A lot of products are labeled as sustainable, ethical, or clean, but what do all of these labels really mean? Sustainability in beauty exists on a spectrum, and not one thing makes or breaks that qualification. The goal is that the brand goes out of it's way to make the earth a better place through green practices, and there are two main ways they can do so; through their ingredients and their business practices.
Ingredients that qualify as sustainable or ethical are either cruelty-free, vegan, palm oil free, or organic and natural. Business practices that qualify as sustainable are ethical sourcing, thoughtful packaging, quality waste and resource management, and charitable initiatives. Here are a few brands we love here at SG that are doing it right:
LOLI: All of their packaging is recyclable and their products are "safe-certified," which means a third-party screens all of their ingredients to make sure they don't harm the environment.
Indie Lee: They use glass bottles and jars where possible (recyclable) and their packaging uses FSC certified paper. FSC stands for The Forest Stewardship Council, which is an international non-profit organization that promotes responsible management of the world's forests. Also, all of their ingredients are ethically sourced.
REN: This brand has pledged to go 'Waste Free' by 2021 and they have a collaboration with the Surfrider Foundation, a non-profit environmental organization that works to protect and preserve the world's oceans and beaches.
Kora Organics: Their products are all certified organic and natural certified, include no sulfates, parabens, synthetic fragrance, synthetic colors, T. E. A., D. E. A., glycols, silicones, formaldehyde or formaldehyde derivatives. Every product is also cruelty free, not tested on animals and free of any added herbicides or pesticides.
We all feel bad when we buy products with wasteful packaging and questionable sourcing, and every sustainable product or brand that you purchase or support has a positive impact on the world. Add your review of your favorite sustainable beauty products and help spread the word.