“Sustainability” has been a trending word for several years. Initiatives related to reducing, reusing, recycling, being a conscious consumer, and going eco-friendly have become movements in commerce, fashion, food production/waste etc. The rise in environmental awareness and a shift in global standards to protect our planet from the various impacts of climate change have made leading a sustainable life more popular. The beauty world is no different, with many companies taking on at least some aspects of the term “environmentally friendly”.
However, many consumers—myself included before doing some research—assume that products listed as “all-natural” or “organic” are considered environmentally sustainable, but that is rarely the case. In the beauty world, sustainability is a long-term goal, which begins in product development, and well…never truly ends. Sustainable companies will evaluate the environmental impact their products have and will continue to have throughout production, their usable lifecycle and their impact when released back into the environment. There are several aspects that need to be taken into account when formulating and distributing sustainable-marketed products, including ethical sourcing of all-natural raw materials, production of products (e.g. being mindful of energy consumption), packaging (whether it’s biodegradable, zero-waste, or compostable), and environmental impact of the finished product. The following three companies have taken on these components and continue to be environmental leaders in the beauty world.
Crawford Street Natural Skincare is a Toronto-based skincare and body care brand that is committed to the quality and integrity of their products. Each naturally derived ingredient is researched and carefully chosen because of its skin benefits. The products are created in small batches, and all ingredients are fair-trade, sustainable, and vegan. This brand supports local ingredients in every way they can. Their manufacturing is done on site—on Crawford Street in Toronto, Ontario! Their packaging is minimal and features recyclable amber glass jars and bottles and 100% recycled paper.
A must try: The “Lemon Cream Deodorant” is a hit! A trio of essential oils and sweat-absorbing cornstarch keeps you smelling lemony-fresh all day, and it is formulated without harmful chemicals like parabens or aluminum.
Elate Cosmetics is a Canadian-based makeup brand that focuses on being toxin-free, cruelty-free, gluten-free, and vegan. Their products use all-natural ingredients and are made locally in Victoria, British Columbia. The packaging is completely reusable, making this a zero-waste eco-friendly brand. Simply pop out the degradable tins once the lipstick, eye shadow, blush, bronzer, or you name it runs out and pop another one back in. Their paper packing is “seed infused” allowing you to plant and grow flowers after getting some new eye shadow! Sustainability is a major factor in the packaging and product creation of this brand. Not only do they fight for the environment but they fight for community: $2 from the sale of their “community color” from each launched collection goes to the Victoria Women’s Transitional House.
A must try: The “Goddess Glow” bronzing powder gives you a shimmery bronzed look perfect for summer – or as I like it, all year round.
Buck Naked is a Canadian skincare and body care brand based out of Cambridge, Ontario that focuses on all-natural products that won’t harm the body’s natural balances. Their motto always stands as “if you can’t (or shouldn’t) eat it, we won’t use it”. All of their products are vegan and handcrafted, which means each one looks a little different, giving the whole brand a personalized vibe. Buck Naked opts for a minimalistic approach to their packaging, making it compostable, reusable, and recyclable. On top of all that awesome-ness, their company is partnered up with WE Charity. To help The Buck Naked Soap Company replenish water to developing communities in Kenya, simply purchase from the We Charity Collection.
A must try: The “Charcoal and Anise Soap” is meant to provide you with that “deep-clean” feeling as charcoal absorbs dirt and oil, leaving the skin refreshed.
These three amazing brands were extremely challenging to find. During my research, several brands I looked at had components of a sustainable company but didn’t take on certain aspects like environmentally friendly packaging or being completely vegan or organic. By supporting and encouraging brands like Crawford Street Skin Case, Elate, and Buck Naked, consumers can put pressure on other beauty product brands to follow suit. Using environmentally friendly products and supporting sustainable brands is a small step for us but a huge leap for the beauty industry.
How many of the ingredients on the back of your makeup products can you recognize?
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