I care about beauty just as much as the next guy with a beard, BUT this post is not written by me. It is written by my girlfriend Erin, who is somewhat obliged to live the year without plastic, else face a raised eyebrow of skepticism.
Here’s Erin’s post about being an eco-concious beauty 🙂
Erin here, coming to you from the outdoors of the Southern USA. This is my first post as a new member of the Year Without Plastic team. What I will be providing is a female perspective on life without plastic.
When Danny started this blog, I was immediately inspired to take on the challenge since I noticed that females are large contributors to plastic usage and waste. Just look around your bathroom!
So many products are mass produced/marketed for females in ridiculous amounts of plastic. Even worse is that most of these products contain unnecessary, harmful-to-your-skin ingredients often tested on animals. Aluminum in deodorant, micro-beads in exfoliating washes (for more on that see this previous post: Plastic Pollution in the Great Lakes and the Fight Against Corporations) and parabens (used to preserve products because of it’s low cost despite it’s links to skin irritation and breast cancer) to name a few.
So, not only will I be participating in lessening my use of plastic and reusing already purchased plastic containers etc, I’m going to stop purchasing beauty products that are not natural and not packaged consciously. I will not not be supporting any mass marketed, corporate companies telling me that their products are magical (the irritation most creams give me is no mere illusion). I will only be purchasing my beauty products from LUSH, a super amazing gift to the beauty needs of all (men, you should try the soap called Dirty). [editor’s note: this is NOT the same as the artist known as Lush]
(Lush does some awesome art with his old paint cans)
Here’s a bit about LUSH the cosmetics company:
Founded in Vancouver Canada in the 1970s with it’s first store opening in 1995, they use only fresh, handmade, vegetarian (and sometimes vegan), cruelty free ingredients! Not only that, but they are conscious about their packaging, using recycled plastic bottles and pots, recycled paper wrapping and bags. They even allow customers to bring in their used plastic pots where they then go to LUSH’s very own recycling facility.
I could go on forever about how much I love LUSH for being a well-known, popular company being CONSCIOUS about so many issues, but instead I’ll send you to this link. It has some great info on how LUSH participates in the fight against product testing on animals, ethical buying and what (fresh!) ingredients they use.
I would love to hear about what you’re doing to reduce, reuse and be a conscious individual in the comments section. Thanks for participating with us!
Footnotes from wikipedia on their ingredients and ethos:
Lush products are 100% vegetarian, 83% vegan, and 60% preservative-free (though these numbers fluctuate, as the product range changes frequently) and feature grapefruit juice, vanilla beans, avocado butter, rosemary oil, and fresh papaya and coconut. They also contain more traditional soap ingredients, including glycerine, linalool, and methyl- and propyl-parabens.
The safety of these parabens have been subject to recent speculation.
Ethos and campaigning
Lush does not buy from companies that carry out, fund, or commission any animal testing. Lush tests its products on human volunteers before they are sold. Lush has also begun to phase out its use of sodium palm kernelate. Sodium palm kernelate is derived from trees in the natural habitat of orangutans. Since 2008 all Lush soaps have been made with palm-free soap base. Lush is currently working on removing all traces of palm oil from the products.
Lush is a supporter of direct action, animal rights operations including Sea Shepherd, a group that works to protect whales, seals, and other aquatic animals. Lush has also been a supporter of anti-tax avoidance grouping UKuncut and its protests which have resulted in criminal damage.
In 2007 Lush started openly supporting campaigning groups by sending a dozen cheques for £1000 each, including road protests groups such as Road Block and NoM1Widening, Hacan Clear Skies (anti-aviation group), and Dump the Dump (which is fighting against an incinerator) They introduced the “Charity Pot” body lotion, each pot promotes a different small charity on the lid, and the full purchase price (except for VAT) goes to charity.
In 2011 Israel advocacy groups StandWithUs and United With Israel launched a campaign encouraging consumers to boycott Lush products on account of the company’s decision to promote OneWorld’s Freedom for Palestine initiative.
Thanks for that, Erin!
LUSH is great because you can go to the mall and purchase from a company with a great mission. Many people do not have LUSH nearby, but you can still purchase from their website. It’s kind of pricey, so we’ll ideally get around to finding cheaper alternatives. More on that (and features on other eco-conscious companies) to come.
If you have alternatives to all the soap, shampoos and beauty products that come packaged in plastic and harm our skin + the environment, please let us know here in the comments, via email (yearwithout [at] gmail.com], or on twitter.