Sustainability in the beauty industry has become a hot topic due to a rise in environmental awareness, new global standards, its profitability and consumer demand. Sarita Coren, considered the ‘Godmother of green beauty’, defines it as a “commitment to the earth, guarding its resources and the medicinal properties of plants, herbs, flowers, etc.”
A green beauty brand will focus on sourcing its ingredients and ensuring its business practices are environmentally sustainable and socially responsible and will have the environment intertwined into the very core of its business model. They would have formulated their products whilst having a close eye on their carbon footprint and this very ethos will be transparent in the way they perform their business. For example, they’ll not only use recyclable packaging but may look to source packaging locally, reducing the associated impact of fuel pollution and thus reducing their carbon footprint.
And in case you’re wondering what the point of all this is, it’s simply the right thing to do for our planet. Each year, more than eight million tons of plastic ends up in the oceans, endangering marine biodiversity, polluting our environment and putting everyone’s health at risk. Unfortunately, the beauty industry has played a large role in this and has an ethical responsibility to try to fix it.
In order for a product, business or brand to be truly sustainable all facets of sustainability must be addressed. In addition to using environmentally friendly ingredients, there are many dimensions to being sustainable. Are eco-friendly packaging and designs being used? How green are the internal operations, distribution and marketing practices? What is the level of involvement in community outreach and socially responsible programs?
How efficient and renewable companies are with their energy use and waste management is hard for us as consumers to affect. However, what we can control is whether we are buying products that are sustainable in their ingredients and packaging. We need to start being kinder to our planet, to start making choices in our lives that are informed by environmental responsibility. This is needed on a global political scale, of course, but we can also do our bit with our daily actions. And why not start with our beauty routines.