Latest thinking from Jo…
Last Tuesday evening I had the pleasure of attending a panel discussion on beauty and wellbeing at the British Library and was delighted to find one of the most common themes of the night was sustainability.
Beauty and well-being products are predominantly packaged in plastic tubs, tubes and bottles, which often go unrecycled and are very rarely reused. We are therefore producing an alarming amount of waste and simultaneously wasting resources. Thankfully by having these conversations and growing awareness of the problem brands have begun to respond.
Simon Duffy, co-founder of Bulldog, introduced us to their new packaging with plastic made from ethically and sustainably sourced sugarcane from Brazil. Likewise, their new razor has a wooden handle and is almost completely plastic free. Duffy recognised that environmental concerns have become increasingly important for consumers and they needed to act accordingly.
Lush of course has been a trailblazer in this area for years, and yet again is leading the way with their first packaging free store in Milan, and one set to open soon in London. Interestingly, Mark Constantine highlighted that packaging can make up to two thirds of the product cost, meaning going packaging-free allows for more quality ingredients whilst remaining affordable.
However, it is not always successful – Lush’s solid shower gel proved to be an innovation too far and consumers haven’t embraced it as they have other products. Constantine remarks that “Lush is ethical, however it is the customers who dictate how ethical they can be.” It must not be forgotten that it is consumer who will determine the way and speed at which brands need to become sustainable. But likewise, brands are in a key position of power and should endeavour, as Liz Earle expressed, “to look good, feel good and do good.”
As a dedicated recycler, bringer of my own shopping bag and recent convert to veganism, of course I have since done my research into sustainable products, including looking on the Lush website. And I have to admit it, this consumer is converted. There are so many everyday products that I didn’t know even existed, from deodorant bars to toothpaste powder! One night at the British Library and I am now completely rethinking all of my beauty products!