Ahh, the beauty that the world of Beauty brings to our lives. It’s truly incredible, if not unimaginable, for it to have been an integral part of our civilization for as long as one can think of. And while we’ve come a long way in how the Beauty industry has metamorphosed in the way it has, we’re sitting in a time that requires us to take a hard look at where we’re going.
While there's no doubt that we need to SAVE THE PLANET (like RIGHT NOW), it has become crucial for us to understand our consumer habits and their consequences. This, of course, involves something as significant as beauty and self-care to be rethought, reimagined and reformed for now and the times to come.
And how can we make that happen, you may ask?! Well, the simplest way to go about it is by having a look-see at our everyday choices and trying to make a difference right here. And for those of you who wish to do just that, it’s time to stop wishing and start doing.
Shop Plastic Free
Plastic is everywhere, be it within the products (microplastics) or within the “amazing unboxing experiences'' we're trying to have with “nicely” wrapped products. Over 91% of the plastic in the world does not get recycled and ends up in the soil, in the oceans, in the bodies of marine wildlife, and that of our own (yep, you heard right). The solution? Choosing products that offer clean and sustainable formulations with biodegradable ingredients and sustainable packaging - amping up your natural beauty while cutting down on environmental degradation.
Zero Waste All the Way
Product packaging can get bulky, wasteful and environmentally degrading, with most of it, if not all, ending up in the bin - unrecyclable, non-biodegradable and toxic. And mind you, it’s not just plastic. The landfills and oceans continue to be crammed with all kinds of materials, even biodegradables that can take decades or longer to break down.
Brands that adopt zero-waste measures allow all packaging materials to be utilized, reused, recycled or composted till the very last mile, sans any actual waste. They ensure eco-friendly, minimal and sustainable packaging to eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste that otherwise gets discharged in our land, water and air.
Shop Clean & Green Beauty
While a lot of clean beauty terms are being thrown around rather loosely, what is significant is that we choose non-toxic products that actually work. The primary step is to pick cleaner and greener alternatives for products that are most often used in our beauty regimen. These include the ones that are meant to stay on your skin for longer, like daily moisturizers, lip balms, sunscreens, scrubs etc, which can further graduate to cleaner skincare, haircare and makeup. The next step is to avoid potentially harmful ingredients like Parabens, Phthalates, Sulfates, Oxybenzone, Triclosan, Hydroquinone, Artificial Fragrances, Mineral Oils, Aluminum Compounds, Ethoxylated Agents, Formaldehyde, Refined Petroleum and Silica, among others.
Remember, that natural doesn’t always mean better, because it also needs to be safe, sustainable and non-toxic for the people and the planet. We need to consider that even the end to end process of creating a natural product or obtaining natural ingredients ought to be ethically and responsibly done, and not wreak havoc on the environment.
Shop Homegrown & Sustainable Beauty
With all the chatter around being vocal for local, homegrown sustainable beauty is the simplest way to do right by the Earth and the community. While high-end products do seem enticing, homegrown sustainable brands are more suited to our indigenous skin types, are earth-friendly and do not burn a hole in our pockets.
What’s more, is that opting for local products helps support homegrown businesses and the marginalised artisans and workers associated with them, aiding indigenous sourcing, manufacturing, production and distribution throughout. Moreover, shopping local brands helps consciously reduce the costs and resources involved in getting international brands to your shelf and back, thus reducing the carbon footprint till the very last mile.
Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
Of all that we can do to put the planet first, the 3Rs are absolute. Brands are amping up their sustainability game with an end-to-end approach - from sourcing, to manufacturing, to packaging, to distribution and disposal - they’re adopting more and more earth-friendly practices everyday. But while they’re doing their bit in saving the planet, we as consumers, have a role to play too.
The first step is to consciously consume. While we love to splurge on anything and everything once in a while, we need to be conscious of our choices and their consequences. We need to contemplate whether the product we’re buying will hamper the health of our plant or that of our own, and if we really need it. Reducing is not just about reducing waste and volume, but it is also about rethinking our needs and wants and cutting down on the unnecessary.
Reusing is the second step after consciously making attempts to reduce our consumption and waste. The containers and reusable packaging that store our favourite beauty essentials can be repurposed or upcycled in the most amazing and unique ways.
The third and last resort before completely discarding something is Recycling. With more and more sustainable and recycled/recyclable packaging coming into the market, we need to make continuous effort to keep the cycle going. Save your empties and get them recycled, either through the brand or on your own, earning yourself freebies, discounts or a few extra bucks along the way!
Everything said and done, we need to constantly remind ourselves that the tiniest gestures make a huge impact. And while we take in the realisation of how gravely the environment and the oceans are impacted, we must do something about it NOW. It's time that we honour, protect and conserve the planet by going green and adopting sustainable alternatives every day. All it takes is starting with the smallest of lifestyle changes to encourage more and more Earth-friendly habits each day.