasting impact on the world. Through its Forests For The Future initiative, and in partnership with global tree-planting organization Trees for the Future, Eminence has planted trees in developing countries worldwide.
eos is an active member of the Global Shea Alliance (GSA)—a non-profit industry association that promotes industry sustainability, quality practices and standards, and demand for shea in food and cosmetics. Also a part of GSA’s Sustainability Working Group, eos products support the use of Shea from registered cooperatives in West Africa, as well as assist in the development of sustainable practices and women’s empowerment by providing a critical source of jobs and income for women Shea collectors.
Additionally, Eos is partnered with TerraCycle, the global leader in recycling complex materials, to make recycling eos products less complex while substantially reducing the amount of waste contributed by the products.
The dermatologist-founded, plant-powered skin care brand has established their business with the earth in mind, making major strides in reducing their carbon footprint by eliminating or transitioning. The brand utilizes packaging that contains over 70% of recycled plastics and are 100% recyclable, while all of their boxes are made from 40% recycled paper and are 100% recyclable.
The Farmhouse Fresh Ranch also serves as a sanctuary for animal rescues. Their creed is “Life is Short. Save Something Furry.” Sales from purchases go towards caring for forgotten, neglected, and abused farm animals at the FHF Ranch and Sanctuary. They also fund, transport, and actively support other rescues.
Garnier pledges to continue to introduce measures to reduce plastic usage by committing to 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) waste for shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in conditioner bottles in its #1 selling hair care collection—Fructis Sleek & Shine—by the end of 2019. Presently, Garnier Fructis hair care products are produced in a zero-waste facility. The current packaging contains 50% post-consumer recycled waste, and the Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine formula uses sustainably-sourced Argan Oil from Southwest Morocco.
This is Target's first COSMOS-certified brand—the gold standard for verifying the integrity and sustainability of natural and organic cosmetics. Products are free from parabens, artificial colors, GMOs, sulfates, synthetic fragrance, and mineral oil.
With an awareness for social and environmental responsibilities, Guerlain integrated sustainable development into its company strategy back in 2007. Steps they are taking include developing eco-friendly packaging and becoming “the leading house in bee protection.” Learn more about Guerlain’s commitment to the environment here.
All of the beauty brand’s packaging is recyclable, from the glass jars to the cardboard boxes. And from April 22-28, Herbivore Botanicals is donating 20% of sales to Clear Blue Sea, an organization dedicated to clearing the oceans of plastic pollution. All domestic US orders during the week will receive free shipping and a deluxe sample of Emerald CBD Oil.
At the heart of Jurlique is an organic and biodynamic farm that offers a sustainable approach to agriculture. Sustainability has always been fundamental to the brand, and any ingredients they don’t grow themselves are sourced from sustainable, fair-trade suppliers.
This eco-friendly, sustainable skin care brand makes its products with organic ingredients and natural additives ideal for sensitive skin. Their Dry Shampoo is packaged in a non-aerosol, recyclable container, and Elliot’s Oatmeal Soap is made with certified-organic oats and sustainable palm oil.
Kevin.Murphy is reworking its product packaging to be made from 100% recycled ocean plastic, making it the first-ever beauty brand to implement this practice. The project, which will debut its newly recycled bottles in salons in mid-2019, is projected to save the planet over 360 tons of new plastic each year.
Kiehl’s is committed to sustainability through formulation, packaging, manufacturing and recycling, and community commitments. In the US, 100% of net profits (up to $25,000) of Kiehl's Made Better x John Legend Limited-Edition Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask will benefit the Earth Day Network (EDN). The donation will support Earth Day Network's Earth Day 2019 Clean Up taking place in cities across the U.S. for Earth Day 2019.
The brand offers recyclable, opaque bottles containing clean, conscious, cruelty-free, vegan, and sustainably sourced high-quality eau de parfums. The bottles are made from recyclable glass, using only natural paints with a diffuser and cap that are easily recyclable.
Made in Switzerland by luxury skin care brand Valmont, L’Elixir des Glacier made a commitment to the protection of bees allied with local partners with the launch of this special collection. Valmont partnered with Pollinator Partnership—a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of bees and their ecosystems, and invested in 50 beehives in Switzerland to help save the bees, promote their awareness, and incorporate them into their skin care products sustainably.
In 2009, the luxurious natural beauty line opened its 5500 square-foot headquarters featuring an eco-friendly design in Los Angeles. The brand’s founders found the ideal raw space in an industrial wind tunnel building and hired well-noted designer, Daryl Olesinski of O+ L Design, to bring their vision to life. Constructed of very simple, raw materials with exposed wood ceilings, finished wood cabinetry, and extensive amounts of glass which facilitates the use of natural light—the space is a beautiful, natural environment that echoes LALICIOUS products and the soul of the company.
Their natural skin care collection is handcrafted using only the finest exotic and nutrient-rich ingredients that are organic, bio-dynamic, wild-crafted, cruelty free, sustainable, and/or harvested with social consciousness in mind. The brand encourages environmental thoughtfulness in every step of production—from the growth, harvesting, and processing of raw ingredients to the packaging of products. Packaging is recyclable and made from recycled ingredients.
La Mer advocates for ocean protection through charitable donations, awareness-raising initiatives, and supporting ocean conservation projects. La Mer’s Blue Heart Oceans Fund is committed to marine-protected areas in the Azores Islands, Grenada, and the East China Sea.
One vegan, zero-waste Lunette period cup lasts over two years (the FDA-recommended life of a period cup) and eliminates about 325 tampons or pads from the environment per person.
Products are formulated, manufactured, and packaged in a high-tech, ECOCERT certified lab on St. Simons Island, Georgia. The small batch manufacturing method ensures superior freshness and quality. The brand’s legendary moisturizing cream uses uses sustainably-sourced sea kelp to help preserve ocean resources.
Orveda uses less than 5% plastic in their products and uses glass bottles in their packaging. They strive to use sustainable ingredients and are mineral oil-free, plastic bead-free, and vegan.
Paul Mitchell was the first professional hair care company to take a stand against animal testing. It continues its strong commitment to giving back by supporting a wide range of environmental causes, including Sea Shepherd, California Wildlife Center, Elephant Action League, and Beequilibrium.
Plaine products was founded to provide natural, quality products in sustainable packaging, making it easier for everyone to use a little less plastic in their lives. The products are refillable and they are shipped in eco-friendly packaging by EcoEnclose. They are offering 20% off the entire site from April 19 to April 22 with the code “earthday2019.”
Each product is formulated with renewable, plant-based materials that are harvested in nature. They undergo minimal processing and the residual materials are much safer for daily use by consumers. All of the products are made with zero sulfates, zero dyes, zero parabens, zero formaldehyde, zero propylene glycol, zero phthalates, and zero gluten.
The brand strives to be as sustainable as possible using recyclable glass bottles and jars. A dollar from each Limited-Edition Youth To The People Earth Day Cleanser sold will be donated to organizations working to protect the planet.
The brand consciously made the decision to have the majority of their packaging made from glass. They also use 100% post-consumer materials or recycled paperboard, and they use soy-based ink for printing.
[Images courtesy of brands]
Lizzy Sherman is an award-winning digital content writer/editor. She has been a featured guest speaker at Cal State University Northridge, Digital LA and The National Association of Audience Marketing Professionals. When she's not writing, Lizzy enjoys yoga and playing guitar. Follow her on Instagram: @zillizy