The world has a plastic problem. It’s used in a majority of all packaging across multiple industries from food to beauty and fashion. When it comes to product packaging, the beauty industry, in particular, is dominated by plastic — from the vessel used to house the lotions and potions to the protective wrapping, you must remove before use.
When the majority of this packaging is disposed of, it’s unable to be recycled and instead sits in a landfill for years to come. While a number of brands are doing better when it comes to packaging choices, there are others that consciously create products that are gentle on the earth.
From compostable cardboard to containers that can be used again and again, these are the beauty brands making a conscious effort to create products that contain little to no plastic packaging.
Founded by Brianne West in 2012, Ethique is a range of solid beauty bars that were first created in West’s Christchurch kitchen where she put her science degree to the test to formulate natural beauty products that were plastic-free.
Since its inception, Ethique has grown from its humble beginnings to become an award-winning international beauty brand that has saved over nine million plastic bottles from being made and disposed of into landfills around the world.
Alongside the range of solid beauty bars (including shampoo, conditioner and cleansers — to name just a few), Ethique has recently launched its revolutionary Concentrates range that is rethinking refillables. If using a bar product doesn’t usually work for you, this new line is a good option.
All you have to do is melt the naturally derived, sustainably sourced bars with boiling water and pour into a bottle you already own and use as you would any other product. This cuts out any excess plastic by allowing you to use what you have at home and, one concentrate saves 700ml of water and one plastic bottle from manufacture and disposal into landfill.
In case you didn’t know, only 9% of all plastic ever made has been recycled, so if you can avoid buying more, you should. Ethique’s range of Concentrates, which includes body wash, hair products and body lotion, makes that easy without having to compromise on the quality and effectiveness of your beauty products.
For the team at NueBar, creating hard-working products that are gentle on the environment is their priority. As the name suggests, all of the products come in bar form including shampoo and conditioner bars as well as moisturisers and exfoliators. This means they are made without packaging. So good!
All of the NueBar products are handmade, vegan and cruelty-free and contain no palm oil, parabens, silicones, petroleum by-products or artificial fragrances. So, not only are the products great for the environment but they are also good for you.
View this post on Instagram
Plastic-free, sustainable, and beautiful hair, face and body bars that are gentle and effective. pH balanced, Naturopath formulated and made in Australia. NueBar. For body and planet. #Nuebar #ForBodyAndPlanet • • #shampoobar #plasticfree #vegan #vegansofig #crueltyfree #haircare #zerowaste #healthyhair #hairlife #hairproducts #naturalhaircare #curly #curlygirl #naturalhair #plantbased #artisan #maker #smallbatch #australianmade #ethical #fairtrade #compassion #bethechange #sustainable
Handmade cosmetics retailer, LUSH, is making strides when it comes to packaging-less products. While the brand has always sold its bath bombs sans packaging, it has recently extended this line of packaging-free products with a number of bars including shampoo bars, body butter, soaps and solid shower oils.
You can also purchase “naked” makeup products from LUSH including solid foundation bars, lipsticks, highlighters and concealers. Who would have thought plastic-free makeup was possible?! While the retailer isn’t packaging-free across its entire range, the team are making worthwhile changes.
View this post on Instagram
Is packaging-free makeup possible? 💄 Rowena Bird, Lush co-founder, product inventor and makeup enthusiast tries to ensure that Lush makeup products are as naked as possible. And when they do require packaging, this packaging should always be pioneering: compostable, reusable, recyclable or refillable alternatives to traditional wrapping and containers. Our Naked Lipstick Refills are a perfect example of this innovation. Arriving with you completely packaging-free, and are sized to fit into any standard lipstick case. The aim is to give those empty lipstick cases that would otherwise end up in landfill a second (third, fourth…) life with a rinse, a peel of wax off your Naked Lipstick, and just slotting your fresh new colour in. Don't have an empty case to reuse? We've also created a plastic-free vintage-style, refillable lipstick case. Made from partially recycled aluminium and brass, it's the perfect fit for Naked Lipstick Refills and will last you much longer than any colour trend. Made in France by cosmetic packaging specialists Reboul, this eye-catching design makes the perfect eco-friendly addition to any makeup bag. Check out Lush Naked Lipsticks by tapping the link in bio. 📷 : @lush_munich
Created with the desire to reduce plastic pollution, Wanderlightly sells a number of plastic-free beauty products including deodorant and body bars in cardboard tubes that can be composted, clay face masks housed in a compostable recycled paper envelope and a mask hair housed in tin packaging that can be reused or recycled.
All of the Wanderlightly products are made in small batches using local and organic ingredients where possible. And, all Wanderlighly products are sent plastic-free using Sendle, a carbon-neutral service. Slow clap.
View this post on Instagram
Plastic-free deodorant balm mindfully made in small batches on the northern beaches of Sydney. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Vegan Plastic-free plant lined home compostable tubes Reusable travel tins 90% organic natural ingredients 3 scents including bi-carb free for sensitive skin Packed with love No bs greenwashing ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ "I have tried many 'natural' deodorants and none have worked like this one. I could go to the gym, work all day, race after kids and by my bed-time shower it was still working. I was literally making my husband smell my armpits! The smell is gentle, feminine, it is easy to use, you only a tiny bit so it lasts a long time. In addition to a wonderful product, the brand stands for, and wholly practices, sustainability and generosity. I recommend this to every woman who cares about her health, reducing the toxic burden on her body and our earth." – Emma ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Sent 100% plastic-free repurposed packaging Free shipping for Aus orders over $60. International flat rate $18 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ www.wanderlightly.com ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
— Bar None
The team behind Bar None are pioneers in the war on waste and in an effort to reduce the amount of plastic in the world, have created packaging-free shampoo and conditioner bars. “Purchasing consciously should be accessible, it should not be defined based on gender, age or cost,” reads the Bar None website. “We make quality products that consider the world we live in.”
Pick up a bar of shampoo or conditioner, or consider purchasing a biodegradable scrunchie or hair ties.