Sustainability has become an unavoidable topic within the beauty industry, as brands both big and small reckon with a history of excessive plastic packaging, wasteful production methods, animal-product formulations, and other environmentally harmful practices.
Here at Wallpaper* we’ve been keeping tabs on how brands are marrying their aesthetics with the call for more eco-friendly packaging. Below, we break down the best designs we’ve seen so far. While some of them may not represent fully sustainable make-up brands, they do evidence a move towards greater environmental consciousness that will no doubt continue to reverberate throughout the industry.
With characteristic English discretion, Jo Malone has been making the transition to more sustainable production practices for years. As part of its environmental commitment, the brand has pledged to ensure all of its packaging is 75-100 per cent recyclable, refillable, reusable, recycled, or recoverable by 2025. One of its first such creations is the Solid Scent Perfume. The elegant black square packaging contains a perfume in one of the brand’s signature scents.
As with all Jo Malone creations, the fragrance can be worn as a stand-alone or layered with other scents for a unique formulation. The same black box can be refilled with any one of the brand’s scents once the original is finished, making it a perfect companion for the fragrance commitment-phobe.
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The amorphous stainless steel packaging of Fluff’s bronzing powder looks like something from the future, which is fitting considering the brand’s forward-looking approach to beauty. A self-described ‘causal cosmetics company’, Fluff aims to bring beauty back to basics with a tight edit of vegan cosmetics consciously designed to be healthy for skin and the planet.
The refillable bronzer is a matte powder formulated with soothing chamomile extract, fatty acid-packed cacao butter for hydration, and moisturising jojoba oil, which is particularly good for acne-prone skin.
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The collection elevates lipstick to the realm of high craftsmanship, with packaging designed by the brand’s creative director of shoes and fine jewellery, Pierre Hardy. This was Hardy’s first time designing a beauty product and he found the chance to work from a blank slate liberating. ‘I thought, let’s act as though nothing else existed,’ Hardy told Wallpaper* ahead of the launch. ‘I will try to create the quintessence of an object that is feminine, pure, simple. One that is immediately desirable but will stand the test of time, and that can convey the Hermès style: luxury and sobriety.’
It will certainly endure, because of its classic visual appeal, but also because it is refillable, 100 per cent plastic-free, and designed to last a lifetime.
The same will be true of the subsequent product additions to the Hermès Beauty family. To find out what the brand has in store for its latest beauty launch, make sure to pick up (or click into) a copy of Wallpaper’s April 2021 issue (opens in new tab).
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La Bouche Rouge
If any beauty brand can be credited with combining sustainable practices and quality product design, it has to be La Bouche Rouge. Originally a line of lipsticks, the brand launched a full make-up range last year that included mascara, eyeliner, eyeshadows, bronzers and highlighters, eyebrow pencils, and an eyebrow serum.
Every item in the collection is microplastic- and cruelty-free and made using all-natural, vegan formulations. The packaging is also entirely plastic-free, refillable, and available in upcycled leather cases.
As La Bouche Rouge’s founder told us last year, ‘today, if you want to create a luxury brand, you cannot destroy the future of the planet. You have to make a commitment. It is really important to us to create objects for life.’
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When make-up artist Kirsten Kjaer Weis decided she was going to start her own cosmetics line, there was only one person she wanted working on the packaging and that was Marc Atlan.
Atlan is the product designer du jour of the beauty world, with creations for Comme des Garçons Perfumes, YSL fragrance, and Tom Ford Beauty under his belt (to name just a few). It was always important to Kjaer Weis that the packaging was as sustainable as possible and, in response, Atlan designed weighty, silver cases that are refillable and designed to last a lifetime. The refills themselves are packaged in recyclable paper to ensure every aspect of the product design is eco-friendly.
kjaerweis.com (opens in new tab)
Mary Cleary is the Beauty & Grooming Editor of Wallpaper*. Having been with the brand since 2017, she became an editor in February 2020 with the launch of the brand’s new beauty & grooming channel. Her work seeks to offer a new perspective on beauty, focusing on the pioneering personalities, product designs, and transformative trends within the industry.
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