The Ugly Truth Behind The Beauty Industry
THE PROBLEM WITH PACKAGING
- About 70% of the beauty industry’s waste (including plastic, paper, glass, and metals) comes from packaging
- 120 billion Products/Units every year going into landfills
- It is estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, these plastics wash ashore but beyond the ugly aesthetic, plastic pollution has more devastating consequences
- Plastic waste is a huge environmental issue, plastic waste is a pollutant for the land, waterways and oceans
- Plastic is not biodegradable, meaning it will not naturally decompose
- Plastic goes through a process called photodegradation which breaks it down into microscopic sizes
- The photodegradation process, depending on the type of plastic takes between 100 to 500 years to complete
- The UN environmental program has warned that if the waste trend continues, there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish by 2050
- Tree-based Packaged products consume 18 million acres of forest every year
- Large-scale industrial deforestation required to meet such demand significantly increases global warming
- Trees function as carbon sequesters, and cutting them down releases Co2 back into the atmosphere.
UNSUSTAINABLE RESOURCE CONSUMPTION
One of the most used beauty product ingredients is Palm Oil, the ever-increasing demand for palm oil, due to its high yield, versatility, and low cost has made it an essential ingredient for many mass-produced cosmetic products, leading to unsustainable, cultivation. To make room for such en-masse plantations, natural forests, including animal species have lost their natural habitats and we have lost part of the Earth’s Ecosystem.
The cosmetics industry also heavily relies on other oil sources from soy, rapeseed, and coconut, collectively causing the same devastating effect as Palm Oil when not sustainably grown and produced.
Single-use items also contribute to waste in the beauty industry these items include wet wipes, sheet masks, blotting sheets and single-use product samples often housed in plastic, used once before they too end up in landfills.
Why Small Batch Beauty Is The Only Sustainable Future
Sustainability is so much more than making decisions about packaging and printed materials, this is just the starting point. At FIFTY7KIND we have chosen to invest in creating our own creative space and mini lab so we can carry out our own Research and Development, and formulate and manufacture our products. This enables ultimate control over quality and quantity, allowing us to control the footprint we make on our precious Planet Earth.
What is Small Batch Beauty? Small-Batch Beauty, as the name suggests is creating products in small batches, this, however, is more than a ‘buzzword’ as far as FIFTY7KIND is concerned, and there is much to be concerned about when it comes to conscious creation and conscious consumerism; this is an intentional decision to live by the values we strive for – not harm earth air or water.
Small Batch Benefits
We make products to order – Ensuring our customers and wonderful retail partners receive the freshest most alive (active) products possible, often within days of the batch being created. We actually use two methods Small-Batch and Micro-batch to fulfil orders.
For our retail partners, we run Small-Batch production – We then go one step further with micro-batching for direct-to-customer orders made on our website, by creating fresh batches of products weekly. Our website should always read ‘out of stock!’.
We do not ‘over manufacture’ products
Products sat on shelves – This avoids waste and having to have “sales” which is often a way for brands to shift products that a running low on their allotted shelf life.
Throwing out products and or ingredients – This is so overlooked and so important and a whole other blog post about the safe disposal of unused or unfinished products and or raw ingredients. This method of conscious sustainable manufacturing comes at a high cost:
- Time – Artisan methods are a slow and time-consuming method of production.
- MOQ – We often do not meet the minimum order quantity (MOQ) for raw ingredients so pay a premium price to purchase in smaller quantities.
- Shipping – The smaller more frequent ordering of raw ingredients results in more shipping fees which during 2021/22 have more than tripled!
The alternative of mass manufacturing poses an even higher cost to our precious planet Earth and the lives of our future generations.
- Plastic Pollution
- Water waste
- Natural resources waste
- Overproduction of ingredients that have not been grown or produced in a sustainable manner
- Destruction of forests to clear land to plant mass-produced ingredients for example Palm oil
- Damaging farming methods – conventional farming relies on practices that ultimately damage the health of the soil, producing raw ingredients that are devoid of the precious antioxidants and potent plant compounds we seek for our “active” ingredients.
Our Micro/Small-Batch methods allow us to keep our carbon footprint as minimal as possible:
- Reducing the amount of water we use in the production process – All products are hand poured negating the need to wash out and clean filling machines.
- Reducing energy consumption – Less equipment running equals less electricity.
- Cold processing – Some products can be cold processed reducing energy consumption.
- Warm/hot Processing – Some balms fall into this category heat is required to melt certain ingredients to be able to combine during the formulation process, this is done in a quick and efficient heat-controlled process minimising energy consumption.
We are constantly striving to create a positive impact on our environment with our business practices, our commitments Include:
- PLANTING TREES – For every online order of NADI Innate Flow Quell Balsam, we plant one tree in Australia.
- OFFSETTING – Our international shipping carbon emissions.
- SUSTAINABLE, TRACEABLE & RESPONSIBLE SOURCING – We source, fair-trade, raw ingredients grown both sustainably and responsibly including selected plant feedstocks and up-cycled ingredients.
- FSC-CERTIFIED – Printed material.
- OFFSETTING – Our international import and export of carbon emissions.
- FSC-CERTIFIED – Packaging using plant-based inks and glue printed at a local Australian carbon-neutral printer.
- DIGITAL PAPERWORK – Reducing the need to waste paper resources and printing.
- COMPOSTABLE CELLO TAPE – Made from 90% renewable resources derived from plants while the adhesive is made from natural rubber, home and Biodegradable.
- WRAPPING & TISSUE PAPER – Is made in Australia, with 100% solar energy, certified sustainable plantation forest pulp, plant-based inks, and zero footprint carbon offset natural gas.
- COMPOSTABLE COURIER SATCHELS – Bio-based, partly made from plants, biodegradable with no toxic residues (or microplastics) these are compostable at home.
- HOME COMPOSTABLE – Shipping labels.
- PACKAGING PEANUTS – 100% biodegradable, water-soluble and compostable at home.
- PRODUCT STICKERS – Discovery Set and samples, are made from post-consumer waste, and printed with plant-based ink at an Australian carbon-neutral printing manufacturer.
- ADDRESSING THE GLOBAL PLASTIC POLLUTION CRISIS – by housing our precious formulations in fully recyclable Miron Glass bottles and Jars.
- PRODUCT SCREEN PRINTING – Our Miron glass bottles and jars are screen printed in Australia with plant-based inks.
- SHIPPING BOXES – 100% post-consumer waste and recyclable.
Our sustainability efforts are a constant work in progress, striving to make the best decisions daily with the resources we have available. We concentrate on making fewer products that are expertly formulated offering multi-beneficial skin results.
Choosing to innovate and elevate the formulation of an existing product, as I have with all FIFTY7KIND products, rather than creating single-ingredient hero products!
A tightly curated line of self-care products offering not only efficacy but multi-use capabilities is another important step in limiting our carbon footprint – this is doing more with less. This is our ‘Earth First Philosophy’.
Our products are not for everyone – slow artisan methods with conscious small-batch manufacturing – we don’t aspire to be for everyone.Gabrielle – Founder FIFTY7KIND
Until next time, be human, be kind, be you
Support Small-Batch, Artisan, Multi-Functional, Multi-Awarding Winning, Sustainable Beauty!
- Owoyele, Bamidele & Owolabi, Gbenga. (2014)
- The courage to change (Pdf, 2020) British Beauty Council
- Limonta, G., Mancia, A., Benkhalqui, A. et al. Microplastics induce transcriptional changes, immune response and behavioral alterations in adult zebrafish. Sci Rep 9, 15775 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-52292-5
- Juliano C, Magrini GA. Cosmetic Ingredients as Emerging Pollutants of Environmental and Health Concern. A Mini-Review. Cosmetics. 2017; 4(2):11.