Clean beauty has been a hot topic for the past few years. But these days, it’s not just about what goes into our products but how they’re made. Whether it’s conscious or circular, ethical is in when it comes to beauty.
It’s time for beauty brands to focus on the entire supply chain, from workers’ rights to environmental impact. Take a look at how the industry is tackling these complex ethical issues and why you should care about more than just a clean label.
We’ve all heard the horror stories of child slavery in mica mines and cocoa farms. The sad truth is that many key ingredients in our products, like shea nuts or vanilla, are at risk of contributing to labour abuse.
Ethically-sourced beauty means that all ingredients used are sourced responsibly. These brands treat their workers well and ensure fair compensation throughout their supply chain. They also take social and environmental impacts into consideration. Even better, Fair Trade-certified companies go beyond ethical labour standards. They collaborate with farmers, workers and artisans from disadvantaged groups to help them overcome inequality and invest in their future.
Vegan vs. Cruelty-free
Most of our beloved beauty brands are now cruelty-free. Yes, we can all pretty much agree that animal testing is bad. But most cruelty-free products still contain animal-derived ingredients like beeswax, lanolin (sebum from sheep’s wool) and casein (a protein from cow’s milk).
As a result, our beauty products may play a part in exploitative commercial hives, unethical dairy farming and deforestation for grazing land. Certified-vegan ethical beauty brands are better for animals, the environment and they’re more likely to use natural ingredients that don’t irritate your skin.
Let’s face it, most of our beauty products are covered in plastic. Lipsticks, mascaras, compacts – you name it. But since only the first 2 out of 7 types of plastic can actually be recycled, most of it ends up tossed in a landfill or incinerated despite your best efforts.
It’s time to officially say goodbye to single-use plastics. Instead, you can opt for more ethical beauty brands that offer reusable packaging or use plastic alternatives that can be 100% recycled. Better yet, some beauty brands have started to create packaging with bamboo or paper, making it completely biodegradable.
But packaging isn’t the only thing that makes a brand sustainable. The beauty industry needs to start looking into production methods and utilize clean energy to reduce wasteful practices. In response, some conscious companies are taking a step in the right direction through carbon or plastic offset schemes that give back to environmental causes, whether it be planting biodiverse forests or removing plastics from our ocean.
So the next time you pick up your favorite blush or moisturizer, think about all the steps along the way and consider making the ethical choice. Because both your skin and our planet will be happier for it.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com columnists are their own, not those of Impakter.com. — Featured Photo: Shutterstock