Sustainable Beauty Brands

Following on from my BYBI post, we’ve established that sustainability is more than just having recyclable packaging. This week on my Instagram we’ve had sustainability week, where I shared eco-friendly brands in my collection. Of course there are far more brands than just what is in my collection, so here are some of beauty’s sustainable brands and some that have made a good start but have room for improvement.

BYBI Beauty

You’ve read my article about BYBI, you know they’re fab. If you missed it (you can find it here), they focus on responsible sourcing, clean manufacturing and packaging in recyclable materials. They definitely do more than most brands and have a very strong focus on sustainability (they even do monthly summits on the topic called Susty Summits and have their own in-house sustainability manager!). For Black Friday, or should I say Green Friday, BYBI are offering discounts on a variety of their products, but for every bundle bought, they will be planting 10 trees.

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Sjรถ Skin

If you haven’t heard of Sjรถ Skin, they’re a small Swedish brand that focus on honey based products. Each product is made with less than 6 ingredients and their honey is sourced from a local farm in Sweden where the bees pollinate wild flowers in the forest.. Their products are handmade in small batches, which makes the manufacturing portion of their supply chain super eco-friendly. Their packaging is largely glass (with a very small amount of plastic – dropper squeezer, lid)

REN

REN sustainably sources their ingredients (though there’s no extra info than that…) and makes sure that their packaging is eco-friendly. Their bottles are made from ocean plastic, while their tubes are made from post-consumer recycled plastic that is made to be recycled over and over again. They also work with organisations that clean up plastic from beaches, waterways and oceans. On top of this, REN have pledged to be zero waste by 2021, so all their packaging will be recyclable, recycled and reusable.

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Herbivore

All of Herbivore’s products are apparently handmade using sustainably sourced ingredients (though not much more info is given about this). All of their jars and bottles are made of glass. They are always looking at their supply chain to decrease their carbon footprint. Their team vets ingredient suppliers to ensure that they are all ethically sourced and sustainably harvested. The majority of their ingredients are sourced within the US, meaning their carbon footprint would be lower the closer to home they can source the ingredients.

Youth To The People

YTTP have glass packaging on all their bottles and jars and focus on creating clean formulas. They use a lot of natural, superfood ingredients but also make sure to comply with the EU’s list of banned ingredients in cosmetics, despite being a US based company. The FDA has only banned 11 ingredients, compared to the 1,300+ in the EU. They also work with a number of non-profits and activists to build a more just world and to save the planet!

Tata Harper

Tata Harper are famous for growing all of their ingredients on their special farm in Vermont and making and packaging their products in glass bottles and jars. When they do use tubes, the plastic resin is made from corn, rather than from petroleum, which is a renewable source. On the cardboard boxes, there is a label from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative that confirms that the material comes from a responsible source instead of unethical sources (e.g. illegal logging processes). By manufacturing all their products in house and by hand, they are able to have greater control over the sustainability surrounding the process. It is probable that they use much less energy and water by hand making the products and are able to have much more control over their energy sources (aka ensuring it’s renewable).

Paula’s Choice

Paula’s Choice actively seek to source their ingredients in a sustainable way wherever possible. Palm oil, which is often sourced in ways that harm the rainforest and it’s animals, are instead sourced from a Malaysian company certified for sustainable production. While they use plastic packaging, all parts including the caps are suitable for recycling. No additional, unnecessary plastic packaging is used – products are not wrapped in an additional plastic wrap and PC prints all their info directly onto the bottle.

WOWYOU Beauty

WowYou’s packaging is all recyclable and they also have a refill program. On top of this, their HQ usesย only energy from renewable sources and offset their carbon emissions by planting trees. This *Green* Friday, the brand will plant a tree for every ยฃ5 spent to further offset emissions and help to restore habitats. Theyโ€™re supporting the Eden Reforestation Project who work with locals in Madagascar to reforest areas that were destroyed, impacting the ability to farm the land and displacing native species.

The Body Shop

This has to be one of the original pioneering beauty brands when it comes to sustainability. They ensure that all their sourcing has no negative social or environmental impacts and launched โ€˜community tradeโ€™ all the way back in 1987 to ensure fair trading with suppliers. They were the pioneers for fair trade within beauty and currently have 31 community trade suppliers in 23 countries. They have empowered these communities, particularly women, and helped them achieve an independent income as well as building schools and enabling access to safe drinking water. They do still use plastic, but they believe that it used responsibly then it can be sustainable. They work with a community trade project in India to source recycled plastic – helping to tackle the plastic problem while also working with plastic pickers who have access to all the amazing benefits I mentioned above. Working with a Plastics for Change and local NGOs allows their waste pickers to receive a stable income, better working conditions and more opportunities.

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Lush

This one should come as no surprise to anyone. Lush use as little packaging as possible where possible and nearly half their products can be taken home without any packaging. Where packaging is unavoidable, they try to use recycled materials. Around 90% of their packaging can be recycled currently and they’re working on that last 10%. Sustainable sourcing is also high on their list – they do not use palm oilย at all in favour of more eco-friendly oils. Their website hints that they only collaborate with suppliers that respect the environment, animals and people living there. When it comes to manufacturing, they’re aiming to reduce energy and water consumption and specifically do not purchase energy from fracking companies. Lush accepts that sustainability is something that can always be improved on and in turn they want to use their buying power to drive change. I find it really interesting that it’s the most eco-friendly brands that make reference to the fact they aren’t perfect but are always trying their best, when other brands are trying much less and don’t talk about it.

Beauty Pie

They are always working to make their packaging as eco-conscious as possible. They use plant-based inks (Earthinksยฎ) which are one of the most eco-friendly inks on the planet. They also use recyclable and recycled board in all their cartons. It’s a good start but it would be great to know a little more about their sourcing and manufacturing. As Beauty Pie tend to work directly with labs in various different countries, it would be really interesting to know how much they know or can influence sustainable policy when it comes to manufacturing. Because they do work with these international labs, there will be a fair amount of carbon emissions involved in shipping to the UK and US, so it would be great to know a bit more about what they’re doing to combat this.

Good Molecules

Beautylish’s offering in the realm of affordable skincare is a line of a largely single ingredient products. All their bottled products come in glass packaging which are obviously much easier to recycle than plastic. They are starting to have a greater focus on their sourcing. The affordable skincare from Beautylish recently launched their Rosehip oil which was sustainably grown and hand-picked from the Patagonian Austral of Chile. By working directly with the growers, the brand can ensure that all parties are treated fairly and with respect, while also eliminating any markup from middlemen.

How to tell if a brand is sustainable

As consumers, we’re really reliant on brands sharing their sustainable policies. If they don’t share it, we can’t assume they’re doing it. Some companies share much more than others (BYBI, Body Shop) so we have a lot more insight into the brand and their practices. Personally I think brands should share what they’re doing and should want too as well! If brands have a particular focus on the environment, there is often a dedicated page for it on their site. If you Google the brand followed by sustainability, you might find the info you’re looking for. There might be info about it in their ethos, mission or on their about us page. To find out about ingredient sourcing, you can try each individual product page. If this information is missing completely… well you can guess what that means. Now that you’ve read all about brands that are doing the most, it will become very clear when you see brands doing the very least.

This list is by no means definitive. I’m sure there are many more brands that have sustainable sourcing practices, but they may not be as well known or well publicised.

In the coming years, I think sustainable sourcing, manufacturing and packaging will become a staple for all new brands coming to the market, but it will take quite a long time for the bigger brands to make this change. In my mind, this is fairly comparable to cruelty free products – every new brand that emerges now is cruelty free but the conglomerates are much slower to react. Just because a brand has recyclable packaging doesn’t make them eco-friendly. As the founders of BYBI said, it is the very least that any brand should be doing. People are starting to question eco-policies deeper and it’s only through this questioning that things will really change.

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BYBI Beauty – The Sustainable Beauty Pioneers

BYBI Beauty, Instagram’s most aesthetic brand, is one of the most sustainable beauty brands out there. Trust me, you have NO idea what it takes to be truly sustainable in the beauty industry… but BYBI do (and you’re about to).

*** Save 20% on sustainable beauty on BYBI.com by using code HANNAH20!***

Have you ever thought about how sustainable your beauty products are, and I mean really thought? My guess is probably not, and hey, you’re not alone there!ย But let me tell you right now, BYBI have definitely thought about it. They’re always thinking about it.

Most brands and most consumers judge the sustainability of their products by how eco-friendly their packaging is – whether it’s made of glass rather than plastic, whether it can be recycled or whether the box it comes in can be recycled too. However, it goes sooo much deeper than that.

BYBI’s aim is to make sure that all aspects of their supply chain is sustainable, with focus on three key areas: ingredients, manufacturing and packaging. They want to be leaders within the beauty industry and to influence other brands to take note and do better.

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INGREDIENTS

A BYBI ingredient is always one that grows in abundance and ethically sourced – double points if it is locally sourced. The distance ingredients have to travel obviously have carbon implications! They actively look for ingredients that grow quickly and locally that can be harvested multiple times a year.ย  BYBI’s shea butter supplier have a program that supports and empowers women in West Africa to keep growing and to smash life!

One of the coolest things that BYBI does (that youย mightย already be aware of) is that they take ‘waste’ products from other industries and upcycle them. This is the case for the Strawberry and Blueberry boosters – discarded seeds from the juicing industry are collected, sterilised and cold pressed to create beeeautiful, high quality oils. Because these seeds were ‘waste product’ and the fruits weren’t grown solely to harvest the seeds, the entire process is carbon neutral!

Stepping away from BYBI, consider this. Most products have more than one ingredient, with some products having over 30(!?) – can you imagine trying to keep track of all of the above for that many ingredients!? BYBI are setting a very high bar but it’s a bar that companies need to try harder to reach.

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MANUFACTURING

This is probably the hardest part of the supply chain to make sustainable. As lots of companies tend to outsource this step, brands have to rely on the manufacturers to give them accurate and truthful information on how sustainable their process is (which often doesn’t happen). BYBI’s products are made in the UK and have strict requirements that their manufacturers must adhere to. Ultimately, BYBI want to own the manufacturing process, but obviously there is quite a significant cost attached to that. They currently control the manufacturing of the Boosters at their facility in West London where they produce small batches by hand. By producing the Boosters, they’re able to have full control of the water and energy usage while keeping carbon emissions low.

PACKAGING

Although it’s great that brands are focusing on more eco-friendly packaging, it is the bare minimum that they should be doing. Over 120 billion units of packaging are produced by the beauty industry alone, so you can only imagine the amount of waste!

70% of BYBI’s packaging is glass, which is infinitely recyclable and come from sand – a natural material that’s available in abundance. Glass bottles and jars keep their integrity when recycled so they can use the same container over and over again.ย Tubes pose a greater challenge. However, BYBI have found a plastic alternative made from sugarcane. Sugarcane is obviously renewable, grows very quickly and absorbs CO2 when it grows – making the product carbon neutral! The growing of the sugarcane absorbs CO2, making this a carbon neutral produced material. On top of all this, BYBI has recently changed their parcel packaging to grasspaper – it grows much quicker than trees and is way more plentiful as a result!

They acknowledge that their packaging is far from perfect at the moment but that they are always looking for better alternatives.ย As there are so many new materials coming onto the market all the time, BYBI are always on the lookout for more eco-friendly packaging to move away from plastics entirely.

BYBI Beauty Bakuchiol Booster and Strawberry Booster

However, don’t confuse this with just a passing ‘trend’.

‘It’s a movement, not a moment’.

Hell to the yes ladies! As someone who is environmentally minded, finding out ALL of this about BYBI has just made me love them so much more. It’s really made me look at brands in a different way and consider my own environmental impact more.

The vast majority of this information is freely available on BYBI’s website and is really easy to find. It’s really admirable that the brand are so open about their sustainable practises – I’ve been trying to do some research on other brands to compare them and it is not nearly as easy to find the rest. Hat’s off to you BYBI – taking the lead and showing us all how it’s done!

Xo

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BYBI Beauty Brand Review

BYBI Beauty is the natural beauty brand that’s making a difference. They’re a cruelty free, vegan brand, with sustainability on their mind and eco-friendly packaging.ย I was lucky enough to be gifted some products from BYBI Beauty – their famous Babe Balm, Strawberry and Bakuchiol boosters.

*** Save 20% on sustainable beauty on BYBI.com by using code HANNAH20!***

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Babe Balm

This is described as an ‘all-round dry skin saviour’, but it is also the ultimate multi-tasker. It can be used in a multitude of ways, from a lip balm; to a cuticle lotion; a tattoo healer; a nappy rash calmer; a makeup remover; a brow tamer and even a dry nose soother!

It is quite a thick balm and I was a little unsure how I would use it to begin with. It isn’t quite your everyday moisturiser because it is a bit too thick, but it does make a cracking lip balm and a great moisture hit when your skin is really suffering!

My favourite way to use this is by pairing it up with the strawberry booster. I love doing this with thicker products to make them thinner and a bit easier to apply. I squeeze out a pea sized amount of the balm, before applying 3-4 drops of the oil and mixing it together with my fingers. I’ve started doing this as a little treat to myself on the weekends and it leaves my skin feeling great. It’s worth nothing that because both products are quite thick that they don’t really dry down, but that’s not an issue for me when I’m not planning to leave the house. Before using it the first time, I had some flaking and dryness around my nose, and after applying my little concoction, it had totally cleared up and felt amazing!

Strawberry Booster

I am such an oil addict. They are easily my favourite type of products because I really feel as though they are the product that makes my skin feel the most soft. I am always ready to add a new oil to my collection! This 100% Cold Pressed Strawberry Seed Oil is supposed to be a great to soften your skin while improving moisture for dry, flaky and sensitive skins. The boosters from BYBI are designed to slot in with the rest of your routine, so you can just add a few drops into your moisturiser or serum and away you go. I prefer to apply it like I would an oil, which is recommended for more intense moisture boost. It is a fairly thick oil that does sit on the surface of the skin for quite a while, which isn’t an issue for me as I only use my oils in the night time. I actually prefer thicker oils because they deliver a better result in terms of softer skin. However, if you were to use a lighter hand, it sinks in pretty quickly. This has been great for getting rid of any drier patches of skin for me and feels really great on my skin, and even better in the morning.

BYBI Beauty Bakuchiol Booster and Strawberry Booster

Bakuchiol Booster

This was the product that I was most excited for. Bakuchiol (Bah-coo-chee-ol) is on everyone lips at the moment as it’s a natural, plant-based alternative to retinol. As someone who has been wanting to explore retinol for a while but has been a little nervous, this seemed like the perfect product for me to test out. BYBI (as far as I am aware) was the first major brand to launch a bakuchiol oil, way before the super ingredient became fashionable.ย It stimulates collagen production and helps to improve your skin condition, all while being gentler than retinol! If you’ve ever tried retinol, you might have had some irritation, sensitivity, dryness or even breakouts. Another massive plus with this is that you can use it morning AND night because it isn’t photo sensitive – AKA it won’t cause any harm to your skin if you use it in the day time. Still, always remember to wear your sunscreen as you would anyway. This is a 1% strength Bakuchiol in olive squalane so it feels really nourishing and spreads very easily. It is a thinner consistency to the Strawberry booster, but again, it depends how much you put on as to how quickly it absorbs into the skin.

Since I was sent these products I have completely used up all of the Bakuchiol and Strawberry Boosters and have since repurchased them both. I wish the oils were a little bigger because 15ml for an oil lover doesn’t get you too far! However, they are so reasonably priced that repurchasing isn’t a problem at all – the boosters are ยฃ12 each. I’m really interested to see the long-term benefits of the Bakuchiol Booster on my skin – I’ve been using them for about a month now and I’ve not seen too much just yet, but I’m in it for the long haul!

Since being gifted these products, I’ve also bought all the remaining boosters in the range (Buriti, CBD and Blueberry). I’ve been really impressed by the boosters so far and they’re the perfect addition for any oil addict! Once I’ve tried these out a bit more, I’ll post a review on them.

BYBI Beauty Bakuchiol Booster, Babe Balm and Strawberry Booster

BYBI has quickly became a brand that I really like and really trust. They have a real cool girl vibe about them, but their sustainable approach to beauty has completely won me over. They are the ultimate modern beauty brand – giving their customers efficacious products, at a reasonable price, all while being kind to our planet. If you’d like to check them out, you purchase them at their website,ย Boots, ASOS, Feel Unique, Naturisimo.

Xo

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