Big beauty companies strive to be environmentally conscious … but they aren’t there yet. Large beauty conglomerates like L’Oréal and Natura are finally jumping on the bandwagon to create sustainable, zero-waste products in an effort to be environmentally friendly. But adoption of these practices is slow, and progress is limited.
Although large beauty brands like Garnier, Burt’s Bees, eos, and Herbal Essences have developed TerraCycle programs to help reduce waste, many beauty conglomerates have not committed to using 100 percent recyclable or reusable packaging for another 5 to 10 years.
Things are moving in the right direction, but in the meantime, our oceans and landfills continue to be littered with plastic beauty packaging. We are left to wonder which beauty brands are already delivering on the promise of creating effective products that are 100% recyclable.
Where should consumers look for environmentally conscious beauty products? Finding effective zero-waste beauty products can be half the battle; however, Amazon is emerging as the go-to place to find zero-waste lifestyle products. Dozens of Amazon influencers have created zero-waste storefronts that make finding plastic-free products easier (example: The Zero Waste Collective). In fact, Amazon states that one of their main goals is to help its customers to shop more sustainably.
Amazon says: “Amazon aims to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, which means giving our customers access to the sustainable products they want. Sustainable products cover a range of attributes intended to preserve the natural world, and we strive to help Amazon customers easily discover and shop products that exceed the environmental benefits of comparable products.”
The consumer demand for zero-waste beauty products is not a trend—it’s a change in lifestyle that is apparent from the growing sales and an increase in demand for earth-friendly alternatives. We see this in practice from the number of product results when one searches for “zero waste products.” Where previously there were hundreds of zero-waste products available for purchase, today a search for “zero waste” in Beauty and Personal Care on Amazon returns a result with the top 2,600 beauty products claiming “zero waste” attributes.
Let’s get specific about these zero-waste products. We see emerging passionate brands like Coconut Matter have exhibited a zero-waste ethos from day one. This model is great for the Earth, and customers love it too.
Who is developing environmentally friendly, entirely zero-waste products NOW that are enticing, fun, safe, and effective?
Let’s take a closer look at Coconut Matter, whose collection of coconut oil-based deodorants are Amazon top sellers. This Hong Kong-based beauty line features deodorants, lip balms, lipsticks, and hand balms all derived from fair-trade virgin coconut oil sourced in the Solomon Islands. The products are handmade, and best of all they use “eco-licious” plastic-free packaging.
Diane van Zwanenberg, Founder of Coconut Matter, said, “The path to sustainability is challenging: it took us years to develop a packaging that was friendly to our beautiful planet. Now, it’s wild. Like you, we are the post-plastic gen. And pointless plastic is not fantastic. In fact, it’s not even convenient. We choose to compost over recycling.
“On channels like Amazon where we are directly competing with big brands, our commitment to zero waste gives us a definite edge, and it’s something we lean heavily on with our marketing efforts.”
The deodorants, lipsticks, and balms are wrapped in zero-waste hand-rolled biodegradable cardboard lined with food-grade wax paper. It’s never been so easy for consumers to say “no to plastic, please.”
While the brand’s mood deodorants are wildly popular, the lip balms are ultra-practical because they can be used by busy people on the go as both a soothing lip balm or a rub-on blush. But let’s focus on the most critical aspects here: not only are these long-lasting products entirely zero waste, they are pregnancy- and child-safe as well as safe from toxins and allergens.
So, while many well-known big beauty brands are making strides towards becoming the perfect balance of scents, colors, effectiveness, fragrances, safety, and zero waste, emerging beauty brands like Coconut Matter are fulfilling those promises right now.
Photo: via Coconut Matter