Here at CloudCloth® HQ, we’re passionate about playing our small part to help minimise the impact that the beauty industry has on the environment - in fact, it was a driving force behind the creation of the CloudCloth®.
In 2008, Euromonitor published research which said that the beauty industry had created 120.8 billion units of packaging that year alone. 40% of that packaging was “hard plastic”. Hard plastic never properly degrades - it only breaks down into smaller molecules, entering the ecosystem and doing untold damage to our planet and the wildlife we share it with.
As anyone who watched Blue Planet II can testify, the statistics on plastics are overwhelming - and the effects on marine animals heartbreaking. There’s nothing like seeing the very real consequences of our over-reliance on plastics to make you want to do your bit.
Ultimate responsibility for change may lie with governments and big business, but there are plenty of measures we can put in place individually. After all, even the smallest steps can make a difference if enough of us take them.
Here are 5 simple steps...you can take to reduce the plastics you use in your beauty regime - we’ll even save you money in the process!
(You’re welcome :))
Choose Recyclable Packaging
The easiest thing you can do it to seek out recyclable packaging wherever possible. It may not be a perfect solution (glass packaging for example can often have a cap made of mixed materials) but it can drastically reduce your plastic footprint to seek out products packaged in glass or paper. CloudCloth® is packaged in translucent paper, which can be easily recycled with your household paper waste.
Look for Products which Multi-Task
We have to, why shouldn’t our products?!
Most of us would be pretty horrified if we took a close look at the sheer number of bottles and tubs in our bathrooms - and even more so if we worked out how many we really use.
There are some amazing multi-use products on the market. Using them not only cuts down on the packaging we throw away, but also has a positive effect on our handbag bulk and our bank balance (hooray!).
Our favourites include:
One product for your whole face? Highlighting, shaping and shimmer for cheekbones, colour for lips, cheeks and eyes - the iconic Nars Multiple is a true beauty hero.
One product for your whole body? (We’re on a roll here…) We’re big fans of coconut oil. Use it as a face cleanser, or to shave your legs - and then use it to moisturise afterwards. It makes an amazing hair mask, especially for people suffering from scalp issues. It could probably replace a fair few of those bottles in your shower, and best of all, it usually comes in a glass jar, so gets extra bonus points for packaging.
The famous pregnancy must-have has loads of mileage in the bathroom. Not only can it even out your skin and improve scars - it also makes a great highlighter and make-up primer if mixed with your moisturiser and it is an excellent rescue remedy for dry, cracked skin on hands and heels.
One final note here - make your products work for their money!
Cut open bottles, scoop creams out of corners, make sure you use every ounce before you dispose of them.
Ditch the Disposables
This is something of a mantra for us - we’re dedicated to cutting down the use of disposables and harmful plastics in beauty.
Single-use beauty products contribute hugely to landfill build up and water pollution.
The likes of disposable razors, face wipes and cotton pads (both of the latter contain plastic fibres when they break down) can be easily replaced with reusable alternatives which will last much, much longer, saving both the planet and your hard-earned cash!
We’re delighted to say that CloudCloth® has been feeling the love recently from the Press and Bloggers for providing an alternative to throw-away cleansing products. Feature in The Mirror 'How to use less plastic in your Beauty Routine'Feature in Fabulous Magazine '15 simple tips so you can ditch plastics and save the ocean'
Choose Ethical Brands
“Packaging is rubbish. That’s why Lush is going naked this winter”
From recycled and recyclable packaging to recycling reward schemes and refillable products, there are lots of amazing brands working hard to provide sustainable options.
Our favourites include:
Well known for their ethical credentials, Lush policies range from no packaging at all to a return for rewards scheme where, if you return five of their signature black pots, you get a free face mask.
Lush’s Green Policy states that they are working to achieving Zero Waste. In the meantime, their pots are recycled at their Green Hub in Dorset.
Much of Aveda's packaging is made from 100 percent recycled content, and a few product even hold Cradle to Cradle certification. Most of its plastic tubes are easily recycled. They also have a packaging recycling programme.
Origins have had a “Return to Origins” recycling initiative in place since 2009 - with all returns recycled, or incinerated to produce energy.
Did you know that MAC have a recycling initiative where they offer one free lipstick for every 6 packages you return? There’s a £17.50 saving for you right there.
Kiehls upcycle their products into items like pump bottles and waste bins through TerraCycle Partnerships.
And finally, Step 5...
Keep an eye out for refillable Products
These cult Brands offer refillable products which retain their beauty cool credentials along with their ethics:
If you’ve already started the process, we’d love to hear your tips on reducing your plastic footprint - please share in the comments below!