The current state of the environmental impact from the beauty industry can be jarring, but we’re here to explore the trends that are advancing sustainability efforts and making for a healthier, happier Mother Earth.
“The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.” —Lady Bird Johnson. In 2023, the celebration of Earth Day is recognized all over the world. You don’t have to be an active environmentalist to contribute to the day! This global event is the reminder individuals and corporations need to take a look back at their carbon footprint and support this environmental movement. This year’s theme, as declared by EarthDay.org, is ‘Invest in Our Planet’; it calls for businesses, governments, and civil society to drive value, create equitable systems, and push for sustainable solutions. Climate change remains one of the world’s biggest problems, one of which is unequivocally the cause of humans. With greenhouse gasses like methane and carbon dioxide, our earth gradually warms and makes weather events more intense. You’re not going crazy – the summers are definitely hotter and weather patterns are becoming a little more difficult to keep up with. So, how are industries paying a part in this? Let’s dive into the role the beauty industry plays as far as sustaining the environment for future generations.
Beauty’s Environmental Impact
From beauty to fashion to food retail, industrial pollution is a major stressor on our environment and o-zone. You may love the products used in your daily self-care routine, but are you aware of the effect they may have on our planet? In an era of lengthy skincare routines and tons of Sephora and Ulta hauls going viral daily, the high production and consumption of beauty isn’t going anywhere any time soon. The 2020 British Beauty Council report discussed that the beauty industry had an essential role to play in the urgent change required to deal with climate change. A main concern of the environmental impact from this multi-billion dollar industry remains excessive packaging. Zero Waste reported more than 120 billion units of beauty packaging are produced globally, and this number continues to grow every year. Not to mention, a great deal of this number is non-recyclable. Many beauty products also contain microplastics, sometimes known as microbeads, in their formulas. These tiny plastic particles are put in products as an emulsifier, but can be harmful to consumers' personal health and marine life. Microplastics can travel through waterways and become a pollutant of our ocean and fatal when ingested by marine animals.
Another aspect of beauty’s high production is the increase of extensive cultivation. The amount of palm oil, soy, and coconut that is sourced for our favorite products has become unsustainable. These ingredients have become vital in many skin and body care routines, but the rising popularity leaves environmentalists concerned about the future of these natural resources. To ensure you have your favorite butters and oils, forests are destroyed and leave plenty of species without a home. Along with deforestation, carbon emissions are taking a toll on our Mother Earth at staggering levels. Manufacturing and packaging methods just aren’t sustainably responsible and are, slowly by surely, deteriorating our ozone. Instances like these are why many corporations and brands are urged to take on green beauty practices. Green beauty emphasizes the importance of reducing waste and using products in a responsible manner. With stats like 64 percent of consumers looking for sustainability with their beauty products, brands are encouraged to prioritize new means of production and to truly take on the green lifestyle.
Sustainability Trends Happening Now
New green practices are emerging daily, and we love to see it. The Environmental Protection Agency defines sustainable manufacturing as “...the creation of manufactured products through economically-sound processes that minimize negative environmental impacts while conserving energy and natural resources.” Turns out, sustainable manufacturing is the new black! As a way to uphold corporate responsibility and keep consumers happy while shopping, beauty brands have been turning a new (and green) cheek. Here are a few trends we’ve kept an eye on as of late:
With the United States EPA reporting a third of landfill waste being from the beauty industry, it’s about time we rethink packaging. 2023 is all about utilizing recyclable materials that are plastic-free and biodegradable. Along with eco-friendly materials being used, refillable and reusable packaging options are also encouraged. Netherlands-based group LCA Centre found that refillable containers could reduce up to 70 percent of carbon emissions associated with the beauty industry. There are quite a few solutions out there that promote environmental responsibility rather than traditional plastic, and clean beauty definitely starts with innovative packaging!
Transparent Labels and Ingredients Lists
Greenwashing has become a major concern for consumers. Because of this, many initiatives have begun to urge brands to practice ingredient transparency. Product labels are now listing the natural ingredients present in the formula as well as where ingredients are sourced from and their environmental impact.
Like the saying goes, less is more! Taking the minimalist approach when it comes to your skincare routine can be beneficial for your glow and the environment. Modern day beauty standards consistently push numerous new products for you to implement in your routine. Skinmalism takes you back to the basics with less steps and highly-concentrated products for maximum results. Not only is it light on your wallet, but you become more intentional on what you slather on your face and save time and stress while doing so.
Sustainable Segmentation in Retailers
How are retailers and stores playing their part? Segmenting clean and sustainable brands in-store has made it easier for consumers to identify. You may notice separate shelf space for green products and accelerator programs to help small brands grow. These types of efforts help increase exposure for starter brands by putting them on the same forefront as the household names.
Clean beauty is a growing market that is expected to reach a market value of over $14 billion by 2028. With its rise in popularity, these sustainable practices from organizations and consumers make for a greater future for our environment. From reducing our carbon emissions with less packaging to using less water in products, there are countless ways to reduce environmental impact in the beauty industry. Our sustainability efforts are amplified this Earth Week, and we hope you’re following suit as well! Ornami is proud to be a clean, all-natural, and sustainable brand that remains open about what’s in our formulas. When you’re ready to be a little more conscious with your beauty shopping, our products are waiting for you. ♥