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An honest chat about environmentally friendly products.

July 16, 2017

Sometimes, if I’m brutally honest what I want to say to people entering this industry and aiming to be eco-friendly (read ‘better than what’s currently on offer’) is this:  the most eco-friendly thing you could do is to either stop or don’t start making shit products. Indeed don’t even make any products if you’re that bothered! People don’t really NEED cosmetics anyway……

But of course I don’t say that because we are all in this industry together and we all love it.

I am OBSESSED with cosmetic science and am driven by a desire to always make things better, stronger, greener and cleaner but that doesn’t mean that I don’t know both intellectually and emotionally that the industry I’m in is largely un-necessary.  I mean we might want a funky new lipstick or hair gel but we don’t really NEED those things do we?

What I’m getting at here is that we all have to compromise just to exist here.  Where we draw our own line may well be something we feel in control of, something that is truly ‘up to us’ but actually it is often much more complicated than that.

The line you draw as a small start-up brand that sells products directly at a market stall is going to be very different to the line drawn by a multinational who services hundreds of thousands of customers around the world every day.

What’s possible differs from situation to situation as does what’s practical to implement.

I’ve written before on this blog about the way that while the smaller start-up brands can afford to be quite nimble and are often super creative it is often the larger household name brands that open the door and pave the way for that creativity by being the big customers for emerging technology, by investing in research and by testing their products and putting these new ingredients through their paces. The same can be said for packaging,  no small 100 units per run brand can demand a packaging manufacturer run a boutique lot of bottles just for them, that’s only possible for those buying 20,000 or more units at a time. The small fries quite literally pick over the scraps.

So, I don’t feel that we should all try to outdo each other with our environmentally friendliness and we definitely should not compare and/ or judge.  Finally it goes without saying that I don’t for one minute really feel that we should all just give up, go home and forget that lipstick was ever invented.  No, what I’m asking is that brands of all shapes and sizes, of all aspirations just take a step back and remember that what works for them won’t necessarily work for everyone. That most people who own brands and claim to care or even think about the environment and having a sustainable business do the best they can for the situation that they are in at that time.  That nearly everyone I know is compromising on one thing or another just to get by because the reality is that most of us are small fry and most of us can’t just change everything overnight and adopt the newest, greenest, cleanest ingredients, processes, packaging and transportation methods.

The path to environmentally friendliness is different for everyone but one thing that is common for all is that it is a path of many steps and the best way to tackle that is to take it one step at a time.

Be kind, be brave and keep striving to be better x


3 Comments leave one →
  1. Ric permalink
    July 17, 2017 11:01 am

    I cannot disagree with you more.
    Are you saying we dont need soap/cleansers, toothpaste, shampoos, deodorants, etc. These are essential not only socially but for our health. Skin is our largest organ and ee must protect it and keep it good condition. Also, with regard to what you call unnecessary, have you not heard of the “Look Good Feel Better” campaign? What would cancer patients do without it.
    You should reconsider.

    • RealizeBeautyEd permalink*
      July 17, 2017 11:07 am

      Ric no, I am NOT saying that but if that’s what you want to take from this then that is up to you.

      • Ric permalink
        July 17, 2017 8:40 pm

        Just consider all interpretations in what you write as that is how myself (and others) read it.

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