From the earliest points in human history, we have always found ways to clean and groom ourselves, from Indian ‘soapberries’ used as shampoo to the ancient Egyptians grinding down beetles to make lipstick.
However, as society and innovation progressed, people moved away from all-natural ingredients taken from the Earth to processed, packaged products. This, of course, has a vast and growing impact on the environment.
Including everything from moisturisers to hair products to perfume and even toothpaste, packaging in the beauty industry is one of the main issues. In fact, it makes up about 70% of the industry’s total waste.
The worst part is that a lot of this packaging isn’t even practical, and often the more expensive or luxurious the brand, the more excess packaging you’re likely to find.
According to the latest reports from Zero Waste Week, beauty packaging actually amounts to 120 billion units every single year. That includes plastic, paper, glass, and metals, all of which end up in landfills, especially since many aren’t recyclable.
Waste isn’t the only issue with plastic. It’s manufactured using massive amounts of oil or natural gas and energy, meaning its production has a considerable carbon footprint. In fact, 1kg of plastic produces about 6kg of CO2.
The process also places stress on our planet’s limited supply of accessible and usable water. We can only use 0.3% of all water on Earth, yet one 350ml plastic bottle requires 700ml of water to make.
While you may not think of water as a ‘treat-yourself’, extravagant ingredient, the boom in the personal care and cosmetics industry means it is quickly becoming one, and that is simply not sustainable.
This is especially the case as not only does the packaging require water to make, but most of the product itself is water too. The average bottle of shampoo is diluted with up to 60% water. For conditioner, it’s around 90%.
If you love our planet, act now!
You may be thinking that using these products is necessary, and so there’s no avoiding the environmental impact. However, this just isn’t the case. In fact, there’s a growing movement of low-water beauty and hygiene bars that are good for both your body and the planet.
One brand which is really making an impact is Ethique.
Selling a whole range of face cleansers, moisturisers, hair care products and more, all of their bars are entirely plastic-free. One of their shampoo bars has just 8% of the carbon footprint of its liquid alternative.
Ethique are also big believers in direct trade partnerships with producers, wherever possible. Direct trade ensures that local growers receive stable prices, reliable income and good working conditions. It has far-reaching benefits for the communities where the ingredients are produced.
On top of all that, they’re also a climate-positive company!
If you want to try out their bars, you can order them here, and with every order you complete online, you can select a FREE product of your choice.
Simply select your gift of choice from the selection available on the cart page – no code required!