Now more so than ever it is important to think about the ethics of where your beauty products come from, and how sustainable they are. Here we take a careful look at what to consider when navigating the moral maze that is the world of cosmetics and beauty.
Shop in the Right Place
Consider how the shop or website you buy from thinks about its ethical responsibilities. Most companies will have an “about us” section on the website. Reading this will give you some indication of what is important to them. So, if they specifically mention ethical policies then you are likely on to a good one.
It is important to be aware of the issues surrounding a product to know what you want to hear. For example, when shopping for diamonds you want to avoid so-called ‘blood diamonds’ from conflict zones, there are even lab-created diamonds to get around these issues.
When it comes to beauty and skincare, you’re looking at the packaging ethos they have, and the ingredients they use. Ideally, avoiding any plastic packaging is the way forward.
Consider Cutting Back
As much as we can research and try to find the best possible manufacturers’ there is one sure way of increasing our ethical footprint, and that is to cut back.
Not contributing to waste and pollution can be achieved by not purchasing products you don’t need, or won’t use. Even the most ethically produced items are not free of environmental impact, they need to be delivered, at the very least. If you have tones of products which you don’t even use and they are just sitting in your drawers, consider donating them to beauty charities that can give the products – as long as they are in date – to people who need them.
Disposable items are a category that cannot usually be considered ethical or sustainable. One possible solution is to look to reusable products such as these reusable face pads as using and washing something is better than sending something else to landfill, as those products often are surprisingly high in plastic content.
If you must have something that requires disposal there are plenty of items that are biodegradable or plastic-free these days and are even available at no extra cost.
Bamboo is a material that comes up a lot lately when it comes to sustainable beauty. Bamboo pads, toothbrushes and even toilet paper is now a thing, so keep your eyes open for this too.
Unfortunately, there is no ban on animal testing for cosmetic products yet, and it’s unlikely to be something that a supplier is going to boast about. It may require a little bit of detective work to find out if they do. You can see lists, such as this one, of companies that still test on animals these days. You can be sure that if a cosmetics producer has an active ethical policy, they will, no doubt, be shouting about it somewhere.
Organic & Sustainable Products
It’s not just how the end product is used and tested; the whole supply chain is essential. So, if you were going to look for something organic then it requires discipline, care, and attention from the manufacturer. So how can you tell? In the USA you can look for the USDA Organic seal, or in Europe, the EU has a logo to fit the same purpose. It is simple to read up on how they are achieving a sustainable or organic brand as the dedication can vary from one to another.