In the past year alone, we have witnessed a massive change in our global climate. California’s raging wildfires, the floods in Europe and rising temperatures worldwide are just a tiny fragment of the problems we faced.
Dramatic climate change results from our increasing CO2 emissions, which continuously damage the earth’s ozone layer and contribute to the greenhouse effect. One of the leading causes of the increase in carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is rapid deforestation, and a major culprit of its occurrence is the ever-expanding cosmetics industry.
We Must Create Environmentally Sustainable Businesses
An article from Zero Waste Week highlights that more than 120 billion units of packaging alone are produced globally every year by the cosmetics industry, which requires the depletion of 18 million acres of forest annually.
Furthermore, the majority of the packaging produced heads directly to landfills or Oceans, and almost half of those 120 billion units are for single-use plastics, per Plastic Oceans. This widely endangers marine biodiversity to mass extinction.
So how exactly do we start to combat this global issue so that, collectively, our carbon footprints reduce dramatically?
Let’s start with the definition of Environmental Sustainability and how we can apply it to cosmetics in general.
Environmental Sustainability can be defined as the preservation of natural resources and maintenance of ecological balance.
As a society, we need to rapidly change our attitudes and approach by exercising our purchasing power towards cosmetics brands that actively
- use sustainable sources of raw ingredients
- minimise the energy consumption, landfill waste and carbon footprint of their whole production chain
- produce biodegradable products and packaging where possible
Each Generation Has More Awareness about Sustainability that Precedes Them
The good news is, there has been a rise of the ‘conscious consumer.’ According to Forbes, studies have found that 73% of the Millennial generation was willing to pay more for sustainable goods, and 62% of Generation Z prefer to buy from sustainable brands. Furthermore, 54% of Generation Z state that they are willing to spend an incremental 10% or more on sustainable products, with 50% of Millennials saying the same.
Compared to 34% of Generation X and 23% of Baby Boomers, it shows that the move towards a sustainable future strengthens with each generation.
To enable you to make the greener choice, I’ve compiled a list of 5 UK based cosmetic startups that hold sustainability at their core.
Founded by two Co-founders individually impacted by their experiences in the industry and travelling, Ksoni is a sustainable haircare and body cosmetics brand that develops shampoos, conditioners and body washes that use natural ingredients that are vegan, cruelty-free, SLS, sulphate & paraben-free.
They also have amazing incredibly unique packaging that utilises aluminium cans to boost the products’ recyclability factor.
Xo balm is the beauty brand for minimalists who want to reduce the amount of products and waste in their skincare routine. It is one balm with many uses, made from few ingredients, and creating no waste.
As well as their minimal approach to ingredients in the formulation, XO Balm is minimally packaged, with no second box.
Back in 2015, 100% all-natural beauty brand UpCircle began its journey by picking up used coffee grounds from hundreds of coffee houses across London and recycling them to create gorgeous beauty products.
Impressively, Up Circle made an appearance on Dragon’s Den in 2018, walking away with three investment offers.
All Earth Mineral Cosmetics was started by professional makeup artist Julie Wiezcorek and natural skincare creator Guy Hanson. Frustrated by the lack of natural cosmetic products available in the UK, Julie & Guy have combined their expertise to create a range of tried and tested mineral makeup that is gentle on the skin whilst durable.
AEMC’s products are all available in plastic-free and biodegradable refills- making a zero-waste makeup routine that much easier.
Bambuka is a family-owned business, helping to save the planet from unnecessary usage of single-use plastic.
To combat the sheer amount of razors thrown into landfills every year (a whopping 2 billion units), they have created a unique Original Bamboo Razor blade range with a natural bamboo handle and stainless-steel parts.
Each razor comes with X10 Extra Astra blades, making it the eco-friendly and cheaper alternative to the standard drugstore razor blade.