Earth Month – Sustainable Beauty

April 14th, 2021

April 14th, 2021

April is Earth Month and so to celebrate this we are creating a series of features looking at sustainability within our industry.  Our first looks at what different beauty brands are doing to reduce the use of plastics and to make their products and packaging far more sustainable and earth-friendly.

For April Birchbox has collaborated with Stasher to curate a sustainably-conscious collection.  It is packaged in a resusable Stasher bag – rather than the traditional cardboard box – and includes a variety of eco-friendly beauty products that reduce the amount of plastic within your beauty routine.   This is part of Birchbox’s commitment to ensuring at least 25% of their traditional boxes are reusable items.

In 2016, Birchbox changed its packaging to be more sustainable—it is 100% recyclable and biodegradable, made with recyclable materials, and designed to produce almost zero waste. This partnership with Stasher is the next step in Birchbox’s journey as it focuses on making an impact when it comes to recycling, reusing and reducing waste.

Stasher are behind the endlessly reusable alternative to single-use plastic bags and their platinum silicone bags are great for not only storing your beauty essentials, but can be reused over and over for food prep, home storage and more, making them the perfect way to reduce single-use plastic waste throughout your home.

To date in the UK, Stasher users have prevented around 50 million single-use plastic bags from entering the waste stream. They are the first-ever platinum silicone bag, and with their patented Pinch-Loc™ seal, this Earth Day-inspired collaboration will provide Birchbox’s community with an eco-friendly, easy-to-use storage solution for beauty essentials, food and anything else that needs saving.

The eco-aware products included in this month’s beauty box include:

  • Greenfrog Botanic Shampoo Bar – Solid shampoo bars are increasing in popularity in the UK as people try to cut down on plastic.
  • Huygens Organic Night Repair Oil – A luxurious oil that contains 100% ingredients of natural origin and 25% ingredients produced from organic farming.
  • Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque – This invigorating mask is formulated with white clay from the Amazon rainforest.
  • Hydrating Booster of Algologie – A brand committed to the environment, this product provides the ultimate rapid hydration with gelified water.

RRP £13.95 available now from birchbox. 


Faith in Nature has been a leader in the sustainable beauty movement since it was founded in 1974 by natural beauty pioneer Rivka Rose creating ‘green’ cosmetics before it was mainstream and harnessing the power of natural ingredients while looking after the planet that provides them.  Faith in Nature has been using 100% recycled and recyclable bottles since 1999, saving 340 tonnes of plastic from landfill, along with introducing a ‘zero-plastic’ soap and shampoo bar range.  Now the brand are taking the next step to fight plastic pollution by switching to ocean-bound plastic across their core range.  70% of plastic waste is estimated to end up in oceans, where it takes over 400 years to decompose – needless to say, the consequences of plastic pollution are detrimental to fish and marine life.

Previously, Faith in Nature’s recycled plastic in their 400ml bottles came from reground yogurt pots.  Ocean-bound plastic originates from a different source, although it is still 100% post-consumer plastic, that would inevitably have ended up in our oceans due to incorrect disposal.  By sourcing plastic that has already had a lifespan, it is prevented it from reaching the ocean in the first place, all while cleaning up existing pollution and preventing any future contamination to the environment, therefore closing the loop on plastic waste.

Ocean-bound reclaimed plastic is collected from rivers and streams to prevent it specifically from entering the ocean.  The plastic is collected by communities stricken by poverty who can earn instant payment for their efforts. Over time, these communities have opportunities to become organised operations which can grow to aggregation sites, and long term become factory level recyclers.  By working in this way, Faith in Nature is able to reduce plastic waste and transform lives by offering economic and social benefits to communities.

Faith in Nature’s new bottles will no longer be grey but instead pale orange.  Ocean-bound recycled plastic takes its colour from its former life, and no two will be exactly the same.

As well as having refill stations around the country, the brand also offer more than twenty of their best-selling products in five litre bottles, which saves over 270g of plastic compared to buying the same volume in smaller sizes.  Included are shampoo, conditioner, hand wash, body wash and laundry liquid in a range of fragrances (and fragrance-free too).  They can be used as is with a pump dispenser or to refill smaller sized bottles.  As with all their products, the refillable range is made with sustainable natural ingredients, is certified cruelty-free and suitable for vegans.  As they do not use synthetic colourings or fragrances, SLS, parabens or other harsh chemicals their products are kinder to the environment when they get washed down the plug hole.

Faith in Nature is available from retailers including Holland & BarrettBootsSainsbury’sWaitroseAmazon and faithinnature.


Skin Republic are bringing eco-conscious self-care into the mainstream.  Acknowledging how traditional sheet masks have a severely damaging impact on the environment led them to invest in manufacturing new, biodegradable face sheet masks, without compromising on their award-winning formulas.

Skin Republic’s biodegradable face masks only take 10 days or less to biodegrade, while the packaging takes around 32 days. This is in comparison to a head of lettuce which can take up to 25 years to biodegrade.  The regular white masks have had a fabric update, so instead of cotton spunlace they are now made of a biodegradable eco mask fabric named cupra. They believe that skin care should be fun, relaxing and provide real results, but not at the expense of the environment.

Their hero products which come with the new biodegradable eco-mask and the same fabulous ingredients as before include Retinol Hydrogel Under Eye Patches (£5.99), Collagen Hydrogel Mask (£6.99), Retinol Hydrogel Mask (£6.99) and Foot Peel Removes Dead Skin After 7 Days (£9.99)

The full Skin Republic range can be purchased from numerous UK stockists including Boots and Superdrug.


Khali Min (meaning Free From in Arabic) is a premium hair care line with sustainability and performance at its heart. They formulate their products to address specific needs. Each ingredient is evaluated and selected based on purity and performance to create considered products that are vegan, cruelty free and free from unnecessary additives and synthetics. Khali Min have an unwavering commitment to sustainable practices.  All products are designed with attention to the environmental impact they have across their life cycle.  All products are manufactured in England by a family-owned company with a deep commitment to sustainability: Fifty per cent of the energy for their facilities is solar-power generated. All packaging used is also reusable, recyclable, or compostable.

In the life cycle of an average hair conditioner, 20 per cent of the environmental impact is attributed to the use phase, when it is being rinsed out.  The two products currently available in the range: Clean Cream (£25) and Rescue Oil (£38.00) sidestep this impact as leave-in products, offering gorgeous results for your hair whilst being kinder to the planet.  Available now from khalimin and Selfridges.


Kent Brushes, one of the oldest hairbrush manufacturers in the world has launched Pure Flow, it’s first FSC certified range of vented wooden hairbrushes.  The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC™) is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to taking care of the world’s forests.

The carefully crafted seven-piece collection is ideal for daily grooming, blow drying and styling and uses the finest bristle and nylon mix to smooth, straighten, curl and detangle. Pure Flow features the brand’s first-ever wooden comb and the entire range, including packaging, is made from FSC certified natural wood, supporting responsible management of the world’s forests.

Kent Brushes, a Royal Warrant holder for nine consecutive reigns, has been creating the finest hairbrushes for nearly 250 years.

This new collection of eco-friendly hairbrushes also features ergonomic curved handles for a comfortable and secure hold whilst blow drying and styling and includes a selection of brushes vented in design to maximise airflow and minimise blow drying time.

The Pure Flow range includes the vented oval cushion bristle nylon mix hairbrush (£24), large vented quill paddle brush (£24), bristle nylon military style brush (£24), a small 15mm (£19) and large 35mm (£26) vented bristle nylon mix round brush, a 45mm ceramic round brush (£24) and a wooden comb (£12).  Available now from kentbrushes.


Lancôme has launched its global sustainability program “Caring Together for a Happier Tomorrow” which lays down the brand’s set of ambitions in matters of sustainability and social inclusion.

Since its creation 85 years ago, Lancôme has championed care and transmission as part of its core values. Lancôme is committed to building a happier and more sustainable future for all, through the power of Care.

Recognising that this next decade represents a critical moment for the planet, Lancôme is accelerating its global transformation through three complementary pillars:

Bring the World to Bloom, aiming at protecting various forms of biodiversity, by reducing Lancôme’s impact thanks to formula and packaging innovations, implementing regenerative agricultural practices, and developing partnerships with leading institutions to help preserve biodiversity.

As well as integrating more sustainable raw materials, the brand are also harnessing green chemistry and biotechnology in order to use the best of nature, without overly using its resources.

Thanks to biotechnology, Lancôme creates many nature-derived ingredients thus contributing to limit the use of vegetal raw materials.  The Lancôme estate in Grasse has been cultivated for around 5 centuries and figures among the pioneers of organic agriculture of perfume plants in the region. To date, 99% of roses used in Lancôme skincare and makeup are organic.  By 2025, 100% will be organic and 60% will be of French origin, limiting the transport impact to production sites.

Live Responsibly, aiming at empowering consumers to make sustainable consumption choices thanks to products that are refillable, rechargeable and recyclable.

Thanks to the Absolue range which has refillable capsules, Lancôme has avoided the use of 250 tons of glass – the equivalent in glass of more than 2 Louvre pyramids – since 2018.

By 2023, 50% of Lancôme products will be refillable or rechargeable.

Write Her Future, the philanthropic brand cause, aiming at empowering women by providing them with access to education, mentoring and entrepreneurship.

Of the world’s 774 million illiterate adults, 2/3 are women. The share of illiterate women has not changed for the past 20 years. And among the world’s 123 million illiterate youth, 76 million are female.

Since 2017, Lancôme has partnered with the global NGO Care to fight against illiteracy among women, by launching its international philanthropic cause Write Her Future.

To date, over 23,000 women across 13 countries have benefitted from the Write Her Future program through literacy, mentoring and entrepreneurship classes and sessions. The aim is to reach 50 000 beneficiaries by 2022.


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By Sarah Dann

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