Lately, I have been thinking a lot about making an effort to reduce my waste and support ethical brands. Zero waste is about reducing what you take in, reusing as much as possible, composting what you can, and recycling what is left, aiming to send nothing to the landfill. I am just beginning the process of converting to a zero-waste lifestyle and as I look around my house, I see that I have a long way to go. Why do I want to convert to zero waste? There are many reasons: landfills are responsible for 20% of methane emissions in the US, toxins from landfills runoff into the ocean, but worst of all to me is the amount of trash that doesn’t even make it to the landfill and ends up in the oceans. Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastics enter our ocean on top of the plastic that already resides there. I am no longer okay contributing to this and am going to do my best to change my ways.
Inspired by a shop I found called package free, below I have compiled a list of brands that make an effort not to use virgin plastic packaging. Although, I do include brands that use recycled plastic. However, I know the best thing I can do is refill the containers I already have and make my own products to save money, but hopefully I will get there eventually. Most of what I currently own does not come from these brands, but it would be counterintuitive to just throw away what I have. Therefore, I am going to continue using what I already have and try to stick to these brands if I need to replace anything. This post will be focused on beauty products (facial skincare, makeup and haircare), as a list to refer to, but I will make separate posts for other categories. Additionally, I plan to make another post about specific products from brands that do not otherwise use sustainable packaging. So, I would really love to hear any of your input in the comments below on what brands you do or don’t support and why!
- Antonym cosmetics. Compacts made of sustainable bamboo and recycled or sustainable forest paper. Cruelty Free.
- EcoTools. Products made from recycled aluminum and plastic, cotton/bamboo paper, recycled bamboo. Cruelty Free.
- Elate Cosmetics. Don’t add additional boxes or packaging, bamboo compacts. Re-use all their plastic and you can request no plastic in your packaging. Cruelty Free.
- Faraday Face. Packaged in beautiful zero waste packaging without plastic, most items are in paperboard palettes, fastened closed with untreated Japanese linen.
- Fat and the Moon. Use reusable, recyclable containers, and minimize superfluous packaging.
- Ilia Beauty. Recycled aluminum, glass, post-consumer recycled paper with vegetable-based dyes. However, I think plastic is not post-consumer? Cruelty Free.
- Kjaer Weis. Refillable, metal packaging. Cruelty Free.
- LO Amsterdam. Plastic-free packaging, bamboo & wood lids. Cruelty free.
- RMS beauty. All packaging is biodegradable, recyclable or reusable. Packaged in recyclable glass with an aluminum recyclable lid. Cruelty Free.
- Zao Organic Makeup. Packaging is made from controlled harvested bamboo. Cruelty Free.
- Clean Reserve. Oak lids from sustainably managed forests, glass bottles, corn derived cellophane, FSC paper.
- Phlur. 20% recycled glass, vegetable-based paint, 100% recycled cardboard. For $18 (and free shipping) you can get a sample of 3 fragrances, which can then be applied when you buy a full sized bottle.
- Aesop. Packaging consists of glass and aluminum. Over 99.7% of plastic bottles contain post-consumer recycled plastic. Cruelty Free.
- Food4Face. Packaging is upcycled fairtrade fabric remnants that are fully repurpose-able, zero waste designs. Plastic Free and Zero Waste. Cruelty Free.
- LOLI: Use food-grade glass packaging, that can be reused or easily recycled.
- Meow Meow Tweet. Products are either hand wrapped in PCW paper or housed in glass containers. Cruelty Free.
- Method. Bottles are made from 50-100% recycled plastic. Cruelty Free.
- Mrs. Meyers Uses at least 25% post-consumer plastic in their bottles. Cruelty Free.
- Nourish Organic. Packaging is made with at least 25% post-consumer recycled content. Cruelty Free.
- Odylique: Most bottles are made from 100% post-consumer recycled material.
- Orveda. Use less than 5% plastic in their products, mineral oil free, plastic bead free, and vegan formulas. Cruelty Free.
- Samudra Skin & Sea: Glass jars with bamboo lids. The boxes are recyclable and compostable.
- SW Basics. Many products are packaged in glass with aluminum lids. Cruelty Free.
- Tata Harper. Majority of packaging is glass. The plastic that is used for tubes is derived from corn, recycled paperboard and soy-ink. Cruelty Free.
Bath & Hair:
- Aveda. Use 100% post consumer recycled PET on over 85% of their skin care and hair styling PET bottles and jars. Cruelty Free.
- Ethique. Do not use any plastic in their packaging. Cruelty Free.
- Love Beauty and Planet. Bottles made of post-consumer recycled plastic and fast-rinsing conditioner in order to encourage decreasing water use. Cruelty Free.
- Lovett Sundries. Use repurposed packing and shipping materials. Many of their products are packaged with aluminum, glass, or with cardboard. There are a few with plastic sprayers, which I don’t believe is recycled.
- Lush. 35% of products are “naked” from packaging, use 100% post-consumer recycled paper and plastic. Cruelty Free.
- Meant. Bottles and tubes contain up to 50% post-consumer recycled materials. Uses up to 80% post-consumer recycled FSC-certified paper, produced in a facility powered by wind. Cruelty Free.
- Plaine Products. Shampoo and conditioner come in aluminum bottles that can be refilled, or you can keep the pump and they will send you a refill. Cruelty Free.
- Moon Valley Organics. All of their packaging is BPA-free, 100% recyclable and made from the highest percentage of post-consumer recycled material available.
On the products I have, I found that the ones that do use recycled plastic often advertise it, so when in doubt you can always look for that label on the back of the bottle. Please leave in the comments below any other brands that have sustainable packaging and good ingredients so I can add to this list!