Pampering and taking care of yourself, YES! But not at the expense of the planet. Here’s a selection of beauty brands that range from almost perfect to perfect in terms of sustainability. Yes, we’ve set the bar really high, because it’s not as if cosmetic brands were nowhere to be found—so let’s have high expectations from the ones we do buy products from.
Packaging and containers make up for 29.7% of trash in our landfills. — EPA
Quick note: again, buying something that is plastic-free but is coming from the other side of the globe especially for you makes NO FREAKING SENSE. I know I know, it’s easy to end up focussing on one single aspect of the problem (in this case, waste) and forget about the global consequences of our actions #beenThere,DoneThat but let’s not forget that not producing waste has a greater goal than just proudly not have any trash to throw away at the end of the week. That is why I’ve added the location of each boutique or store, so you can pick the brand that’s more local to you.
Second quick note: synthetic cosmetics are good nor for your skin, nor for the environment, so I won’t even bother spending time talking about them. All the brands listed below are mostly natural, if not entirely (and not tested on animals, of course).
Last quick note: brands are listed in alphabetical order because I am a very indecisive person and I couldn’t pick my favourite ones. (And I haven’t tried all of them anyway so that wouldn’t be fair!)
BY SARAH was initially created by Sarah (I know, obviously) to soothe her sister’s skin, when she was recovering from leukaemia. Their products are all about transparency and organic natural ingredients.
Zero waste/ their products all come in amber glass or regular glass bottles and jars. They don’t use external cartons for any of their products to reduce excess packaging. They only use cardboard shipping boxes which are fully recyclable and made from recycled material. There is no single use plastic, bubble wrap or packing tape. And the note included with every order is made from post-consumer waste food materials.
Where?/ shipped from London, United Kingdom.
Zero waste/ They deliver 100% plastic-free, try to keep their packaging to a minimum and only use recyclable materials. They even use eco-friendly stickers and tape.
Where?/ shipped from Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.
Conscious Skincare makes skincare (I bet you didn’t see this coming did you!) free from all the nasties!
Pssst! Get 10% off with discount code ZEROWASTE.
Low waste/ many of their products (oils, balms, toners, make-up removers, creams) come in recyclable materials such as lined aluminium or glass. The rest of the range comes in PET plastic containers. They ship entirely plastic-free using paper tape, recycled board and paper bags, and you can choose if you want to receive pumps for most products.
Where?/ shipped from the Cardiff, Wales.
Juniperseed Mercantile is made of a small team who makes all-natural beauty and bath products, but not only! They also have a wide range of home cleaning solutions, and all sorts of alternatives for everyday (usually-) disposable items.
Zero waste/ all of their packaging is either recyclable (glass bottles, aluminium bottles and lids) or compostable (cardboard tubes and paper bags). All orders are shipped using reclaimed materials and paper tape. Also! If you live in the area (Littleton, Colorado), you’re fortunate enough to just pop over with your own bottles and refill them at their refill bar!
Where?/ shipped from the United States (Colorado).
Made By Coopers Apothecary uses natural, organic and clean ingredients to create their artisan line of beauty and wellness products. Each product has an aromatherapy element to it: Calming, Balancing, Uplifting, Energising and Passion.
Pssst! Get 15% off with discount code ZEROWASTENEST.
Zero waste/ most of their products come in glass jars and/or cardboard tubes. Their packaging is 100% plastic-free and recycled, they are just working on removing the plastic from their labels. But it’s a work in progress, and should be achieved this year!
Where?/ shipped from Lancing, England
All-natural, healing alternatives to any over the counter products that Sam (the owner and maker of Sam Wish) believes to be untrustworthy. She creates handcrafted, small-batch botanical goods with ingredients gathered from certified organic, fair trade, and sustainable sources. 🌿
Pssst! Get 15% off with discount code ZEROWASTENEST.
Zero waste/ most of the products come in glass containers or aluminium tins. All glass or metal containers can be returned. Most orders are shipped plastic-free. The only time she does use plastic is when she receives a new shipment of supplies with bubble wrap—she would then always reuse that instead of just throw it away.
Where?/ shipped from the United States (Texas).
Terralite makes coconut wax candles scented with pure, organic and wildcrafted essential oils, but also specialises in transforming all kinds of stuff (that you normally get in some other form) in powder. (Bath soaks, clay masks or foot soaks?! 😍) That means, no need to add any preservatives, as you add the water at home, when using it. All that good stuff happens with only simple, active natural ingredients. Oh and, they also donate 1% of sales to environmental non-profits! 👏
Pssst! Get 15% off with discount code ZEROWASTE. (doesn’t apply to bulk and sample items)
Zero Waste/ Well, the advantage of not having any water in their cosmetics is that there’s no need for any hermetic container either! Their “powders” come in certified compostable paper pouches, and their mists in glass bottles. It actually took them years to find a paper pouch that was not foil lined, or poly lined—these are actually lined with Polylactic acid or PLA that comes from renewable plant based sources.
Where?/ shipped from the United States (California)
Wild Sage + Co is family run business nestled in the valleys of the river Wye. They create cold processed soaps, skin loving balms and all natural skin care from their countryside cottage. Their products are based on their own home made remedies, tried and tested throughout the years on family and friends. All of their products are hand-made, natural and cruelty free. They contain no parabens, sls, artificial colours or fragrances.
Zero waste/ they always aim to pear back their packaging to the bare necessities and use biodegradable and recyclable materials wherever they can (even their labels are biodegradable!). All of their products come in aluminum tins or glass jars.
Where?/ shipped from the Herefordshire, United Kingdom.
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Cover image: Kelly Sikkema – thank you.
Morgane is a London-based writer and the founder of Zero Waste Nest. She’s passionate about sustainable living, ethical fashion and social justice. She also founded the Ethical Fashion Guide, with the firm intention to make ethical fashion the norm. Her retirement plans are to adopt as many stray cats as she’s able to.