Beauty and the (non-biodegradable-packaging) Beast

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Beastly beauty burdens

Many of us like to look pretty schmick while saving the World. Which is why from time to time (or for many of us all the time) we gravitate to beauty products and make-up items to give us that little bit of style-oomph we crave. When it comes to fashion items it can be pretty easy to say no to excess packaging by refusing the carry bag or asking companies to pack your items in biodegradable post options. Sadly it’s a whole lot more difficult to ask for your super black mascara sans packaging. One wouldn’t approach the local M.A.C cosmetics counter with a request for ‘Ruby Woo’ without the lipstick tube without causing a serious amount of confusion.  However there are some little beauty tips and some brands that you might be surprised to learn about that will help you work towards a more environmentally friendly beauty regime.

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Return of the MAC

Firstly if you are a M.A.C appreciator they do offer a ‘BACK TO M.A.C‘ scheme that allow you to return (some) of your cosmetics containers in order to receive a free lipstick. Sweet deal right? These guys aren’t the only beauty company to offer a program like this, LUSH also offers a program that allows you to return clean black LUSH pots to your local store for recycling and they will give you a free face mask for your efforts. Another new news-worthy story for beauties that like to recycle is the L’Oréal Australia and TerraCycle partnership that allows you to sign up for a free Beauty Products Recycling Program (details here). All you need to do is sign up, collect your used personal care and beauty product packaging in any box. When you are ready to send in a shipment, download a shipping label from your TerraCycle account and follow the prompts. Print out your label and tape it securely onto your box. Then ship the box to TerraCycle by dropping it off at your nearby post office.

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Refill your desires

If you desire a beautiful look that includes cosmetics try to aim for brands that offer refills on their products. One label I can think of that has ethical cosmetic choices with refillable options that don’t compromise on quality, style, or luxury is Adorn Cosmetics.  This label is cruelty free and sustainability is also at the heart of their ‘eco philosophy’. To reduce landfill and minimise both our customers and our carbon footprint, we do not use excess product ‘outer boxes’, and offer eco-luxe refills. It can also be super easy to find toiletries that you can refill at most good bulk or health food stores. I get my conditioner refilled at The Source Bulk foods and have loved the way it untangles my hair without making unnecessary packaging waste.

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Compostable or recyclable beauty

There are some labels out there that have thought the end of life of your products through a little more than others with recyclable or compostable pacakging. The following are some brands that have dropped by Sustainability in Style to say hello, or have been recommended to me by lovely readers.

I tend to shop at LUSH for things like shampoo bars, deodorant and the like because it’s easy to buy form here with minimal packaging. I know some folks out there don’t love LUSH (there are claims it’s ‘cult like’ and they still use synthetics in some products) but I’ve found them suitable for me with the items that I purchase.

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Making your own way to beauty

And last but not least is the DIY beauty option. This won’t be for everyone but there are some beauty and bath items that can be pretty easy to make. You can check out this post for a quick fix scale-skin buster, and be sure to click here for a fun filled DIY beauty night in. One recipe I haven’t shared is a super fast way to make a luscious body butter. You will need a decent chuck of cocoa butter, almond oil, and some essential oils (if you want, I use peppermint and wild orange). Melt your cocoa butter over low heat then remove when fully melted. Add some almond oil to the mix (around half the amount of cocoa butter that you use, but it’s really up to you how oily you would like your body butter to be). Add a few drops of essential oils if desired and whip the mix with an electric beater until it forms little peaks (like you are making a meringue). You will probably have to play around with the oil to cocoa butter ratios to get some that work for your climate. I tend to need more oil in winter when the temps are cooler and less in summer when everything is melting! If you are game to up your DIY levels my lovely friend Erin at the Rogue Giner has a recipe for mascara and one for deodorant that you can try too.

Do you do mindful beauty? What’s your favourite tips, tricks or brands? Share all your secrets here because the planet needs your help!

 

Author: Katie

Katie Roberts is a self confessed 'write-a-holic' Environmental Scientist with a passion for Sustainable Fashion.

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks for bringing TerraCycle to my attention–I love finding more programs like this one that make recycling used containers and packaging a priority! Thanks for the DIY and other cruelty-free options. Finding good brands like these can be tricky, so it’s nice to know the options out there.

    Post a Reply
    • Glad you enjoyed the post Brooke! It’s super cool that TerraCycle is offering this collab isn’t it? Beauty product have the most complex packaging most of which isn’t recyclable in my area.

      Have a wonderful day.
      xx

      Katie

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