A Guide To Making The Switch To Plastic Free Beauty

Written by Lucy Kebbell, Founder of sustainable fashion and lifestyle platform The Vendeur and The WIP.

When you know that 11 tonnes of plastic is predicted to end up in oceans each year, and that the beauty industry produces around 120 billion units of packaging globally each year, it’s time to pause.

If you are honest with yourself, is your skincare and beauty buying habit contributing to our plastic waste problem? If the answer is yes, you’re certainly not alone. However, the good news is that you can do something about it today.

Going plastic free may seem daunting at first, and like a lot of hard work. However once you get going, I promise you will become a little bit addicted to sourcing alternative products. Here are a few tips for making the switch. Remember, start slow, be sustainable. It’s important the changes you make are good for you and your pocket, as well as the environment otherwise you just won’t keep it up.

1. Switch to Plastic Free Brands

Look out for products packaged instead in glass or aluminium as these are both recyclable and reusable. Wild Sage & Co offer both options, while Evolve Organic Beauty allow you to reuse their plastic pumps by simply purchasing refills in glass bottles (with aluminium caps). They recently became the UK’s first Plastic negative beauty company. Through their work with rePurpose Global and CARPE, they will remove 10,680kgs of plastic from our environment this year. 



2. Choose Refillables

Refilling your products is arguably the best way to go as you are drastically cutting down your packaging consumption. This is especially easy if you are a slave to that one perfect shade of lipstick. ZAO have long been the go to refillable cosmetics brand, allowing you to reuse their already eco friendly bamboo packaging to its fullest extent. More beauty brands are catching up so look out for refills of your favourite products.

zao natural glow mineral cooked powder next to brush.

3. Natural Hairbrushes

Extend your thinking to accessories like brushes and combs too. Wooden and bamboo options are abundant and much more beautiful on your table than their plastic counterparts. Unlike regular plastic hair brushes, bamboo brush pins won’t damage your hair. Plus, by brushing once a day, you’ll be helping the oils in your hair to keep your scalp and lengths in beautiful condition.

nature and my bamboo hairbrush

4. Solid Soap Bars

Soap and shampoo bars offer possibly the best solution for plastic free living. Because they are solid and not liquid, easy to recycle and compostable packaging options like cardboard are becoming the norm. Choose from elegant shampoo bars, to Wild Sage & Co’s mini soap set and pouch in a reusable tin. It’s the perfect alternative to travel minis.

zero waste path shampoo bar next to lime and powder.


5. Reusable cloths

tabitha eve bamboo and linen flannel.

Many of us are now savvy to the issue with disposable make up removal wipes. Whether you flush them or drop them in the bin, they simply won’t break down to be anything useful or nutrient rich for the environment they ultimately end up in. Add to that the issue with bleached, chemical covered cotton wool pads and you might find yourself at a loss as to how to remove your make up. Never fear, reusable face clothes and wipes are here to save the day. Not only will you no longer be contributing to landfill, but you’ll also be lessening the need for virgin cotton or more wet wipes to be created, which all helps to lower our collective carbon footprint.

Lucy Kebbell is the Founder of sustainable fashion and lifestyle platform The Vendeur and The WIP - a digital membership space for sustainable brand founders, entrepreneurs, designers and side hustlers. For more information, and to support the upcoming Kickstarter campaign (where you can pre purchase an annual membership for a discounted price) visit The WIP.

lucy kebbell founder of the vendeur and the WIP.


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