7 Ways To Have A More Sustainable Beauty Cupboard

BY GEORGIA ROSE

Sick of feeling guilty as you realise there is 10x the amount of packaging to the product on your latest purchases?

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2 OCT 2021

I love everything about beauty. I’m an avid lipstick collector, a face-mask obsessive, and I’ve got enough sunblock to sink a ship.

Gone are the days of ‘ugly’ eco products. Let’s be honest here, that thought must have crossed your mind at least once. Brands that peddle sustainability have historically had packaging that I never wanted to put on my shelves, but man has that changed! Once I got over my shallow reasons for not purchasing eco products, I realised that I had never really thought about the environmental impact my beauty purchases were having before I started working in the industry - which is not that long ago.

I am definitely no saint, and let’s face it, none of us are perfect. But rather than being oblivious to the problem, I’m consciously trying to make more eco-choices when it comes to beauty.

It’s also important to note that I have never liked the term ‘sustainable’ because really, everything is in excess. When a new beauty brand launches with green eco-packaging, claiming to be sustainable, I have always rolled my eyes. Whether that’s because I work in marketing, I guess we’ll never know. So instead I use the phrase ‘more sustainable’ because if you’re changing the way you consume products, it’s definitely a step in the right direction. I’m not claiming to be an eco-warrior.

Now, I’m not suggesting we all run out and purchase new products immediately - that would defeat the point and hurt my bank account. I’m also not saying you need to ditch your favourite brands in favour of some hemp packaged cleanser. You’d be surprised (I was) at how many mainstream brands stocked at Mecca are leaning towards re-fillable products. All the little things add up, so there’s no better time than now to start being more mindful of how we consume our beauty products! Let’s start small together!

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Reusable Masking

Say goodbye to sheet masks. I know, it’s hard, but think of all the waste every time you use them. After a quick wipe down, all you need to do is pop the mask back in its little pouch and you can re-use it over and over again.

My current favourite reusable mask is the Charlotte Tilbury Cryo Recovery Mask which uses cold therapy! Apply any serum, gel or cream mask underneath and you’re good to go.

I’ve also just purchased re-usable eye masks from US beauty brand Dieux to get the most out of the eye cream!

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Emma Lewisham

If you are yet to hear, Emma Lewisham hit a world-first milestone, becoming the only carbon-positive beauty brand! All of Emma Lewisham’s products are refillable, meaning once you’ve finished you can purchase a refill at a discounted price, and return the old packaging to be recycled!

It’s a money and planet saver, whilst still using high-performance skincare!

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Ethique Bar Products

Or you could cut the packaging altogether? I was pleasantly surprised after testing Ethique’s Bar Shampoo & Conditioner and I’m happy to say I haven’t purchased any packaged shampoos since!

The brand has also just added a plastic-free skincare range - I’m intrigued but have yet to try it.

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Terracycle Programme

Did you know a majority of your skincare containers can’t be processed through our roadside recycling systems?
Brands such as Mecca, Jeuneora, Kiehl’s, Two Islands, Garnier & Schwarzkopf all offer recycling programmes through Terracycle so you can divert your empties away from landfills!

For international brands: When you've collected 4 empty Summer Fridays' products you can request a shipping label and in return you'll receive a mini Jet Lag Mask for your efforts!

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Refills Galore!

Aim to purchase refillable products! I know it’s not always possible but if you’re going to purchase a product, say Charlotte Tilbury’s Hot Lips Lipstick, grab a refill.

If you’re not convinced, think of the savings! A CT lipstick will set you back $54, but to refill it is only $42! A saving of $12, meaning you can purchase something else on your wishlist, right?

Other brands we love that offer refills are Hourglass, Rose Inc, Isle of Paradise, Dior and Fenty Beauty. That’s only to name a few, as more and more brands are jumping on the bandwagon!

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Repurpose Packaging

At the end of the day, I love to online-shop. The result of that? Excess packaging. In order to reduce the amount I’m throwing in the landfill, I got in touch with the local Kindergarten to see if they needed any boxes and tissue paper for arts and crafts! The plastic postage satchels, I try to re-use where possible when posting items I’ve sold online.

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On-sell or Gift

All beauty products have an expiry date from opening. So, say you’ve tried a product and it’s not for you? List it on TradeMe or donate it!

Rather than let your products go to waste, let them find a new home. Make sure you note the usage, sterilize the item and be realistic about the pricing. At the end of the day, you’ll end up with some spare cash.

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