There are too many beauty brands making environmentally sound packaging, manufacturing and formulation decisions to name them all here (and to be clear, this is a very good thing). Here are just seven brands we love that are making compostable, recyclable or reusable products that will help us cut down single-use plastics and our overall waste production.
For their Source Essentielle naturally derived vegan hair care line, L’Oreal Professional made changes to their packaging and merchandising to minimize their environmental impact. The shampoo bottles are intentionally square so that they can hold the most amount of product in the least amount of packaging. They also have a small indent in the bottom of the bottle, that perfectly fit the lid of another, so when transporting the product they are able to stack together and space is optimized. The best part? The bottles are refillable. At every salon, that carries Source Essentielle, you can bring your empty shampoo bottle and refill it with product, producing zero waste—and saving you money.
Source Essentielle in Daily, Delicate and Nourishing Shampoo ($28), available May 1.
One of the reasons Melodie Reynolds, founder of Elate Cosmetics, started her own business fifteen years ago was to do away with the excess packaging of existing beauty products. “Plastic packaging was so prolific, and I realized when I started a brand that I got to choose the packaging my products came in and that would have an impact,” says Reynolds. “We chose to use mostly bamboo because it is a sustainable material. If you are using any type of wood you are contributing to deforestation, but bamboo is a weed and it is incredibly sustainable. For me, minimizing the plastic was really important because I recognize that plastic is not infinitely recyclable. During this whole process I learned a lot about garbage, and the business of garbage, and now that's my mission to educate people on what sustainability actually means. And the fact that you don't have to strive to be zero waste, because that is unrealistic for most of us, but the small choices that you make for the items you use every single day—that’s what makes a difference.”
Elate Cosmetics (clockwise from the left) Creme Lipstick in Dare ($22), Creme Revealer in CN2 ($18 refill, $26 full size), Veiled Elation Powder in Glowing ($25 refill, $32 full size), available at elatecosmetics.ca
The Body Shop
To do their part in creating a more eco-friendly world, The Body Shop has partnered with recycling company TerraCycle to launch a "Return, Recycle, Repeat" program. As of May 13, The Body Shop stores across Canada will have a recycling bin for customers to return empty product packaging. TerraCycle will then come collect, process and sort the packaging, and where possible, it will be recycled. Any packaging that is not currently recyclable will be repurposed into consumer goods such as park benches and plastic watering cans.
The Body Shop Nicaraguan Coffee Intense Awakening Mask ($28), Cactus Blossom Shower Gel ($10 available April 29), Hemp Hard-Working Hand Cream ($21 for 100ml), at thebodyshop.ca
These natural cleansing cloths are not to be confused with your everyday makeup wipes, because they do so much more than removing your makeup as they are soaked in nourishing oils and vitamins. Another characteristic that sets them apart: They are 100% biodegradable. After use, you can compost or plant the cloth and it will biodegrade within 90 days.
Kaia Naturals Juicy Bamboo Facial Cleansing Cloths ($16 for 30 wipes), at thedetoxmarket.ca
Honua Hawaiian Skincare
Honua, a skincare brand from Hawaii, does all that they can to give back to the earth, including investing in small Hawaiian farms and organizing ocean clean ups. Honua means "earth," "land" or "foundation" in Hawaii, and the founder, Kapua Browning, says that’s to “give credit where credit is due.” Their packaging is made of paper and, instead of using any glue, it is origami folded, which means it is 100% compostable. They also make a point to support a variety of local farms in Hawaii]. "We found it very important to spread our ingredients all over so then you’re not depleting any farms," says Browning.
Honua Hawaiian Skincare Pa'akai Cleansing Cream ($35), at thedetoxmarket.ca
Meow Meow Tweet Grapefruit Baking Soda Free Deodorant Stick
Meow Meow Tweet has an variety of natural deodorant sticks that come in convenient paper push-up tubes. The whole thing is biodegradable!
Meow Meow Tweet Grapefruit Baking Soda Free Deodorant Stick ($27 for 30z), at thedetoxmarket.ca
The concept of menstrual cups are not new: OG Canadian menstrual cup brand DiveCup launched in the early '00s. Menstrual cups can provide up to 12 hours of protection. Not only do they create less waste than tampons or pads, but they can also save you money—they are reusable for years if taken care of properly. For the launch of their first menstrual cup, Tampax took MRIs of women wearing the cup to make sure it was sitting comfortably, creating a design that is shorter, stronger and with less of a base curve than others on the market, so it doesn’t push on your bladder.
Tampax Cup ($38.28), at amazon.ca