Nature and Beauty

Beauty is Pain: Does the Beauty Industry strive to be Green?

Going green is a hot topic.

As individuals adopt an environmentally conscious mindset, zero-waste lifestyles are becoming more popular. An evident effort is made in reducing plastic consumption, with sustainability affecting makeup subcultures too. From artists incorporating nature in their makeup creations, to brands adopting waste-reduction strategies, sustainability is gradually dominating the industry in one way or another. Packaging is primarily recyclable or biodegradable. Brands such as MAC have created attractive initiatives, promising a free lipstick for every six empty MAC containers returned, encouraging sustainability in the relationship between brand and consumer. However, a gap still lies when it comes to creating eco-friendly, sustainable and cruelty free formulas in both makeup and skincare, and though these challenges remain, sustainability and beauty have already started to fuse. 

Creators Changing the Face of Sustainability in Beauty

Artist Maria Luneva, most famously known as @supinatra, has creatively constructed a visual representation of sustainability in beauty. Using roots, leaves and petals to create her looks, she deviates from traditional makeup products, melding the natural and material world. The intricacy with which she creates, highlights the beauty in nature and the multi-purpose of everyday objects, adding an interactive element to her artwork. Inspired by the shapes and textures of her findings, Maria places materials on the skin in unconventional ways to explore the visual wittiness which comes from transforming organic material into works of art. As a result, she creates an interesting antithesis in her approach to beauty and the traditional history of makeup. Her focus on raw materials creates a striking contrast with the highly toxic contents of most makeup products to date. 

A shift in the Beauty Market

Moreover, the market for sustainable beauty products gradually grows as consumers make environmentally conscious purchases. Brands such as BOLT consciously consider environmental factors in the production of their goods, with the company gaining recognition for its biodegradable, water-soluble capsules containing cleanser, primer, retinol and moisturiser. Both cruelty-free and vegan, the plastic-free products are promoted as an ideal on-the-go solution. Made from farmed, red seaweed (carrageenan), which is harvested, dried under the sun and subsequently processed into what is used to create BOLT, the consumer is promised a zero-waste and carbon-neutral skin capsule. Jars are reusable and the provided bags are compostable if the customer chooses to dispose of them. 

BOLT chooses seaweed as its base, since the crop itself acts as a carbon offset. It acts as a primal fighter of global warming in the ocean, significantly minimising the acidification and deoxygenation of the sea. Even its growth process is sustainable because it requires no fertilisers or even fresh water to thrive. When it comes to disposing of the empty containers, BOLT capsules can either be dissolved in boiling water or chucked in a compost bin, where 70% of the product will biodegrade in the impressive span of 12 days. BOLT’s suggestion: use the cooled-down liquid as a natural plant fertiliser instead of pouring the dissolved capsules down the drain, due to the seaweed’s dynamic properties.

Conclusion

The increased awareness and growing efforts are nothing but a positive outlook on the transformative journey of beauty. Makeup fanatics, beauty brands, and the world of art are immersing themselves in sustainability, encouraging the consumer to adopt an eco-friendly mindset.  

All in all, the future seems promisingly green.

Written by Stella Georghiou

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