On Plastic Free Beauty Day, we celebrate these innovative brands stepping up against plastic pollution
June 17 2020 doesn’t only mark the 4,567th day of lockdown – it’s also Plastic Free Beauty Day . The initiative, which kicked off last year (simpler times) was started as an effort to spread awareness of the amount of plastic used and sent to landfill within the beauty industry and to champion beauty brands who are making strides to reduce theirs. The global beauty industry produces shocking 142 billion units of packaging every year.
Plastic Free Beauty Day is the brainchild of haircare brand We Are Paradoxx and calls for consumers and companies to reconsider how much plastic they use, be it in their packaging or how they ship their products and encourage both brands and consumers to play their part. The initiative isn't asking us to be perfect, but more to cut down the amount of plastic we use on a day-to-day basis. It's comes alongside Plastic Free July, a challenge rather like Veganuary, which has a host of resources to help people spend a month free of single-use plastic.
This year We Are Paradoxx has teamed up with Kankan, Circla and Vanderohe, to support Plastic Oceans UK, an organisation dedicated to reducing the use of single-use plastics that end up in the ocean. They're giving all profits from their sales on Plastic Free Beauty Day to the charity. And they're making it easier for us all to make the switch to plastic-free by offering discounts off the partner brands: We Are Paradoxx, Kankan, Circla and Vanderohe. To qualify for the one-day discount, share how you've repurposed beauty packaging on Instagram – that candle jar that now houses your makeup brushes, for example. Follow @plasticfreebeautyday and tag them in your post.
For inspiration, check out our pics from the participating brands below plus some other plastic-free beauty favourites.
Waken mouthwash, £8
Housed in fully recyclable pretty pastel aluminium bottles, these look delightful in your bathroom and are vegan-friendly. The alcohol-free formulations contain natural mint alongside other unexpected flavours including Sicilian lemon and aniseed for a truly enjoyable mouthwash experience.
Kear Herbal soap, £5
Kear’s whole range makes homage to the beauty heritage of ancient Greece, with each product being multi-use to minimise waste (one product that does five jobs other than five separately packages items). The soap is our top pick; it lives in a satisfying sliding cardboard box in a Greece-inspired patterned cardboard box. This multi-purpose soap is enriched with anti-oxidant rich mastic essential oil to help control oily skin. it can be used as a makeup remover, cleanser and shampoo
KanKan refillable hand wash, from £15
If soap bars aren't your thing but you can't bear to toss another liquid soap dispenser in the bin, KanKan needs to be on your radar. Championing refills, they sell soap in cans with the view that you buy their glass pump dispenser once and then refill it with the cans from then on.
Paradoxx’s entire haircare collection is 90 per cent plastic-free and they’re working to remove labels from the products to reduce plastic-usage even further. The products live in aluminium packaging which is known to be infinitely recyclable and the only plastic is in the pump, which is able to be recycled. This formula inside is just as lovely as the exterior – this leave-in mask uses kelp seaweed to improve hair texture, making it stronger and shinier.
Guerlain are unrivalled when it comes to bronzers, and every year they bring out a limited edition XXL version of their classic Terracotta in a medium Shade 3 (the darkest shade is 5) in a reusable tin. The foam insert isn't recyclable yet. Let's see if they can go the extra mile next year.
This brightening serum (which I credit for the best skin of my life right now) has a plastic pipette but it can be recycled; plastic-free beauty day’s aim is to promote circular economy with brands using glass and aluminium and to encourage all brands to get as close to being plastic-free as possible - which is where Vandohe ties in.
We’re always singing the praises of natural deodorant and this one definitely deserves a shout out on plastic-free beauty day; it’s totally plastic-free and provides long-lasting protection from body odour. Potassium alum is the ingredient which stops sweat by sitting on the surface of the skin and prevent the bacteria which causes the smell to multiply.
Luna Cotton Day Towel, £1.98
We all know about plastic-free tampons and menstrual cups but if neither of those takes your fancy, Superdrug has come to the rescue with their own brand of organic cotton towels made from renewable, plant-based materials. Each towel is wrapped in a bio-film, is chemical free and vegan friendly whilst being as absorbent as we demand from a towel.
Not only does this lipstick offer great, intense colour payoff, it’s 100 per cent plastic-free, living in a totally aluminium (and pleasingly heavy) case. The unique push up mechanism means there’s no glue used either. The formula itself is also a winner, made with vitamin E and botanical hyaluronic acid to hydrate the lips with a satin finish. Once the bullet is finished you can recycle it in your household recycling or send it back to Juni to recycle.
This might look more at home in your kitchen than in your beauty routine, but GTG’s editorial director Victoria really rates it. Living inside an aluminium tin with a foil peel back inner film (i.e. no plastic) this tackles puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles thanks to hyaluronic acid and orange blossom and is made in small batches in south east London.
Coffee and peppermint make for one hell of a zingy combination in this body scrub that leaves the skin soft, smooth and revitalised. It's made from repurposed coffee grounds from London cafes and the packaging is 99 per cent plastic-free, with the tube created from aluminium with no plastic lining and sealed with a fold rather than glue.
Designed to combat dull and congested skin, pumpkin and apricot seed powder work to exfoliate and hydrate your skin for your glowiest complexion after just ten minutes. It comes in a plastic-free (ie metal) tube.