Beauty – Ecocult https://ecocult.com Sustainable fashion and travel for the conscious woman Tue, 04 Jan 2022 23:02:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.2 Our Guide to Natural and Non-Toxic Period Products https://ecocult.com/sustainable-non-toxic-natural-reusable-period-products/ https://ecocult.com/sustainable-non-toxic-natural-reusable-period-products/#respond Wed, 05 Jan 2022 14:00:46 +0000 https://ecocult.com/?p=1084054 Periods are a very personal experience! Here's the information you need to choose the best organic, biodegradable, or reusable menstrual products for you.

The post Our Guide to Natural and Non-Toxic Period Products appeared first on Ecocult.

]]>
Image credit: Modibodi
This post contains some affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase, EcoCult receives a small percentage of the sale price. Some brands may have paid a small fee to be featured. We only recommend brands that we truly believe in. Support our editorial work by supporting them!

As sustainability becomes a mainstream topic around the world, with everyone from actors to activists to Instagram influencers talking about it, period care, once again, is often overlooked in the larger conversation. That’s a lost opportunity, because lately there has been an explosion of interest, with sustainable period care products flooding the market — some better than others. 

Typically, period products create a lot of waste. They are single-use, and are made with plastic or other synthetic and non-biodegradable materials. Sanitary pads are the most commonly chosen product for menstrual hygiene, followed closely by tampons. Estimates are that in the UK alone, roughly 200,000 tons of menstrual waste are generated every year. 

When it comes to sustainable period care products, unfortunately, there’s a lack of information (and a lot of misinformation) out there. As a consumer, the most easily accessible source for information is probably the brands themselves, but greenwashing is rampant. For example, in 2019 a university lab tested two pairs of Thinx, one of the most popular period panties, and detected the toxic substance PFAS

So before you decide to go for a product or brand, do some research. Here are some things you can look out for:

Natural materials: Look for products with minimal synthetics like plastics, which are not biodegradable and can last on earth for hundreds of years. Microplastics in particular are harmful, both for the environment and for human health. If unavoidable, then look for ones that use GRS-certified recycled synthetics.

Non-Toxic: Make sure the products don’t contain toxins like phthalates, parabens, dioxins, or PFAS. These are oft-restricted substances that could possibly enter your body through your vagina, and in addition, some of these chemicals are possibly carcinogenic or could affect your hormonal health and fertility. Some of these toxins are commonly found in dyes and fragrances, so ensure that the brand is using non-toxic and/or plant-based ones, if any. Also, verify that any claims are backed with certifications like GOTS or OEKO-TEX

Sustainable packaging: The brand should be using sustainable packaging. Go for FSC-Certified paper over plastic, even if the plastic is recyclable. Make sure the paper is acid-free and is dyed using non-toxic plant-based inks like soy. Another good option is compostable packaging, which has been certified by BPI, TUV Austria, or DIN CERTO

Ethical Production: The brand should be transparent about its supply chain. It should tell you exactly where it’s sourcing its materials from. It should be paying its workers a fair wage, and have ethical worker conditions. Look out for fair labor certifications like SA8000 or Fair Trade USA

Impact Work: There is still a shocking lack of access to period products in low-income countries. For example, over 40% of menstruating girls in Bangladesh miss school because they don’t have access to adequate period products, and instead use materials like old cloth. Furthermore, not all of these women wash the cloth appropriately before reusing. So it’s a big bonus if you choose a brand that is addressing period poverty or menstrual health and education. 

Luckily, there are more options than ever if you want to switch to more sustainable products that are better for both you and the environment:

Period panties

Period panties are reusable underwear that you can wear while on your period, without using disposable products like pads or tampons. Depending on how heavy your flow is, you can wear one pair for up to six hours before washing and throw them in the machine with the rest of your load — just make sure to rinse them with water once before you do. Most brands will have underwear for different absorbency levels based on your flow, and a quiz that helps you determine which pair is best for you. Some people like combining the panties with a liner or tampon on the heaviest day of their flow, but if you have the heavy-absorbency ones you shouldn’t need to. If taken care of properly, one pair of period panties can last for six months to two years. I’ve had mine for about six months, and they’re still in great condition. 

Look for underwear made using organic and natural materials such as GOTS certified organic cotton or TENCEL by Lenzing, or certified 100% recycled synthetics like ECONYL. We did a lot of research, but unfortunately couldn’t find any brand that’s 100% synthetic-free. They all use a small amount of polyester or spandex for stretch and/or in the lining. The amount is minuscule compared to the plastic in pads or tampons with plastic applicators, particularly since the underwear can be used for years, but it means they aren’t recyclable or compostable — you’ll have to throw them in the trash when they’re done.

Related: The Coziest and Most Comfortable Sustainable & Ethical Underwear Brands

Menstrual cups

Also known as a period cup, it is typically made from medical-grade silicone or latex, and is inserted into the vagina during your period. Rather than absorbing the blood like most other products, it collects it and needs to be emptied, rinsed, and reinserted every 6 to 12 hours, depending on your flow. According to multiple brands, one menstrual cup can last for up to ten years. 

Another mark in their favor is that you only need one per period cycle, as opposed to pads and tampons, and even period panties, which have to be changed regularly through your cycle. Only around 4% of menstrual cups on the market are produced from thermoplastics compared to single-use pads which are usually constructed of 35% plastic, and 6% for tampons. And cups are estimated to have less than 1.5% of the environmental impact of disposable pads or tampons. It’s also worth noting that period cups are very easy to clean, and need less water and soap to wash than period panties. This is especially important if you’re living in a drought-prone area, or don’t have easy access to clean, running water. 

Unfortunately, since they’re made of silicone, menstrual cups are not compostable, or even easily recyclable. However, there are special services through which you can recycle your cup, such as through the DivaRecycles program in partnership with TerraCycle.

Reusable pads

Reusable pads are similar in concept to period panties, eliminating the need for disposable pads. You attach them to your everyday underwear with snaps that come on the pad, and then just rinse, wash, and reuse. Look for ones made using GOTS certified cotton or other natural materials. Like period underwear, reusable pads also have a small amount of synthetic fabric in the construction.  

Organic pads and tampons

A number of brands make entirely plant-based and synthetic-free single-use pads and tampons. According to period care brand TOM, provided they’re 100% natural, they can be composted, or thrown in the bin and will decompose at the landfill. The idea of tossing used pads or tampons in your home compost bin may be a bit icky at first, but as long as you wrap them properly (in biodegradable wrapping which most products will come in), you’ll be fine!

Brands That Make Eco-Friendly Period Products

We know that periods are a very personal experience, so choose the product that feels the best to you! To make things a little easier, here are eight brands we recommend. 

 

Modibodi

In addition to period panties, this brand makes period-proof swimwear and activewear. Their leggings are made from a blend of recycled nylon (78%) and spandex or elastane (22%), and can hold up to three tampons worth of fluid. Modibodi also has period undies for your ultra-heavy days — they’re designed to hold up to ten tampons worth of fluid, the highest of any brand in this list. The other fabric is made from 95% bamboo viscose and 5% spandex. Note: It’s based in Australia, but has U.S. and UK sites for shipping too. 

 

Ruby Cup 

Barcelona-based Ruby Cup makes medical-grade silicone menstrual cups that can last up to 10 years. Addressing period poverty is at the core of its business — with its Buy One, Give One program, each time it sells a cup, Ruby donates one to a person without access. To date, Ruby Cup has donated over 100,000 cups to people in 13 countries. You can read more about its impact here.  

 

Nat’v Basics

Nat’v Basics is an Australian brand that makes reusable period panties (as well as regular undies and bras). Its period underwear are made from 95% GOTS certified organic cotton and 5% spandex. They can hold three to four tampons’ worth of fluid, making them a great choice for light-moderate days. If you have a very heavy flow, you might want to combine these with a tampon or a period cup on your heaviest day. It currently only has one style (bikini cut), which is available in black.

 

Aisle

Vancouver-based Aisle is one of the earliest entrants to the industry, and is a certified B Corporation. Aisle makes period panties in various styles and colors from a blend of natural and synthetic materials, including GOTS certified organic cotton, GRS and OEKO-TEX certified Tencel and recycled polyester, spandex, and polyurethane laminate, a waterproofing film. The panties can hold four tampons worth of fluid, while the thong can hold one, and most come with a booster liner for your heavier days, which gets the panties up to eight tampons’ worth. It also sells reusable pads, which can hold four tampons worth of fluid, but it’s worth noting that the core for these is made from mostly polyester. 

 

TOM Organic

Australia-based TOM Organic stocks all the sustainable period care essentials: organic pads and tampons, menstrual cups, and period panties. TOM Organic carries tampons and pads that are 100% synthetic-free — they’re made with organic cotton, and are biodegradable and hypoallergenic. The tampon applicators are recyclable cardboard and plastic-free, and the pads have a bioplastic barrier back sheet. Its period panties are made mostly from organic cotton, with a small amount of elastane, polyurethane, and polyester. Its supply chain is quite transparent, which is a big plus. 

 

Lilli Pads

Lilli Pads is a period care brand that makes organic pads and tampons. Its pads are made with GOTS certified organic cotton and are ICEA certified. They’re biodegradable and hypoallergenic and are free of dioxins, petroleum, and fragrances. The tampons are also made from organic cotton and come with a plastic-free cardboard applicator. 

 

Heyday

I’ve used these pads and liners myself and can vouch for them. Based in India this brand also makes menstrual cups. The pads are 100% plant-based, including the adhesive. They’re made from organic corn and bamboo fibers, and can be composted — make sure to wrap them in the cornstarch-based biodegradable film that they come wrapped in. Just don’t flush them down the toilet! They break down in about six months in a compost bin, and even if you throw them in with your regular trash they will decompose completely within two years. Some of Heyday’s many certifications include FSC, EcoCert, and ISO.

 

Ohne 

This UK-based brand carries menstrual care products for your entire cycle. In addition to period panties and organic pads and tampons, it carries CBD oils for cramping and mood swings. The panties are made with 92% modal and 8% elastane, and can hold two tampons worth of fluid. The pads and tampons have a Soil Association Certification, are made from GOTS certified organic cotton, and are biodegradable.

The post Our Guide to Natural and Non-Toxic Period Products appeared first on Ecocult.

]]>
https://ecocult.com/sustainable-non-toxic-natural-reusable-period-products/feed/ 0
Our 2021 Guide to Holiday Sales on Sustainable and Ethical Gifts https://ecocult.com/black-friday-cyber-monday-ethical-sustainable-fashion-beauty-sales/ https://ecocult.com/black-friday-cyber-monday-ethical-sustainable-fashion-beauty-sales/#respond Fri, 10 Dec 2021 14:00:38 +0000 https://ecocult.com/?p=1066957 Here's our roundup of ethical and sustainable brands that are offering discounts beyond the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

The post Our 2021 Guide to Holiday Sales on Sustainable and Ethical Gifts appeared first on Ecocult.

]]>
Image credit: Mono B
This post contains some affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase, EcoCult receives a small percentage of the sale price. Some brands may have paid a small fee to be featured. We only recommend brands that we truly believe in. Support our editorial work by supporting them!

There’s a bit of an anti-Black Friday and holiday sales movement that exists within the ethical/sustainable world, with some brands choosing not to participate in the tradition. Honestly, we get it. Sales have gotten ridiculously out of control, and it’s reflective of much larger, very important issues of consumerism, capitalism, and how we’re taught by society to find our value in more stuff. So if the idea of offering holiday deals goes completely against a brand’s ethos and they decide not to participate, no hard feelings.

At the same time, there’s an element of holiday campaigns that we support. Not everyone has the means to purchase ethically-made gifts at full price, especially when they have multiple people to shop for around the holidays. The way we see it, holiday shopping doesn’t have to be excessive, and the holidays can be a really great opportunity for income-constrained people to purchase a few ethically made goods at more accessible price points, plus introduce your loved ones to some of your favorite brands. Because you know they’ll love them! Hopefully, with these sales, you’ll have a little extra money in your pocket to donate to a non-profit.

Plus, there’s a reason why so many brands participate —  it’s good for their bottom line! Sustainable fashion businesses need to be sustainable in terms of revenue as well. So we don’t begrudge them at all.

Here you will ethical and sustainable brands that are offering discounts beyond the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. As more details come in, we’ll be adding to this list, so bookmark and circle back! Note that the bold text denotes EcoCult exclusive promotions that you’ll only find here.

Happy holidays!

From Our Partners:

Mono B

Based in Los Angeles, Mono B is a female-led, minority-owned brand known for its fashion meets functional athleisure collection. The brand prides itself on its size-inclusive designs with unique fabrications, futuristic designs and prints at an affordable price. Mono B offers a Recycled/Eco-Conscious Selection, constructed using either 100% recycled polyester or 100% recycled nylon. Shop its sale section for sports bras, tops, leggings, jackets, swim and more.

 

Nisolo

Nisolo is an impact-focused lifestyle brand that ethically sources products in a manner that positively impacts consumers and producers. Nisolo offers skills training and safe working conditions, facilitates international market access, and ensures beyond fair trade wages. Check out this sale page for high-quality, long-lasting boots and accessories. 

 

TAMGA Designs

Get 15% off all items (including sale) with code ECOCULT15. The discount does not include Trees Please Tee. Now-3/31.

TAMGA is committed to transparency throughout its entire supply chain, from the farms where its cotton is grown to the factories where everything is sewn together. The TAMGA team takes great care to operate with ethical and sustainable processes and operates under a strict code of conduct. Plus, each purchase gives back to efforts to replant the rainforests. You can shop for dresses, jumpsuits, bottoms and more.

 

DoneGood

DoneGood is offering a bonus Shop For Good Sunday sale from 12/11-12/13. Shop For Good Sunday is a day during the holiday shopping season where people are encouraged to support ethical and sustainable businesses and use their holiday shopping for good. You will be able to shop for 40+ brands and hundreds of products on sale from 20-40% off.

On a mission to make shopping ethically easier, DoneGood is a marketplace that curates brands that create unique, high-quality products made in a way that’s good for people and the planet.  For the retailer, “good for people” means empowering workers, paying fair wages free of trafficking or child labor and unsafe working conditions. And “good for the planet” means using eco-friendly production processes, non-toxic, organic​ or recycled materials, and taking other significant steps to keep our land, air and water clean.​ ​You can find​ an extensive selection of sale items of sustainable bedding, apparel, personal care and more.

 

Made Trade

Founded in 2018, Made Trade is a woman-owned and family-run curated online shop with a large selection of ethical and sustainable clothing, shoes, home decor, and furniture.​ ​​On each product page, you can find information about the brand’s values and ethical practices, materials used, etc., so you can be an informed consumer (without spending a bunch of time researching). You can read more about Made Trade and why we love it here. And click here for sale items, including home, apparel and baby items.

 

Melissa Joy Manning 

Receive 10% off its jewelry, excluding fine and third party, with code EcoCult10.

Melissa Joy Manning is a sustainable American jeweler.​ Everything is handmade in her studios in New York City or California. The Berkeley studio is green-certified, and the NYC studio, though not certified, employs the same methods. The jewelry is made using recycled precious metals from a Green-Certified refiner and packaged in recycled packaging. The​ brand also carbon offset all its shipping.

 

Numi

Numi is a brand that sells elevated basics that are easy to wear and care for, stain-resistant, and machine washable. It recently launched a button-down made out of Sustainable Silk™, a material made in Canada with fabrics imported from Italy. The collection incorporates a blend of 29% Silk and 69% Naia™, a sustainable rayon made from pine and eucalyptus trees. You can save up to 40% off its seasonal styles here.

 

YesAnd

ECYA22 for 22% off through December.

YesAnd sells eco-friendly, sustainable and affordable woman’s clothing. Its modern basics are GOTS-certified and made using 100% organic cotton and low-impact dyes. The brand is also committed to fair wages, empowering female farmers, sustaining their local communities, and no child labor. Shop its wonderful selection of holiday gifts here.

 

Delilah Home

EcoCult readers receive 20% off and free shipping on orders over $100 with code ECO20.

Delilah Home is a 100% vegan-certified and organic home textile company. It carries a collection of GOTS organic cotton and non-toxic hemp sheets and towels. The brand’s 100% organic hemp sheets won the Good Housekeeepings 2021 Best Bedding Award. They are soft, lush and cooling bed sheets that don’t require any pesticides or fertilizers at the farm. Everything is made in Fair Trade factories, where the workers are paid above a living wage and work in safe environments. Delilah Home also gives back 10% of its profits to various environmental and community non-profits.

 

Follain

  • Spend $70+ and receive a free full-size Follain Ultra Hydrating Mask ($34 value) & free shipping. 12/6-12/10.
  • Spend $60+ and receive a free deluxe ILIA Fullest Mascara ($13 value) & free shipping. 2/15-12/19.
  • Spend $120+ and receive a free full-size One Love Organics Botanical C Body Polish ($48 value) & free shipping. 12/20-12/22.
  • Spend $50+ and receive a free deluxe RMS Beauty Tinted Daily Lip Balm ($10 value) & free shipping. 12/23-12/26.
  • Free Shipping on all orders at Follain. 12/26 only.
  • Spend $70+ and receive a free full-size Follain Firming Serum ($38 value) & free shipping. 12/27-1/2.

Follain is a clean beauty retailer and brand. It blends naturally-potent botanicals with high-performance clean synthetics to create daily essentials and targeted treatments that deliver visible results. The brand’s ingredients are hand-selected based on years of experience testing the latest innovations in clean beauty alongside continued advancements in green chemistry.

44 Promotions (and Counting):

Apparel

ABLE (women’s apparel & accessories): $20 off orders of $75 with code WONDER.

Ably (travel clothing): Free two-day domestic shipping on orders over $25+.

ADAY (women’s apparel): Use code SOFT for a free Overseas Scarf on orders $350+.

Amour Vert (women’s apparel): 30% off sitewide. 12/9-12/13. 25% off gift cards. 12/14-12/16. Extra 50% off sale. 12/17-1/2.

Another Tomorrow (women’s apparel): Take $150 off purchases of $500+ with code HOLIDAY50. Take $250 off purchases of $1000+ with code HOLIDAY250.

Comrad (socks): 25% off sitewide with code JOY25.

Conscious Step (socks): Take $10 off select gift boxes, and get some of its classic pairs for $10.

Girlfriend Collective (recycled athleisure & activewear): Take 20% off your order of $150+. No code needed.

Guardi (ready-to-wear luxury): 30% off everything.

Grund (organic bedding & bath): Free rug with orders over $200. 

Hanna Andersson (matching pajamas): Pajamas Starting at $20: Valid on select pajama styles. Now -12/18. Up to 50% off valid on select apparel and pajama styles. Prices as marked. Now-12/18.

Mono B (sustainable athleisure): Shop its sale section for sports bras, tops, leggings, jackets, swim and more.

Numi (elevated basics): You can save up to 40% off its seasonal styles here.

prAna (travel & yoga clothing): Use code HAPPY25 for 25% off your entire order + free expedited shipping. Now-12/13.

Shaina Mote (women’s apparel): 20% off outerwear. No code needed.

TAMGA Designs (vibrant clothing): Get up to 30% off and TAMGA will donate 20% to restoring the Sumatran Rainforest. 11/26 – 11/29.

Tradlands (effortless & refined clothing): An additional 20% off already reduced styles with code WINTER20.

Whimsy + Row (easy and elegant clothing): Take 20% off with code: BYE2021.

YesAnd (modern basics): ECYA22 for 22% off through December.

Accessories & Jewelry

behno (handbags): Up to 50% off sitewide.

Melissa Joy Manning (ethical jewelry): Receive 10% off its jewelry, excluding fine and third party, with code EcoCult10.

Nordgreen (watches): Up to 15% off gift sets & extra free strap. Now-12/20.

Proof Eyewear (sunglasses): 25% off + free shipping on orders over $70 with code HOLIDAZE21.

Beauty & Wellness

Beauty by Earth (natural skincare): Buy One Get One Free + free gift on orders $25+ with code TREATYOELF. 

Follain (clean beauty retailer and brand): Spend $70+ and receive a free full-size Follain Ultra Hydrating Mask ($34 value) & free shipping. 12/6-12/10. Spend $60+ and receive a free deluxe ILIA Fullest Mascara ($13 value) & free shipping. 2/15-12/19. Spend $120+ and receive a free full-size One Love Organics Botanical C Body Polish ($48 value) & free shipping. 12/20-12/22. Spend $50+ and receive a free deluxe RMS Beauty Tinted Daily Lip Balm ($10 value) & free shipping. 12/23-12/26. One Day Only! Free Shipping on all orders at Follain. 12/26 only. Spend $70+ and receive a free full-size Follain Firming Serum ($38 value) & free shipping. 12/27-1/2.

Dear Sundays (nail care): 15% off with code GIFTING15.

Pacifica (vegan beauty): Free Shipping on all orders with code: FREESHIP.

Home

Avocado (mattresses): Save $125 on its hybrid and latex mattresses with code HOLIDAY. Save $300 on its organic luxury plush mattress with code JOYFUL. Save $50 on its City Bed Frame. Save $150 on its Eco Plus and Eco Pro Adjustable Base and Mid-century Modern Bed Frame. Save $300 on its Malibu Platform Bed Frame. Save 10% on its organic bath towels and mats. Save 10% on its wooden bath collection. Save 15% on all Hass products. Save 14% on all Reed + Gwen products. Save 20% on organic pillows. Save 15% on bedding. Save 15% off pet beds and bolsters. Now-1/10. 

Awara (mattresses & bedding): $200 off any mattress (even the Premier!). Cotton sheet set + 2 latex pillows + mattress protector FREE Now-12/14. 

Brooklyn Bedding (mattresses): 20% off mattresses, 50% off sheets with code GIFT20. Now-12/14.

Caraway (cookware): Up to 20% off sitewide.

Coyuchi (bedding & apparel): 40% Off last-chance items. Plus, 20% off cozy gifts. Now-12/19.

Delilah Home (sustainable bedding): EcoCult readers receive 20% off and free shipping on orders over $100 with code ECO20.

Eco Terra Beds (mattresses): Enjoy $175 off mattresses with code CM175. Now-12/12.

Latex For Less (natural mattresses): Save $175 on all latex mattresses with code BF175. Now-12/12.

Lumens (lighting, fans, furniture, and accessories): Enjoy up to 75% off on lighting, furniture, and more than 85+ brands during Lumens’ Home for the Holidays Sale. Plus, receive a free gift with a qualifying purchase. While supplies last. Now-1/3. And receive a free Dartmouth LED Flushmount with any qualifying $350 Kuzco purchase. Use code: KUZCO. free shipping. While supplies last. Now-12/31. Save 50% on all products by Alder & Ore + free shipping & low price guarantee. Now-12/31. And lastly, save 15% on all products by Avenue Lighting with code AVENUE. Now-12/31.

PlushBeds (mattresses): $1,250 off all bedroom mattresses + receive $269 in free bedding with purchase. Also, receive 25% off all toppers, pillows and bedding. Now-12/13.

Saatva (mattress & bedding): 10% off sitewide or 15% off orders over $2,750. Discount applied in cart. Now-12/14.

Shoes

Nisolo (leather goods): Check out this sale page for high-quality, long-lasting boots and accessories. 

SUAVS (comfortable shoes): Get 20% off 2 or more pairs with code TMTM21.

Stores/Marketplaces

Accompany (artisan and fair trade lifestyle goods): Take 30% off already reduced styles. Now-12/12.

DoneGood (fair trade, organic products): DoneGood is offering a bonus Shop For Good Sunday sale from 12/11-12/13. Shop For Good Sunday is a day during the holiday shopping season where people are encouraged to support ethical and sustainable businesses and use their holiday shopping for good. You will be able to shop for 40+ brands and hundreds of products on sale from 20-40% off.

Made Trade (sustainable goods): Click here for sale items, including home, apparel and baby items.

The Narativ (ethical boutique): 15% off any online order by using Code: ECOCULT15.

 

 

 

The post Our 2021 Guide to Holiday Sales on Sustainable and Ethical Gifts appeared first on Ecocult.

]]>
https://ecocult.com/black-friday-cyber-monday-ethical-sustainable-fashion-beauty-sales/feed/ 0
I Tested These 15 Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap Ideas. Here Are My Favorites! https://ecocult.com/15-eco-friendly-gift-wrap-ideas-that-look-chic-not-cheap/ https://ecocult.com/15-eco-friendly-gift-wrap-ideas-that-look-chic-not-cheap/#comments Wed, 01 Dec 2021 13:57:08 +0000 https://ecocult.com/?p=118344 Gift wrapping gives us the same challenge as dressing fashionably. You want it to look sophisticated, neat, and pretty, just without all the waste, exploitation, and environmental impact. That is not always the easiest thing to pull off.

The post I Tested These 15 Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap Ideas. Here Are My Favorites! appeared first on Ecocult.

]]>
Image: Wrappr
This post is generously sponsored by Wrappr, a beautiful, reusable, biodegradable, and woman-owned gift wrap brand. EcoCult only partners with brands who do great things. Support EcoCult editorial by supporting them!

Doesn’t it make your eye twitch to see the mounds of plastic ribbons going into the trash on Christmas morning? Or make you uncomfortable to wonder just how they make wrapping paper so shiny and colorful, who made it, and where?

In fact, much of that glossy stuff isn’t recyclable. The glittery and metallic papers contain plastics, so they need to go into the trash. Some municipalities don’t accept any wrapping paper, and tissue paper is often already made from recycled content, meaning it can’t be recycled again, according to Recyclebank.

But gift wrapping gives us the same challenge as dressing fashionably. You want it to look sophisticated, neat, and pretty, just without all the waste, exploitation, and environmental impact. That is not always the easiest thing to pull off.

So I decided to really dig into this problem, try out all the internet suggestions for eco-friendly wrapping ideas, and share what I learned with you, complete with illustrative pictures of the results. (Hat tip to The Art of Living Simple and Martha Stewart for generating some of these ideas for me.)

If you could be so kind as to give me feedback in the comments on your favorites, that will help other readers with their wrapping adventures as well!

Reusable Fabric Wrap

I love the Japanese tradition of furoshiki fabric wraps. To make it easy, I tried Wrappr’s reusable, biodegradable, zero-waste gift wrap, which comes in some absolutely gorgeous designs. It took me less than five minutes to wrap these three gifts, no lie. These machine-washable fabric squares are designed to be repurposed or reused and are available in three sizes and three materials, including 100% organic cotton. Each original design is created by an independent artist who gets a cut of every sale. You can learn more about each artist here. And if you are a brand looking to create a custom furoshiki wrap, Wrappr offers that service.

Your gift recipients can either re-gift their Wrappr, hang it in their home or office as wall art, use it as a face mask or grocery bag, style it as a scarf, and more. Plus, all of the packaging is recycled and biodegradable, too. Each comes with a To/From card with instructions on the back so your recipient can pass on the love. Check out the brand’s library of tutorials for how to wrap and reuse your Wrappr. 

 

Vintage Finds

For eco-friendly gift wrap materials, try vintage/antique shop!

You know that fusty “antique” (read: junk) shop that every town has a few of? This place is great for affordable and sustainable gift wrap ideas. You just have to have an eye for what will translate into a chic present accessory. When you’re there, look for:

  • Ornaments
  • Scarves
  • Tea or kitchen towels
  • Decorative brooches
  • Vintage cards
  • Old maps
  • Jars and cookie tins

I swung by Junk in Brooklyn and had a ball digging through jewelry, ornaments, scarves, and linens until I got together a tidy passel of wrapping items. The most expensive thing was this beautiful map tea towel, at $10, which I’m sure my recipient will continue to use. The glass icicles were $0.25 apiece, the jingles bells were $3 – I cut them off the cheap rope they were on to class them up. Everything else was $2 or under, and all of it can be reused for another present, or hung on the tree. The vintage cards were especially useful as retro-chic tags, and the maps are both the perfect weight for wrapping. Plus, you can pick out a map that has special significance. I got a map of Nevada so I could wrap my fella’s small present with Black Rock Desert, Burning Man’s location, on the front.

 

Save Up Those Odds and Ends

 

You have some stuff you can use. As someone who gets a lot of cool products in the mail, I have a lot of:

  • Tissue paper
  • Ribbons
  • Dust bags
  • Boxes
  • Twine
  • Jars

… that I’ve been diligently collecting all year. When you shop at sustainable and ethical makers of high-quality goods, you end up with some gorgeous wrapping materials! I used all of these in my wrapping process. You’ll also see in my wrapping some sparkly wrapping paper my dude bought last year, and some Japanese washi tape my mom put in my stocking a few years ago. The gift below is using a dust bag from an artisan boutique and some vintage bells.

Tip: Use a hair iron to smooth out kinked ribbons. Then use the ribbons how they were originally intended: to seal packages closed in lieu of plastic tape.

Eco-friendly gift wrapping ideas: a haute dustbag is transformed into the perfect gift bag for a scarf with the help of vintage bells and ribbon

Chip Bags

Eco-friendly gift wrap idea: turn a chip bag inside out!

I actually love to indulge in potato chips every once in a while, but I feel bad about it. Not because of the health, but because their packaging is never recyclable. However, you can reuse their packaging, because it’s silver on the inside – perfect for gift wrap.

Foreign Newspaper

Eco-friendly gift wrap idea: use an old newspaper, or buy a foreign language newspaper for more flair

Newspaper is another great material that is frequently recommended for wrapping. Newspapers are printed that morning in the same city and are recyclable, making them more affordable and sustainable than typical wrapping paper. I actually only get the New York Times digitally now, but I stopped into a Chinese convenience store in Chinatown and bought a newspaper for a cool $0.50. The result looks worldly and neutral in content.

I also scrounged up an old sweater I was getting rid of. I think if you tie it correctly, it can look chic, if a bit lumpy. But I sort of dread the moment when my recipient looks at the stained sweater and is like, “Uh, I don’t have to keep this right?” It seems a bit awkward. I think if you cut a neat square out of a thinner sweater, it might work.

Steal Some Christmas Tree Sprigs

Eco-friendly gift wrap idea: cut sprigs of your Christmas tree or wreath, or ask the tree seller if you can have some branches that fell off

NYC has New York State-grown Christmas trees being sold every five blocks. I stopped at one by my apartment and asked the guy if I could have some small branches that had fallen off. He gave me a weird look, but said it was fine.

Homemade eggnog decorated with twine, pine tree sprigs, and a vintage bird ornament. Get my eggnog recipe here.

Local, Sustainable, Ethical Maker

This is from Brooklyn stationary artist Museum Lab (formerly Frances Lab). The icicles are from the antique store, and the washi tape I had on hand. Or you can go on Etsy and looking for wrapping paper made in your area.

You can also buy an ethically made scarf or organic tea towel for an elegant and useful paper alternative. See my Shopping Guide for online suggestions for where to get one.

Reusable Wrapping Bags

Eco-friendly gift wrap tip: buy a reusable gift bag! Eco-friendly gift wrap tip: buy a reusable gift bag!

This is one of the easiest options for wrapping presents. Just shove your item inside, tie it, and voila! A beautiful present. The sustainable part is that it will get used over and over for probably years before it finally falls apart. I got a three-pack from Bag-All‘s store in Manhattan.

Swing by the Florist

Eco-friendly gift wrap tip: stop by the florist for biodegradable and elegant packing material

I didn’t get any, but you can put the finishing touch on dozens of gifts by getting a spray of holiday berries from the florist. Also pick up some natural and bio-degradable packing material while you’re there, so you don’t have to resort to packing peanuts or bubble wrap.

Eco-Friendly Basics From the Art Store

Eco-friendly gift wrap tip: buy postal paper a.k.a. Kraft paper for wrapping presents

You’ll need neutrals among all this chaos of vintage, newsprint, scarves, and leftover ribbon. I suggest getting plain white paper or brown kraft a.k.a. postal paper from the craft or office supply store. The benefit of using plain paper is that while glossy paper has a tendency to slip and requires tape, postal paper doesn’t need any tape to stay put, just ribbon. While you’re at the art store, you could also get some white chalk or small set of charcoal crayons to label the presents, some brown or white twine, or simple white or red cloth ribbon.

Use One of the Thousand Totes You Probably Already Own

I’ve talked about my reusable tote bag problem before, and how they may not be as eco-friendly as we think. But, chances are high that you already have a ton of them sitting in the closet, so you could choose a cute one and use it as a gift bag. Then perhaps your recipient will use it again too!

Make Your Own Custom Wrapping

If you’re the type of person who likes to go the extra mile, you can create your own custom eco-friendly tissue paper, stickers, and tape with noissue. noissue was created for small businesses, so their minimums are super low, which means it’s accessible for individuals too. Just upload your own design, receive your product in 2-3 weeks, and your friends and family will be extra-impressed. You can read more about noissue here. Use code ECOCULT10 for 10% off your first order.

 

The post I Tested These 15 Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap Ideas. Here Are My Favorites! appeared first on Ecocult.

]]>
https://ecocult.com/15-eco-friendly-gift-wrap-ideas-that-look-chic-not-cheap/feed/ 2
The 29 Best Online Stores for Sustainable & Ethical Fashion https://ecocult.com/best-eco-friendly-online-fashion-shops/ https://ecocult.com/best-eco-friendly-online-fashion-shops/#respond Mon, 01 Nov 2021 13:00:35 +0000 https://ecocult.com/?p=1065278 There is now an incredible amount of amazing eco-friendly brands out there, but that also means it can be difficult to sift through them all to find what you're looking for. (It's a good problem to have!) But, that's why we love consciously curated stores and boutiques who have already done the sifting for us! So, here are some of our favorite online boutiques and stores carrying sustainable, ethically made, and fashionable apparel, accessories, home goods, and more.

The post The 29 Best Online Stores for Sustainable & Ethical Fashion appeared first on Ecocult.

]]>
Image: ARIELLE via ourCommonplace

In order to support EcoCult’s in-depth research and editorial, the brands listed below may have paid a fee to be included, and there may also be affiliate links, which pay EcoCult a small percentage of the sale price if you click and buy. As always, EcoCult only works with brands we think are doing good things, and this carefully curated list is a reflection of that. Support EcoCult editorial by supporting them! 

There is now an incredible amount of amazing eco-friendly brands out there, but that also means it can be difficult to sift through them all to find what you’re looking for. (It’s a good problem to have!) That’s why we love consciously curated stores and boutiques who have already done the sifting for us. With the rise of sustainable and ethical fashion, now online eco fashion stores even have personalities and individual style. Amazing, right?

So, here are some of our favorite online boutiques and stores carrying sustainable, ethically made, and fashionable apparel, accessories, home goods, and more.

(P.S., If you’re looking specifically for secondhand or vintage shops, check out this post.)

 

Fox Holt

Fox Holt curates luxury pieces from designers who prioritize slow fashion, ethical production, sustainability, and accessibility. The brands chosen for their platform are conscious about having a minimal environmental impact at every step of the production cycle, from sourcing and manufacturing to marketing and distribution. They also make it really easy to shop the way you want: You can either sort by your ethical priorities (artisan-made, vegan, eco-friendly, made in the US, etc.), by designer, or by occasion (work, leisure, vacation, formal events, etc).

Shop: Women’s apparel, accessories, jewelry, handbags, home goods

Price range: $25 – $7,000

 

Urbankissed

Urbankissed is a carefully curated online destination to shop for conscious fashion favorites and innovative upcoming brands. It stocks 100+ conscious brands that are shipped by its creators directly to your home, with no extra stop. This way, it creates the least waste and CO2 emissions. It also avoids a warehouse full of unsold goods and offers you the latest collections from a large selection of curated and mindful brands. 

Shop: Gifts, women’s apparel, handbags, swimwear, shoes, accessories, jewelry, beauty & wellness, home goods, menswear

Price range: $15 – $1500

 

Kaight

Kaight is a NY-based curated boutique specializing in sustainable and ethical fashion. All items have one or more of the following criteria: locally produced, zero or low waste, made from organic or reclaimed materials, or fair trade. Kaight celebrates the slow fashion movement and aims to help consumers cultivate a more thoughtful wardrobe.

Shop: Clothing, accessories, jewelry, skincare, home goods

Price range: $15 to $250

 

ourCommonplace

Founded by first-generation Taiwanese American, Sunny Wu, ourCommonplace brings together conscious companies into a beautifully curated online shop with the goal of helping to move us toward accomplishing the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The shop holds six core standards (women-owned, sustainable, toxic-free, ethical, local, and cruelty-free), and every brand and product they carry fits a bare minimum of two of those standards. You can even sort and shop according to the value(s) that mean the most to you. Plus, all shipping and returns are 100% carbon neutral at no extra cost to the customer.

Shop: Gifts, women’s apparel, shoes, accessories, beauty & wellness, and home goods

Price range: $15 – $1500

 

Toad&Co

Toad&Co makes apparel out of eco-conscious fabrics like organic cotton, TENCELhemp, recycled fibers and more. Its products carry a host of different third-party certifications such as bluesign and OEKO-TEX. Not only that, but you can actually send back your clothing when you’re done with it and Toad&Co will either clean, repair and resell it as a part of its partnership with The Renewal Workshop to give Toad clothing a second life. Even its packaging is reusable—the brand has partnered with limeloop to use a reusable shipper that can be returned to them after you’ve received your goods. Plus, all of its orders are processed, packaged, and shipped by the Planet Access Company warehouse, which is an organization the brand co-founded to give employment and training opportunities to adults with intellectual and physical disabilities. Toad&Co is not stopping there: it has some great goals for the next decade, like transitioning to 100% recycled synthetics by 2025 and 100% certified Responsible Wool Standard by 2024.

Shop: Women’s & men’s apparel, accessories

Price range: $17.99 – $200

 

Beunica

Beunica is an e-commerce platform that supports small independent brands and artisans that have sustainable business practices and ethical standards. It sells contemporary lifestyle products including luxury fashion, homeware and natural beauty products. Each piece is carefully selected to bring its customers one-of-a-kind products with a focus on craftsmanship, quality, and sustainability. The collections are locally made by artisan collectives or in small production runs in the designers’ studios.

Shop: Women’s apparel, shoes, homeware and beauty

Price range: $14 – $1,829

 

MODE Revolution

MODE Revolution curates vibrant pieces from ethical and sustainable labels around the world that have a positive impact on their local communities. These brands use eco-friendly fabrics like organic cotton, linen, and various recycled materials, while also prioritizing safe and fair treatment to their workers. Throughout their processes, they seek to reduce, reuse, and recycle whenever possible.

Shop: Women’s & men’s apparel, accessories, jewelry, swimwear, handbags

Price range: $25 – $800

 

Itemerie

Itemerie is an online store that sells a curation of eco-conscious replacements for everyday items that would look beautiful in your kitchen, closet, or makeup bag. The icons next to each item tell you whether it’s handmade, zero waste, vegan, plant-based, made in the USA, and more. You can also sort products according to these categories as well, so you can shop according to what means the most to you.

Shop: Home, beauty, fashion cleaning

Price range: $20 – $150

 

Accompany

At Accompany, every purchase has a purpose. The team at Accompany scours the globe for the coolest, most beautiful and one-of-a-kind finds that celebrate a variety of cultures. With the foremost mission of sustainably helping human beings, all merchandise carried by Accompany is either artisan-made, fair trade, and/or supports humanitarian or philanthropic causes.

Shop: Women’s clothing, accessories, shoes, jewelry, and home goods

Price range: $25 – $500

 

Azura Bay

If you’re looking for ethically made lingerie, activewear, or sleepwear, Azura Bay is your place to go. Ashley at Azura Bay consciously curates the best luxurious and socially conscious lingerie and loungewear brands in a way that fosters women’s love for their bodies and encourages them to feel confident and beautiful. Plus, each purchase gives back to organizations that support environmental initiatives and gender equality.

Shop: Women’s lingerie, activewear, and loungewear

Price range: $15 – $200

 

best online stores for sustainable fashion best online stores for sustainable fashion best online stores for sustainable fashion

Bhoomki

The Bhoomki brand is built on the value of handmade textiles, the preservation of craft, and the assurance of fair compensation for handworkers. The team works regularly with India-based block printers, embroidery artists, and handloom weavers. It uses sustainable materials like organic cotton, linen, peace silk, recycled fabrics, and toxin-free dyes whenever possible.

Shop: Women’s apparel, accessories, and jewelry

Price range: $18 – $200

 

Urban Renewal

Shopping used is one of the most sustainable ways to go. And Urban Renewal is Urban Outfitter’s beautifully curated collection of vintage pieces that have often been upcycled and redesigned to make them more modern.

Shop: Women’s vintage apparel and accessories

Price range: $10 – $50

 

ANTIDOTE

ANTIDOTE is founded on the idea that fashion and sustainability can go hand in hand. The curated, Miami-based boutique carries only gorgeous, ethical brands that have a story to tell, whether it’s about a craft person’s dedication or a designer’s commitment. You can shop by brand or by ethical quality, be it artisanal, recycled, vegan, or sustainable.

Shop: Apparel, accessories, home goods, and jewelry

Price range: $15 to $1,500

 

Done Good

With over 300 brands included and more being added all the time, Done Good is on a mission to become “the ethical Amazon.” They have a huge selection of apparel, accessories, home goods, beauty, travel, and more—all from brands doing good. Plus, they’ve got a browser extension that makes shopping ethically online even easier.

Shop: Clothing for men, women, and kids, accessories, bags, jewelry, shoes, home goods

Price range: $12 – $275

 

 

GOODEE

Certified B Corp company GOODEE is a curated marketplace offering apparel, homeware and accessories. Founders Byron and Dexter Peart are on a mission to reduce poverty, help marginalized communities and advocate for gender equality by supporting traditional artisans and small brands around the world.

Price range: $49 – $199

 

Made Trade

Made Trade is a curated online shop with a wide selection of products that are eco-conscious, fair trade, vegan, and/or made in the USA. On each product page, you can find out a lot about the brand’s values and ethical practices, materials used, etc., so you can be an informed consumer (without spending a bunch of time researching). Read more about why we love Made Trade here!

Shop: Men and women’s clothing (including plus size), lingerie, swimwear, jewelry, shoes, accessories, and home goods

Price range: $40 – $500

 

Wolf & Badger

B-corp certified, Wolf & Badger is a UK-based online marketplace selling items across womenswear, menswear, beauty, grooming, homeware, jewelry, and accessories. In April of 2020, Wolf & Badger updated its mission dedicated to promoting sustainability.

Price range: $9 – $32,000

 

Ocelot Market

Ocelot Market was founded in 2018 and initially worked with three artisan workshops in Thailand, Morocco and Turkey. Now, the online retailer sells apparel, accessories and shoes from over 100 artisan workshops. The goal of Ocelot Market is to help connect small, handicraft-based communities with conscious consumers around the world.

 

The Folklore

The Folklore is a New York City-based multi-brand online concept store and wholesale showroom that allows U.S. based and international customers to easily shop exclusive styles from Africa and the diaspora’s top luxury and emerging fashion brands like Andrea Iyamah, MaXhosa, Loza Maléombho, Orange Culture, Simon and Mary, and Pichulik. Exclusivity and sustainability is key for The Folklore, so each season it carries a limited stock of each luxury item. Most of the fashion, accessories, and homewares available were handmade by local artisans based in South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Morocco, and Cote D’Ivoire. To be clear, not all of the 30 brands currently carried by The Folklore are founded by Black people, but even if you end up choosing something from the six white-owned brands, buying through The Folklore is still a great way to support a Black-owned business, as well as dip into the best of what the continent has to offer.

Shop: Women’s and men’s apparel, accessories, home goods

Price range: $25 – $800

 

The Narativ

Founded by Farai Simoyi of Netflix’s “Next In Fashion,” The Narativ curates sustainable, ethical artisan brands from around the world with the goal of sharing their narratives and promoting traditional craftsmanship.

Shop: Clothing, bags, jewelry

Price range: $20 – $380

 

YOOXYGEN

YOOXYGEN is the arm of YOOX that is dedicated to responsible fashion. The brands carried on YOOXYGEN are consciously curated based on their transparency, whether they use eco-friendly or recycled materials, and/or whether they support human rights issues.

Shop: Women’s clothing, accessories, shoes, lingerie, and jewelry

Price range: $25 – $2,000

 

REI

REI is best known for their outdoor apparel and gear, although they do carry a good amount of office-appropriate and everyday apparel and accessories as well. Every brand that REI carries meets a minimum standard of ethical and sustainable operation. Although not every single item is made out of recycled and/or natural materials, many of them meet some sort of eco and/or ethical standard and are made by companies who are committed to progress. Or, you can shop from their Used Gear section, which is perhaps the most sustainable (and affordable!) option. For more about REI’s sustainability initiatives in depth, read this.

Shop: Clothing for women & men, accessories, shoes, underwear, gear

Price range: $20 – $350

 

Kool & Konscious

Based in the UK, Kool & Konscious is a curated marketplace carrying apparel and accessories for men and women. They make it really easy to shop by material (cotton, linen, TENCEL, leather, etc.), by value (deadstock, recycled, fair trade, etc.), by activity (work, athleisure, lounging, etc.), or by brand — so you can find exactly what you’re looking for. Part of their goal is to make circularity the norm, so they’ve partnered with Thrift+ to give all Kool & Konscious items a second life after you’re finished with them. The company is on the way to becoming carbon neutral, and even created their own Impakt Score methodology to increase transparency as they progress toward their goals.

Shop: Clothing for men & women, accessories, jewelry, bags

Price range: $15 – $2000

 

Housework

Housework is a retail project founded on the idea of a holistic household—a living space in which all aspects of all objects are given careful consideration, from how and by whom they were made to their functionality and end of life. Even though home goods is the primary focus, they have a collection of carefully curated clothing as well. They pay close attention to material detail when it comes to sourcing the products they carry, but it’s not just about material purity and production ethics. Functionality and aesthetics are equally as important in the curation process, proving you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other.

Shop: Clothing for men and women, accessories, home goods, books

Price range: $45 – $465

 

GALERIE.LA

Based in Los Angeles, the GALERIE.LA team curates their collection from the most intriguing emerging designers who use sustainable production methods to reduce their environmental footprint while taking the ethical business practices necessary to benefit people and communities.

Shop: Women’s clothing, accessories, shoes, and swimwear

Price range: $30 – $600

 

Reve En Vert

Reve En Vert carefully curates from designers who are committed to four tenants: organic, re-made, local, and fair. They believe we don’t have to sacrifice style for environmental, social, and economic responsibility.

Shop: Women’s clothing, home goods, beauty and skincare, and accessories

Price range: $100 – $500

 

Maison de Mode

Maison de Mode is a hybrid luxury ethical fashion retailer fusing concept brick and mortar experiences alongside a seamless and luxurious online boutique, specializing in unique ready-to-wear, fine jewelry, accessories and home goods. The product icons indicating recycled, organic, made in the USA, artisan-made, etc. allow you to easily shop according to your values.

Shop: Women’s clothing, accessories, shoes, jewelry, and home goods

Price range: $50 – $1,000

 

Hazel & Rose

Hazel & Rose curates pieces that are first and foremost, well made and meant to last. They also prioritize sustainable, eco-friendly materials and ethically made clothing and accessories whose makers are being paid a fair wage. You can shop Hazel & Rose both online and at their shop in Minneapolis, MN.

Shop: Clothing (including vintage and plus size), lingerie, swimwear, shoes, accessories, and skincare

Price range: $20 – $300

 

BuyMeOnce

Most consumer goods are low quality and meant to break, which leads to a lot of wasted resources and more trash in our landfills. BuyMeOnce is a marketplace where you can find the highest quality goods in just about every category. To decide which products are sold on BuyMeOnce, they look at the materials and craftsmanship used to make the product, customer reviews that confirm the item’s durability, whether or not the product was made as ethically and sustainably as possible, the maintenance support offered, and timeless design.

Shop: Women’s, men’s, and kids’ clothing, accessories, home goods, pet supplies, electronics, travel and sporting goods, beauty and skincare

Price range: $20 – $500

 

The post The 29 Best Online Stores for Sustainable & Ethical Fashion appeared first on Ecocult.

]]>
https://ecocult.com/best-eco-friendly-online-fashion-shops/feed/ 0
Where Are All the Great Sustainable Packaging Options? https://ecocult.com/sustainable-eco-friendly-zero-waste-biodegradable-compostable-packaging/ https://ecocult.com/sustainable-eco-friendly-zero-waste-biodegradable-compostable-packaging/#respond Tue, 24 Aug 2021 13:00:03 +0000 https://ecocult.com/?p=1071088 Despite the fact that sustainable shopping has become much more accessible than it was a decade ago, and consumers are in fact buying more sustainably-marketed consumer goods, packaging is still a nightmare for both brands and shoppers. Why does it seem so impossible to find truly eco-friendly packaging options? Why does it seem like there is always more packaging than necessary involved in getting a product from A to B? Why are there such huge minimums? And does eco-friendly packaging have to be so ugly?

The post Where Are All the Great Sustainable Packaging Options? appeared first on Ecocult.

]]>
This post is generously sponsored by noissue, whose goal is to make sustainable packaging easy, so you can get back to what’s most important: your business. As always, EcoCult only works with brands who we trust are making the world a better place. Use code ECOCULT21 to get 10% off your first order.

Despite the fact that sustainable shopping has become much more accessible than it was a decade ago, and consumers are in fact buying more sustainably-marketed consumer goods, packaging is still a nightmare for both brands and shoppers. Why does it seem so impossible to find truly eco-friendly packaging options? Why does it seem like there is always more packaging than necessary involved in getting a product from A to B? Why are there such huge minimums? And does eco-friendly packaging have to be so ugly?

 

@floralsandflossembroidery

Problem #1: Excessive Packaging

Those of us who are conscious about the amount of waste we produce (as consumers and business owners alike) get frustrated when we order something from a responsible company or factory, only to find out it comes with an excessive amount of packaging. Is it necessary to have five different layers of paper and plastic in between the outside world and my products? Unfortunately, the answer is: maybe. 

As the VP of sustainability, product, and business strategy at Mara Hoffman pointed out, if everything wasn’t shipped in some sort of protective material, there’s a really good chance that by the time it got to you, it wouldn’t be in the perfect condition that you’re expecting from a brand new item. Especially if you’re ordering from a larger brand, your product goes through so many sets of hands before it gets to you that it has to be packaged in something that is both water repellent and durable enough to keep the product intact amidst a lot of turbulent travel. Patagonia’s extensive case study experiment proves that this is a pretty difficult problem to solve, especially for larger brands that have more complex manufacturing processes.

Then there are the safety concerns. Food packaging presents an additional set of problems because they have to comply with FDA safety standards, which prohibit food to be packaged in recycled plastic. Of course, products like medical equipment, medications, and supplements have to meet strict packaging standards for hygienic and sterilization reasons. The Chicago Tylenol murders in 1982, for example, led to reforms of packaging for over-the-counter substances. Now, you will never find OTC medication in the U.S. that doesn’t have at least two to four layers of packaging around it. Of course, this is less of a problem when it comes to fashion, but still worth considering in the bigger picture of packaging.

noissue ethical packaging
@theforestmori

Problem #2: Non-Biodegradable, Non-Recyclable Materials

Of course, because it has to be water and tear resistant, most of this packaging is plastic. Sure, some of it can be recycled, but most of it can’t. (And recycling should not be our first choice anyway—it still requires a lot of fossil fuels.) Take the dreadful polybag, for example. Pretty much everything you buy online—from electronics and apparel to home goods and food—comes wrapped in a thin, polyethylene, virgin plastic bag. They’re made out of the same material that plastic grocery shopping bags are, except they haven’t come under any public scrutiny so there aren’t any bans, taxes, or shame for using them. Sure, they are technically recyclable in some places, but they are so cheap and often contaminated that even if consumers actually put in the effort to take them to the provided bin at the grocery store (since you can’t put them in your curbside recycling), only a percentage of the bags actually get recycled into something new. (Keep reading for how noissue is solving our #polybagproblems.)

Problem #3: ‘Biodegradable Plastic’ Greenwashing

With increased awareness about how terrible single-use plastic is for our planet, ‘biodegradable plastic’ is popping up everywhere. These materials are plant-based alternatives that are meant to solve a lot of the problems that plastic does (water resistance, etc.), but are made from natural materials and supposedly biodegradable. The problem: it’s extremely hard to tell which of these ‘biodegradable plastic’ products are actually biodegradable, and which ones really aren’t.

Some of these types of bio-plastics simply break down into smaller and smaller pieces, causing microplastics or plastic-like bits that are perhaps more destructive and even harder to clean from our lands and waterways than whole plastic products. Others, primarily oxo-biodegradable products, rarely even break down at all. And others still can actually be composted, but it has to be at an industrial facility, not your backyard compost (meaning consumers are much less likely to actually get that good to the necessary location where it can be broken down properly).

 

What To Look for In Eco-Friendly Packaging

Despite these problems, however, there are sustainable packaging options out there. Whether you’re a brand looking to uplevel your sustainability efforts or a consumer who wants to be able to more easily identify a company’s eco-friendly packaging practices, here’s what to look for:

Paper Over Plastic: Again, sometimes plastic is still unavoidable, but when possible, paper is always better because it’s renewable and naturally biodegradable.

When Choosing Paper, Go for FSC Certified: The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certifies that any product that comes from a forest has been sourced in an environmentally-friendly, socially-responsible, and economically viable manner.

Safe, Non-Toxic Dyes: Packaging is most often bleached and dyed using chemicals that are harmful for not only the environment, but for those handling the product as well. Look for natural, nontoxic dyes like soy instead of traditional petroleum-based ink. It’s also much easier to recycle paper that’s been dyed with soy.

Acid-Free Paper: Paper that has acid in it is what causes it to become yellow, brittle, fade, and overall deteriorate over time. Buying acid-free paper not only means it will last longer and can be reused more, but you also won’t have to worry about it deteriorating if you buy in bulk and store it in your workshop. It also means that if you’re packaging things like artwork or clothing, you won’t have to worry about acid seeping off the paper and onto your products.

Excess Materials: Don’t underestimate what’s already around you. Can you use leftover fabric scraps to wrap products? Can you reuse packaging that came from somewhere else?

 

Truly Compostable Synthetic Alternatives: Even though “biodegradable plastic” is not actually biodegradable, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few natural and actually biodegradable options out there. To replace non-recyclable styrofoam, you can use corn foam, which is biodegradable, backyard compostable, water dissolvable, and even edible. For breakable goods, there’s a really innovative packaging option called MycoComposite, made by Ecovative Design, which is made from mushrooms and is not only biodegradable but is also C2C Certified, flame and water resistant, and can be custom molded to fit your product.

There are several companies making polybag alternatives that are truly backyard compostable. TIPA makes a few types of bags which are verified to decompose in your home compost. Wave is a company that makes plastic alternative bags out of cassava starch, which are also backyard compostable. ComPlast makes dissolvable or backyard compostable polybags, trash bags, and pet waste bags which are also made out of cassava root, vegetable polymers, and natural resin. While it’s awesome that more companies exist that are making truly biodegradable plastic alternatives, we still have two problems. First, most of these companies have minimums that are basically impossible for small and medium sized businesses to meet. Second, sorry but… these bags are ugly!

Then there is noissue’s completely backyard compostable mailer, which is a polybag game changer. It’s waterproof, durable, write-able, stick-able, and printable, and it’s much stretchier than a standard polybag.

The mailers are made from a combination of PBAT (a compostable, bio-based polymer) and PLA (which is made up of plant materials like field corn and wheat straw). They’re certified by all three industry certifiers: TUV Austria, BPI, and Dincerto, which means they meet American, European, International and Australian standards—including certifications for your domestic home compost. To gain these certifications, the product must break down within 90 days in commercial compost and 180 days in domestic compost conditions, including worm farm compost. After degradation, they must leave no harmful residues behind. Plus, these mailers have a shelf life of about nine months before they structurally begin to break down.

Accessible Minimums: Many small and medium sized businesses that want to switch to sustainable packaging simply can’t afford to purchase the minimum order amount. Even if they could fit it into the budget, there’s a good chance they wouldn’t be able to get through an order that huge before the bags would start to break down. noissue’s minimums are ridiculously low compared to every other company out there: only 100 for their mailers and 250 for their tissue paper, stickers, and tape.

Beautiful and Brandable: As a small business or startup, your branding matters. Aesthetics matter. “Eco-friendly” does not mean your packaging has to look “crunchy” anymore. One of the things that sets noissue apart is that all of their products are completely customizable, so everything you send to your customers is perfectly on brand. You can check out some of the gorgeous packaging creations that other businesses have used here.

 

If you’re a sustainable small business owner, the team at noissue feels your pain when it comes to packaging options. That’s actually why they started the company in the first place. They were working on a previous endeavor, needed packaging for it, and couldn’t find what they were looking for. 

So now, they make premium, customizable, and attainable packaging products for brands at any stage of business. They can make you branded tissue paper, mailers, stickers, and tape. Its kraft mailersare made from 100​% Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certifiedrecycled paper, meaning all raw materials ​come from​ recycled paper materials, with no virgin wood pulp used. They’re also printed with soy-based inks, which is an eco-friendly alternative to petroleum-based ink. Businesses can also select recycled, padded mailers, which are made of 100% recycled plastic. For tape, noissue offers custom packing tape which is water-activated and available starting at just five rolls. And it also has totes bags that are made from 100% Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton. It too is compostable, printed on FSC Certified paper, and uses a starch-based adhesive which activates when wet, preventing storage issues and avoiding the problem of wax/plastic coating on most custom packing tapes available on the market.

noissue’s pricing is super simple, and you can get a quote for exactly what you need (size, colors, quantities) in seconds. When stored out of sunlight in a cool, dry location, the paper, stickers, and tape last years. When exposed to sun and moisture, it still takes about nine months for them to start fading. They plant trees with every purchase, too. Their goal is to make each product ‘noissue,’ which means noissue for the environment, noissue to design, and noissue for small businesses to order.

Consumers, while it’s important to keep in mind all of the issues that brands face when it comes to sustainable packaging, we can continue to communicate with companies and let them know we want less plastic, more recycled, and more compostable packaging options. The next time you open up a box filled with plastic, send the brand a note and make sure there are options out there for sustainable packaging, like noissue and Ecovative Design (for larger, more fragile items) who are doing things right.

Use code ECOCULT21 to get 10% off your first order at noissue.

The post Where Are All the Great Sustainable Packaging Options? appeared first on Ecocult.

]]>
https://ecocult.com/sustainable-eco-friendly-zero-waste-biodegradable-compostable-packaging/feed/ 0
Going to a Baby Shower? Here Are Our Favorite Sustainable and Non-Toxic Baby Gifts https://ecocult.com/baby-shower-sustainable-non-toxic-safe-gifts/ https://ecocult.com/baby-shower-sustainable-non-toxic-safe-gifts/#respond Wed, 11 Aug 2021 16:20:03 +0000 https://ecocult.com/?p=1081307 Looking for baby gifts that protect the planet as well as mama and baby's health? We've rounded up the cutest non-toxic, eco-friendly, and ethically-made (no child labor!) gifts that you can bring to the baby shower.

The post Going to a Baby Shower? Here Are Our Favorite Sustainable and Non-Toxic Baby Gifts appeared first on Ecocult.

]]>
Image credit: Pebble
This post contains some affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase, EcoCult receives a small percentage of the sale price. Some brands may have paid a small fee to be featured. We only recommend brands that we truly believe in. Support our editorial work by supporting them!

There’s no need to sugarcoat it. Babies need a lot of stuff. And if you’re the kind of woman who seeks out more sustainable fashion options, picking out the perfect baby gift for a friend or baby shower is more complicated than just looking at the wish list. 

You want to show your love for your friend and excitement for her little one, but you also want to keep their little one safe and healthy, and contribute to a better future for them! 

There is no need to compromise. There are eco-friendly baby gifts in almost every category, from baby clothes, to strollers, to toys. 

So, here’s what to look for when buying eco-friendly baby shower gifts:

Chemical Safety

Safety is everything when buying products for babies. It might seem like a no-brainer to purchase items that contain waterproof, stain-resistant or flame-retardant components. But these added layers can come with some issues. 

According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, flame retardants “are associated with adverse health effects in animals and humans,” including negative effects on fetal and child development. The Institute’s fact sheet also notes that children are particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of these chemicals due to childrens’ proximity to the floor and their constant hand-to-mouth behavior, increasing the concentration of flame retardants found in their bodies.

Similarly, the waterproof and stain-resistant coating might make your life a little easier. But to achieve this level of protection, it requires a class of synthetic chemicals known as PFAS or PFC. We recently reported on these chemicals and shared that they have been linked to several issues, including a variety of cancers, reproductive disease, miscarriage, and infertility, while also presenting dire implications for our planet and animals. For future moms, specifically, a 2020 research shows that “PFAS have been associated with increased incidence of gestational diabetes, childhood obesity, preeclampsia, and fetal growth restriction.”

To keep Mom and her baby safe, avoid performance finishes and look for non-toxic labels such as OEKO-TEX, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), or bluesign.

Biodegradable and Fossil-Fuel-Free Materials

As we’ve reported before, hardly any clothes produced today are made entirely from natural materials that don’t pollute our soil, waterways, and oceans, either through microplastics, toxic dyes, or finishes that fashion sheds during each wear and wash. 

In short, a material is considered biodegradable when it decomposes completely and blends back in with the earth without leaving any harmful chemicals. That includes cotton, silk, bamboo, wool, linen, alpaca, Tencel, hemp, cashmere, and rayon viscose. For these materials to be biodegradable, they must be untreated, certified organic, and not blended with other materials.

The benefit to the baby is that these natural materials also feel better on your baby’s skin, and contribute to a healthier environment both in the crib and on the earth. So it’s a win-win. Just be aware that according to federal safety standards, if children’s sleepwear is not made of polyester, it must be a snug fit so it doesn’t put your child at risk of catching fire. That’s why you won’t be able to find a little girl’s nightgown made of cotton. 

Sustainable Packaging

We’ve all been there. We’ve gone through layers of packaging — most nonbiodegradable or unrecyclable — to open a very small product. Well, the same experience often happens when opening baby toys, strollers, or bath gift sets, which often come in plastic or styrofoam. According to Plastics Oceans International, 10 million tons of plastic are dumped in our oceans annually, resulting in one million marine animals killed by plastic pollution every year.

Next time you are shopping, search for products with minimal packaging. Or better yet, find a product wrapped in packaging that contains recyclable or biodegradable materials, like recycled cardboard, or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified paper. The bonus is that you don’t have to worry about the (remote, but still scary) possibility of asphyxiation with a plastic bag. 

Battery-Free

It’s safe to assume that you’ve walked down a toy aisle before and quickly noticed a wide selection of battery-powered toys and gadgets. According to a 2019 Consumer Reports article, “Most batteries—regardless of type—contain toxic chemicals.” How you dispose of old batteries is very important. They can end up in a landfill, potentially leaking into the environment, contaminating groundwater, or making their way into the food chain. Certain batteries should not go in household garbage or recycling bins. 

But new parents don’t have time to seek out a responsible take-back program. So do them a favor and get battery-free toys. Or if you want to get them a gadget that requires electricity, choose something rechargeable.

Fair Working Conditions

A new mom would be horrified to consider that child labor was involved in the manufacture of gifts for her baby! Therefore, favor brands that are transparent about where their product is made and those that pay fair wages and ensure a safe workplace. A good tip is to check if the brand is Fair Trade certified.

Knowing all that, here’s a list of eco-friendly baby essentials with sustainable items that will be sure to please new parents, whether or not they plan on feeding their new baby exclusively organic food. 

Pact

Pact creates baby clothes using certified organic cotton fibers, and its production uses 91% less water than non-organic cotton. The brand also manufactures in a Fair Trade Factory, ensuring safe conditions, environmental protection while providing additional money to empower and uplift its communities.

 

Finn + Emma 

Finn + Emma sells sustainable baby apparel, gear, and toys that mix classic, whimsical and sophisticated styles. Its products are made with 100% organic cotton, eco-friendly dyes, and all-natural wood. Its garments and accessories are produced in fair trade factories that focus on social and economic independence for local people.

 

 

Badger

Family-owned and family-run, Badger creates organic body care products using as many Fair Trade ingredients as possible and prioritizing USDA-certified organic ingredients. The brand travels worldwide to meet the people who grow, harvest, and process its organic ingredients. 

 

 

Caboo Bamboo Wipes 

Caboo makes baby wipes out of OEKO-TEX certified bamboo and a bit of Vitamin E. Its products are free of parabens, chlorine, BPA, and trees.

 

Eco Pea Co 

Eco Pea Co sells natural diapers and wipes that are crafted using biodegradable bamboo sheets and water-based ink. They’re hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested, and made without harsh chemicals, fragrances, and chlorine. Its products are not tested on animals and are shipped in biodegradable packaging. 

 

Pipette

Founded in 2019, Pipette creates 100% clean, gentle and non-toxic baby body care products completely derived from renewable sources. Its products don’t contain sulfates, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, parabens, natural irritants, or petroleum jelly. All of its products are created with the support of biologists, pediatricians, and dermatologists, and most are EWG verified.

 

 

Pebble 

Based in Bangladesh, Pebble sells handmade and hand-knitted toys that support women with sustainable income opportunities in rural areas of the country. Its toys are made with 100% organic cotton and have a contemporary look and soft feel.

 

Zeki Learning

Zeki Learning is a non-profit educational toy brand that produces ethically-made learning resources. Its toys are made with locally sourced materials and upcycling fabric scraps handmade by women artisans from the West Bank. Zeki creates its toys with Montessori principles in mind, encouraging fine motor skills, sensory skills, language learning, and emotional intelligence. The brand is also Fair Trade certified, ensuring its employees receive fair working wages and conditions. 

 

Coyuchi

Coyuchi sells soft baby boots and blankets made out of GOTS-certified cotton. Much of its cotton is Fair Trade certified, meaning its partners provide traceable and transparent supply chains ensuring sustainable livelihoods to the workers. Its products are also made in a factory that recycles 98% of its wastewater. Coyuchi has partnered with Chetna Coalition, a supply chain network that supports sustainable farming communities in India.

 

Naturepedic

Founded in 2003, Naturepedic sells certified organic mattresses that are breathable, waterproof, and made with non-toxic ingredients. The brand has removed chemicals such as flame retardants, adhesives, vinyl, polyurethane foam, and perfluorinated compounds from all its mattresses. Naturepedic’s products can be found in hospitals across the U.S.

 

EKOBO

Launched in 2003, EKOBO is a French eco-lifestyle brand that creates reusable, non-toxic dishware for kids using sustainable materials such as bamboo, cork, rePET fabric, food-grade silicone, and GOTS certified organic cotton.

 

Freerider

Freerider designs breathable baby slings made out of Tencel, a biodegradable fabric produced from wood pulp. The brand works with fabric manufacturers and factories that ensure good working conditions, employee safety, and sustainable practices. 

 

Bumbleride

Bumbleride designs baby strollers and car seats using recycled plastic bottles, 25% recycled sea neats, and OEKO-TEX certified fabric. Its products don’t include harmful chemicals, PVC, BPA, phthalates, or PFC. The brand uses cork for its stroller’s handlebar, as it’s naturally waterproof, non-toxic, and provides a non-slip, ergonomic grip. Bumbleride’s 2020 Collection features recovered nylon from upcycled fishing nets, making up 25% of the plastic components in its stroller frame. These nylon fishing nets are recovered from the local oceans near the brand’s factory in Taiwan and are cleaned, converted into reusable pellets, and molded into plastic parts. The nylon fishing nets have been tested for durability and proven to be as effective as regular plastic.

 

Our Green House

Our Green House is a socially conscious company that sources eco-friendly baby gifts that support the well-being of both artisan and families. It allows its customers to create their own gift baskets or buy individual pieces from the retailer’s selection of baby essentials such as apparel, blankets, and toys.

 

The post Going to a Baby Shower? Here Are Our Favorite Sustainable and Non-Toxic Baby Gifts appeared first on Ecocult.

]]>
https://ecocult.com/baby-shower-sustainable-non-toxic-safe-gifts/feed/ 0
Our 12 Favorite Non-Toxic and Eco-Friendly Haircare Brands https://ecocult.com/non-toxic-recycled-eco-haircare-brands/ https://ecocult.com/non-toxic-recycled-eco-haircare-brands/#respond Wed, 21 Apr 2021 13:00:14 +0000 https://ecocult.com/?p=1079041 Haircare’s environmental problem goes beyond just toxic ingredients. The beauty sector is notorious for single-use plastic packaging. Here's how can you get glossy, beautiful, eco-friendly hair.

The post Our 12 Favorite Non-Toxic and Eco-Friendly Haircare Brands appeared first on Ecocult.

]]>
This post contains some affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase, EcoCult receives a small percentage of the sale price. Some brands may have paid a small fee to be featured. We only recommend brands that we truly believe in. Support our editorial work by supporting them!

Finding the right products for our specific hair type is no easy task, especially when we are searching for ones that are both ethically and sustainably made. The beauty industry is no stranger to scandals, including its lack of representation and negative environmental impact. 

That includes increasing the danger of indoor air pollution. Interestingly enough, most personal care products are inherently designed to evaporate. And many contain volatile chemical products (VCPs) that now constitute half of the fossil-fuel volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emissions in industrialized cities, even with fuel-related sources like cars. 

The U.S. government also doesn’t require pre-market approval on personal care products. Companies for the most part are allowed to use any ingredient in their formulations without review. Not too long ago, our daily products could contain microplastics, tiny pieces that contaminated our waterways and harmed marine life. Another prevalent problem is the usage of palm oil, a controversial ingredient known to cause widespread deforestation and endangerment to many animal species. 

Haircare’s environmental problem goes beyond just its ingredients. The beauty sector is notorious for depending on single-use plastic —  consumers typically find themselves peeling off layers of plastic to get to the product. Today, billions of plastic can be found on ocean surfaces, presenting harm to marine life and humans. Wildlife can ingest these plastics or get entangled in them, and humans can potentially eat seafood containing microplastic.

So, how can you get glossy, beautiful hair without adding to these problems? Here’s what you should look for in a haircare brand: 

Sustainable Packaging

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastic Economy suggests we “eliminate all problematic and unnecessary plastic items and innovate to ensure that the plastics we do need are reusable, recyclable, or compostable.” Big beauty conglomerates like the L’Oréal Group, Unilever, and Procter & Gamble have ambitious plans to achieve this goal by 2025 and 2030. But that’s still some ways away and just pledges, not actions. What about now?

In recent years, many small brands have been switching to recyclable or biodegradable materials such as soy, aluminum, and recycled glass. But these alternatives can also present challenges. For example, glass is heavier and therefore much more expensive to ship while causing more emissions.  And aluminum is a strong material that has the advantage of being reprocessed and reformed endlessly without losing its quality, but its production can use a high amount of energy.

Plus many recyclable beauty products often do not end up in the right bin. Compostable packaging is becoming more common, but if consumers don’t have access to composting, it becomes another item in the landfill. Also, if consumers try to compost the wrong packaging in their backyard or at the local farmer’s market, it could lead to contamination in the soil.

Several beauty brands, including clean hair care brand Innersense, are transitioning into 100% post-consumer recycled plastic (PCR) for their packaging. “Haircare packaging is larger in size, heavier in weight, and typically sits in our showers, so the bottles have to be functional and safe in a wet environment,” said Greg Starkman, Innersense Organic Beauty founder.  “PCR plastic is the most natural next step for our packaging.”  It also comes with its downfalls, however, as PCR isn’t always high quality or durable.

Many companies are sticking to typical packaging but partnering with TerraCycle to help tackle hard-to-recycle materials. Customers of participating brands can sign up for free and collect their packaging in any box at home. Once the box is full, customers can log into their TerraCycle account, download their shipping label and ship the package full of empties via UPS. Besides the good deed feeling, those participating in the program earn points that can be redeemed for various charitable gifts or payment to the non-profit organization or school of their choice. TerraCycle claims that brands can potentially increase brand loyalty while helping reduce its impact on the planet. But it’s questionable how many people actually go through the chore of saving and sending their empties. Is it fair to put the process on customers when it’s the brands profiting off the packaging choices? 

Non-Toxic Ingredients

Chemicals are an essential component of our daily lives, but some should be avoided. We recommend you read the ingredients carefully and check if they are safe, especially if you are located in the United States — the EU bans approximately 1,400 chemicals, but the U.S. has banned only 11

A great place to start and cross-reference most ingredients is the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Skin Deep app, a non-profit organization dedicated to research and educating consumers on product safety. You can also install the Clearya browser extension to help you shop on sites like Sephora and Amazon. 

Here’s a shortlist of ingredients to avoid: 

Formaldehyde

Everyday hair care products typically include formaldehyde-releasers, a colorless, strong-smelling gas that helps prevent microbes from growing in water-based products. They are usually labeled as diazolidinyl urea, quaternium-15, and imidazolidinyl urea. Studies have shown that once absorbed through the skin, these chemicals can potentially cause cancer and allergic skin reactions. Currently, the EU only allows up to 0.2% of formaldehyde in finished cosmetic products. And California became the first state to ban products with this ingredient, among others like parabens and phthalates.

Parabens

Parabens are widely used preservatives preventing bacteria or fungus from growing in products, therefore prolonging shelf life. These preservatives are easily recognizable on labels due to their typical ending—methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben, etc.

In recent years, they’ve had a very bad rap. Parabens have been linked to breast cancer and reproductive toxicity. The EU classified butylparaben as an endocrine disruptor and a

priority substance to be phased out of products. Since 2015, The European Commission capped the maximum concentration of propylparaben and butylparaben

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t have special rules that apply only to preservatives in cosmetics, treating preservatives similar to other cosmetic ingredients. In 2015, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced the Personal Care Products Safety Act to strengthen the FDA’s efforts to regulate personal care products’ ingredients. The bill would require the FDA to evaluate a minimum of five ingredients found in personal care products per year to determine their safety and appropriate use, stating propylparaben as one of the first ingredients to review. The bill did not pass in 2015. It was reintroduced in 2019, but it has yet to pass.

As parabens are loosely regulated, we recommend avoiding them altogether. If you decide to go for it, check your products’ expiration dates and use them in a timely manner.

Phthalates

Phthalates are a group of colorless and odorless chemicals used in hundreds of products ranging from toys to personal care products. Its primary function is to soften plastics that would otherwise be breakable, and in the case of shampoos, it acts as a gelling agent. Two recent studies from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health labeled these chemicals as hormone disruptors, as they may increase the risk of miscarriage and gestational diabetes. According to the FDA, “it is not clear what effect, if any, phthalates have on health.” In contrast, the EU has stricter guidelines on using this chemical, as it is currently listed as a prohibited substance in cosmetics.

Sulfates

Typically listed as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), these synthetic chemicals’ primary function is to create a lathering effect to remove oil and dirt from our hair. While it’s not necessarily considered toxic to humans, this ingredient can strip away natural oils, leading to frizzy, dried-out strands and an irritated scalp. Some studies have shown that the constant exposure to sulfates could irritate sensitive skin. 

Silicones
Often labeled as methicone and dimethicone, these silicones are a thin, waterproof coating surrounding your hair that helps prevent frizz. Since it’s not soluble in water, one of its downfalls is that it can block your hair from other needed moisture or nutrients, leading to unnecessary build-up. Although it has a low level of toxicity, constant silicone use can weigh down your hair and make it appear lifeless, especially damaging curly hair.

Diethanolamine (DEA)

Ranked as a high hazard ingredient by EWG, diethanolamine is a thickening ingredient found in shampoos, serums, essences, and conditioners that allows for them to lather. In 2012, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) added this ingredient to its extensive list of ingredients linked to cancer. However, the U.S. Environmental Program Agency (EPA) did not find chronic effects of diethanolamine in humans but did in animal studies. There was evidence of issues in the liver, kidney, and blood due to oral exposure to diethanolamine. 

Lilial

Often under the name butylphenyl methylpropional, lilial is a fragrance ingredient found in many personal care products. The EU has banned this chemical and labels it as a known human toxicant and allergen.

Certifications, not Labels

It’s worth mentioning that it’s good to pay close attention to words such as natural, Non-GMO, organic, vegan, fragrance, and eco-friendly as they are often thrown on labels. Some can be very specific, such as “non-GMO,” meaning the product was made without any genetic engineering. But others can be very generic, like “natural” or “fragrance.” Its loose regulations allow brands to define it however they like. Under the label fragrance, brands are technically allowed by the FDA to hide certain ingredients and categorize them as “trade secrets.”

Knowing all that, we rounded up the most non-toxic and recycled hair care products to try when you run out of your current ones.

 

Plaine Products

Founded by two sisters in 2017, Lindsey and Alison Delaplaine, Plaine Products is a non-toxic, vegan, and cruelty-free personal care brand. Its formula is biodegradable, baby-safe, hypoallergenic, and made without sulfates, parabens, silicone, or synthetic fragrance. The brand runs all of its ingredients through the Environmental Working Group’s database to make sure they are safe and non-toxic. Plaine Products promotes circularity by packaging its product in minimalist aluminum refillable bottles worthy of the most beautiful bathroom and covering the return label’s cost. Its bottles are also strong enough to survive a number of trips, meaning they are well worn before the brand recycles them. Plaine Products is B-corp certified and a member of 1% for the Planet.

 

SuperZero

SuperZero creates clean, vegan, and cruelty-free hair care bars that are made without water, sulfates, silicones, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, or colors. The brand never uses plastic. Its packaging is recycled, recyclable, and printed with non-toxic inks and water-based adhesives.

 

Monday Haircare

Monday Haircare creates cruelty-free, affordable, and luxury hair care products free of SLS and parabens. Its pink bottles are made with recycled plastic and without plastic labels.

 

Innersense

Innersense creates organic, cruelty-free, and plant-based hair care products with ingredients that are sourced from ethical suppliers from around the world. Its formula is either cold-pressed, distilled, or processed without synthetics to preserve its purity. This year Innersense is expanding its sustainability efforts by refreshing its packaging and transitioning to 100% PCR (Post-Consumer Recycled) materials.

 

Ethique

Out of frustration for the cosmetics industry’s amount of waste, Brianne West founded Ethique, which produces and ships solid bars completely plastic-free. Its bars are created with naturally derived, cruelty-free, plant-based ingredients, ethically and fairly sourced. Ethique pays its staff a living wage and donates 20% of its profits to charity.

 

EcoRoots

Founded in Aspen, Colorado, EcoRoots sells high-quality and affordable everyday products shipped completely plastic-free with 100% recyclable and compostable shipping materials. Its hair care products are handmade in the U.S. and are cruelty-free and free of silicones, palm oil, parabens, and other synthetics.

 

We Are Paradoxx

We Are Paradoxx is a vegan and cruelty-free beauty brand that sources from suppliers that do not test on animals. Its biodegradable formulations are between 88% and 97% natural and are free from parabens, PEGs, sulfates, and mineral oil. The brand’s manufacturing partners use low-energy lighting and high efficiency water meters. Its entire haircare collection is 90% plastic-free and is packaged in aluminum bottles. We Are Paradoxx is working towards removing the labels from its products to reduce its plastic usage further. 

 

Love Beauty and Planet

Love Beauty and Planet is a vegan and cruelty-free personal care brand formulated with ethically-sourced essential oils. Its shampoos and conditioners formulas include 92-97% naturally derived content and don’t contain sulfate, silicone, or parabens. The brand’s products are packaged in 100% recyclable plastic bottles.

 

Prose

Founded in France and operated out of Brooklyn, Prose is a B-corp certified clean haircare brand that creates 100% custom made formulas for its customers. Its ingredients are globally and sustainably sourced and are formulated without parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oils, or GMOs. Its bottles are made of 100% recyclable plastic. And since 2020, Prose made it its goal not to introduce virgin plastics into its production process, pushing them only to use recycled bottles and other recycled plastics.

 

Ursa Major

Made in the U.S. and B-corp certified, Ursa Major, is a safe and clean personal care brand that formulates its products without parabens, synthetic fragrance or color, glycols, or silicones. When possible, the brand uses post-consumer recycled content sourced from within the United States to lower its carbon footprint. In 2020, Ursa Major began transitioning away from plastic and towards more sustainable materials like glass and aluminum.

 

Sienna Naturals

Co-owned by Issa Rae, Sienna Naturals is a clean haircare brand that scientifically formulates clean products for textured hair (curls, kinks, waves, dry and damaged hair). Its products are designed to soften, moisturize, and define curly hair while undoing the stress of styling and soothing the scalp. Sienna Naturals’ products are free of harsh sulfates, parabens, silicones, phthalates, petroleum, mineral oil formaldehyde, and artificial fragrances. Its packaging is made of curbside recyclable plastics.

 

Briogeo

Briogeo is a clean, high-performance hair care collection that is naturally based and ethically sourced. Its products are 100% cruelty-free and don’t include sulfates, silicones, parabens, or other harsh chemicals. All of its bottles are recycled and recyclable— using 25% of PCR plastic in its packaging to make use of discarded plastic.

The post Our 12 Favorite Non-Toxic and Eco-Friendly Haircare Brands appeared first on Ecocult.

]]>
https://ecocult.com/non-toxic-recycled-eco-haircare-brands/feed/ 0
63 Black-Owned Non-Toxic Beauty Brands https://ecocult.com/black-owned-non-toxic-eco-sustainable-beauty-skincare-makeup/ https://ecocult.com/black-owned-non-toxic-eco-sustainable-beauty-skincare-makeup/#respond Tue, 02 Feb 2021 14:00:52 +0000 https://ecocult.com/?p=1075911 It's no secret that women of color have not been offered the same variety of products that exist for light-skinned women, but what might be news is that the small section that does exist often comes with many high health risks. Luckily today, there are more innovators bridging the gap in the clean beauty space and helping to make the industry more clean, diverse, and inclusive. Here’s a roundup of Black-owned non-toxic beauty brands.

The post 63 Black-Owned Non-Toxic Beauty Brands appeared first on Ecocult.

]]>
Image: Golde

It’s no secret that women of color have not been offered the same variety of products that exist for light-skinned women, but what might be news is that the small section that does exist often comes with many high health risks.

Historically, women with darker skin tones have been more exposed to toxic chemicals in beauty products than those marketed to white women. According to the Environmental Work Group (EWG), 75% of mainstream products marketed to Black women are considered toxic.

In 2017, the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology released a statement saying that women of color have been disproportionately exposed to harmful ingredients in beauty products, partly because of social pressure to straighten their hair with relaxers and use skin-lightening products. Permanent hair straighteners and dyes have contributed to a 60% increase in breast cancer risk for Black women, as opposed to an 8% increase for white women.

While there has been a rise in clean beauty and consumers being more educated about the harms of synthetic and toxic ingredients in their beauty routine, the green movement has failed to cater to all women. Because of this, e-commerce platforms such as BLK + GRN have focused on curating all-natural products created by Black women for women of color.

Luckily today, there are more innovators bridging the gap in the clean beauty space and helping to make the industry more clean, diverse, and inclusive. 

Dallas-based Dr. Jennifer Edwards, a scientist on women’s wellness, founded Refinne, a multicultural plant-based brand offering non-inflammatory skincare solutions to women. She started the brand after dealing with several skin challenges, such as eczema and inflammation, and needed clean beauty products to address her needs. 

Despite the lack of Black women in the wellness space, Dr. Edwards always had a desire to grow in the industry. “If you are focusing on your priorities and you are serving others in a way that you are passionate about, it doesn’t matter how the landscape looks like,” she says. Dr. Edwards says that clean beauty can be a challenge for African American women. “There are few products marketed to Black women that have considered their specific skincare needs,” she says, but, “Brands owned by Black women are a growing market.”

Dr. Edwards believes change needs to happen at all levels, from giving back to marginalized women and more diverse stories shared on social media to including more medium to deep skin tones in makeup products. “There needs to be more Black women in leadership positions and more representation on advertisements,” she says.

And more representation in the chemistry of beauty brands. Dr. Edwards says Black women have hyperpigmentation issues, which she addresses with her brand. Her charcoal mask, for example, has anti-inflammatory properties that can help lighten dark spots

“I wouldn’t say our products are one fits all,” she says. Refinne offers free skin health consultations on social media and also talks about the different types of skin challenges women face. “It’s a tailored approach, and we find what works for you.”

Dr. Edwards hopes that women start paying attention to and buying from brands that share their values and mission “by defining what is most important and investing in those aspects,” she says. 

To help you do just that, here’s our roundup of Black-owned non-toxic beauty brands.

 

Online Stores/Marketplaces for Black-Owned Beauty Brands

Pretty Well Beauty

Pretty Well Beauty is a digital platform focused on  100% clean beauty and wellness. Its founder, Jazmin Alvarez, vets its partners by learning about their ingredients, including where they come from and how they’re sourced. All featured brands adhere to clean and sustainability practices. 

BLK+GRN

BLK + GRN is an all-natural marketplace connecting women of color with high-quality, ethically sourced, and non-toxic beauty products. It curates a selection of Black-owned brands that share its mission of health, wellness, and community cultivation.

CVTD

CVTD is an online boutique that curates indie beauty brands, focusing on natural, non-toxic and cruelty-free makeup and skincare.

 

Non-Toxic Products for Textured and Curly Hair

Oyin Handmade

Baltimore-based Oyin Handmade is a hair and body care brand made from natural, organic, and food-grade ingredients. Its products provide nutrition and styling for dry, curly, and highly textured hair types.

Ecoslay

Founded in 2015, Ecoslay crafts natural, handmade products for curly style hair.

2 Girls with Curls

2 Girls with Curls is a high-quality line of hair care products that provide moisture for curly hair. Its products are plant-based, cruelty-free, and made with natural ingredients.

 

Sienna Naturals

Founded by Hannah Diop, Sienna Naturals is an eco-conscious beauty company made from gentle ingredients for textured hair. Its products are free of harsh synthetics that focus on hair, scalp health, and everyday styling needs.

Bomba Curls

Founded by Afro-Dominican Lulu Cordero, Bomba Curls is a premium and organic haircare brand that naturally nourishes the scalp, and promotes healthy hair growth.   

Briogeo

Briogeo is a clean, high-performance hair care collection that is naturally based and ethically sourced. Its products are 100% cruelty-free and don’t include sulfates, silicones, parabens, or other harsh chemicals.

 

Canviiy

Canviiy is a botanical-based scalp care brand offering irritation solutions that soothe, nourish, and protect the scalp.

EDEN Bodyworks

EDEN Bodyworks is a natural, cruelty-free haircare brand that caters to all curl types, and is formulated with no harsh sulfates, silicones or parabens.

 

Black-Owned Non-Toxic Skincare Brands

Refinne

Dr. Jennifer Edwards started Refinne after enduring lifelong severe skin inflammation (eczema and dermatitis) until she studied chemistry in college and was able to use that knowledge to formulate her own natural solutions at home. She and her team source all of their natural, non-toxic ingredients from independent and family-owned businesses.

Redoux NYC

Out of passion for skincare, Asia Grant and Alejandro Cuevas founded Redoux NYC, a handmade, 100% natural and vegan skincare line focused on sophisticated scents.

Golde

After growing up with a mother who was dealing with an autoimmune disease and couldn’t afford continuous appointments with her holistically-minded physician, Trinity Mouzon wanted to make accessible wellness for people of color. Along with her partner, Issey Kobori, Mouzon co-founded Golde, a vegan and cruelty-free wellness company that makes supplements, gummies, face masks from all-natural superfoods. Its hero ingredient is turmeric, a potent super-herb recognized for its beautifying, healing, and mood-boosting properties.

 

Flora Lee Naturals

Flora Lee Naturals is a handmade, plant-based skincare brand founded by Nia Baucke in 2017. Inspired by her grandmother’s, Flora Lee, gardening, Baucke creates products that are meant to brighten and moisturize the skin.

Mary Louise Cosmetics

Former pre-med student Akilah Releford founded Mary Louise Cosmetics, a natural and organic skincare brand targeting acne scars, hyperpigmentation, and razor bumps. Releford named the brand after her maternal grandmother Mary and paternal grandmother Louise, Mississippians who taught her homemade beauty remedies that had been passed down from generation to generation.

KAIKE

Founded in 2015 by Keli Smith, KAIKE is an all-natural, plant-based skincare brand that solves a variety of skincare issues specific to melanin-rich skin. Its multi-purpose products are handcrafted in small batches in the northern suburbs of Chicago.

 

KNC Beauty

After discovering and falling in love with lip masks while in Tokyo, Kristen Noel Crawley founded KNC Beauty, an all-natural collagen mask with rose flower oil, cherry extract, and vitamin E. The brand now carries a variety of lip and eye products, including masks and scrubs.

Black Girl Sunscreen

Black Girl Sunscreen is a natural sunscreen brand that caters to women of color. Its products do not include harmful chemicals and are infused with natural ingredients to moisturize skin with melanin, without leaving a white residue.

Beneath Your Mask

After being diagnosed with lupus and barely surviving, Dana Jackson created Beneath Your Mask, a small-batch luxury brand with natural and organic ingredients that does not challenge the immune system. 

 

Breedlove Beauty Co.

Breedlove Beauty Co. is a natural skincare and beauty brand based in Baton Rouge. Each product is made in-house in small batches with natural oils, herbs, clays, minerals, and extracts. 

Hyper Skin

Desiree Verdejo created Hyper Skin after not being able to find a product that would help with her dark spots and hyperpigmentation caused by hormonal breakouts. The brand’s first product is Hyper Clear, a vitamin C serum made with clean, natural, and effective ingredients.

Base Butter

Base Butter is an all-natural, vegan multipurpose beauty brand for oily and combination skin types. Founded in 2015 by ​She’Neil Johnson and Nicolette Graves, Base Butter sources raw ingredients responsibly ensuring it abides by the cruelty-free seal and fair trade imports.

 

Best Life Organics

Founded in 2018 by Shadora Martin, Best Life Organics formulates skincare made with raw shea butter and plant-based ingredients that are ethically sourced and non-toxic. 

I+I Botanicals

Founded by Jennifer Culpepper and Selam Kelati, I+I Botanicals is a CBD-infused skincare line based out of Annapolis, MD. Its products are made out of American-grown, lab-tested CBD, and other responsibly sourced ingredients that are suitable for all skin types.

Aba Love

Handcrafted in Brooklyn, Aba Love is a plant-based, organic skincare brand made out of natural, globally-sourced ingredients.

 

R&R Luxury

Founded in Africa in 2010 by Valerie Obaze, R&R Luxury is a natural, plant-based skincare line made from shea butter and other natural African ingredients. Its products are sourced, manufactured, and sold in Africa and are good for women, men, children, and babies.

Anne’s Apothecary

Based in North Carolina, Anne’s Apothecary is a handcrafted small-batch skincare brand offering 100% non-toxic products that are hypoallergenic and good for all skin types. Its collection is cruelty-free, petroleum-free, silicone-free, and packed with organic ingredients.

Be Transcendent

Be Transcendent is a plant-based, all-natural skincare brand for all skin types. Its products improve skin radiance and are free of synthetic fragrances, fillers, and other additives that can irritate the skin.

 

Brown & Coconut

Founded by two Boston-based sisters, Brown & Coconut is a vegan skincare brand crafted with blends of plants, botanical extracts, and clays. Both sisters suffered from acne in their early 20s and became inspired to create their own products after not seeing results with their skincare routine.

Dehiya

Dehiya is a multi-tasking botanical and organic skincare line inspired by Moroccan time-honored beauty rituals. Its products are made in California from wild botanical ingredients ethically sourced from all over the world.

Ellie Bianca

Founded by environmental scientist and chemist Evelyne Nyairo, Ellie Bianca is a non-GMO, cruelty-free, and sustainably sourced skincare brand. Its products are centered around raw, unrefined African shea butter and oil that are sourced in person by Nyairo.

 

EPARA

Born out of a need to provide luxury skincare products to women with dark skin tones, Ozohu Adoh developed EPARA, a handcrafted, luxury skincare brand. Its high-quality products derive from the rich soils of Africa that repair and hydrate the skin. 

Free + True

Inspired by her own active lifestyle, Tami Blake founded Free + True, a natural skin and body care line made from locally grown botanicals formulated in California. 

Grn Goods

Grn Goods is a non-toxic, all-natural beauty brand born out of a necessity for effective and sustainable personal care essentials catered to women of color.

 

Nolaskinsentials

Nolaskinsentials is a plant-based, handcrafted skincare line for all skin tones and skin types. Its products are formulated in small batches to ensure quality and address multiple skin concerns, including hyperpigmentation and acne-prone skin.

Ode to Self

Ode to Self is a 100% natural made in-house skincare line that offers products to women of color affected by hyperpigmentation, dry, dull, oily, hormonal, and sensitive skin.

Rosen Skincare

Founded by Jamika Martin, Rosen Skincare is a clean and natural beauty brand for people with acne-prone skin.

 

Pholk

Inspired by the skincare practices across the African diaspora, Niambi Cacchioli founded Pholk, a natural, vegan, and affordable skincare line for women of color. Its products range from face oils, and masks, to toners and cleansers that are loaded with natural butter, oils, and floral waters.

Alaffia

Founded in 2003, Alaffia is a social enterprise creating clean, natural skin and hair care with fair trade ingredients that support community empowerment projects in West Africa.

KLUR

As an esthetician, founder Lesley Thornton began formulating products for her clients to take care of their skin at home in between appointments, which prompted the creation of KLUR, her own ethical and clean brand. The prestige skincare brand is based in Los Angeles and creates plant-based, cruelty-free, and sustainable products. From concept to completion, KLUR’s products are made in the U.S. using low-impact and low-energy processes. 

 

byValentine Skin Care

Based in London, byCalentine Skin Care is a Black-owned vegan luxury skincare brand. The brand caters to individuals that suffer from extreme acne, hyperpigmentation and dry skin. Its products are free of parabens and sulfates and are not tested on animals.

Kobee’s

Kobee’s is a sustainable lip balm brand committed to sustainability by providing all organic products in plastic-free packaging. 

 

Black-Owned, Clean Bath & Body Brands

Oui The People

Karen Young launched Oui The People in 2015, a luxury shaving brand offering crafted razors, rich shave oils, and a high-quality blade. Its razors are made of stainless steel, a durable, sustainable alternative to disposable plastic razors with packaging that is recyclable or refillable. 

The London Grant Co.

Founded by Tiffany Staten in Atlanta, The London Grant Co. is a handcrafted collection of non-toxic, plant-based, and fragrance-free body care.

Organic Bath Co.

Founded in 2014 by Gianne Doherty and Jay Weeks, Organic Bath Co. is a  100% organic and Fair Trade Certified bath and body line crafted without any harsh chemicals.

 

Butter By Keba

Butter By Keba is a luxury, plant-based body care brand made with natural essential oils and phthalate-free fragrance. 

Bathe Brand

Handcrafted in small batches, Bathe Brand creates clean and certified organic bath products that are vegan, ethically sourced, and cruelty-free. 

IYOBA

IYOBA is an Oakland-based environmentally conscious brand that creates vegan hair and body care that is free from harmful chemicals. Its packaging is made of recycled and/or recyclable materials.

 

Eu’genia

Founded in 2014 by a mother-daughter duo, Eu’genia creates all-natural premium, sustainably sourced shea butter moisturizers. The social enterprise is dedicated to fair wages and opportunities for its female workers in Ghana. 

Blade + Bloom

Handmade in Chicago, Blade + Bloom is a small batch apothecary brand specializing in 100% natural, plant-based products. The brand features body balms, bath salts, soy candles, cleansing bars, and fragrance oils. Its candles use skin-safe fragrances, lead-free wicks, and do not contain dyes or colorants.

Unplugged

Inspired by the benefits of Flotation Therapy, the team at Unplugged Essentials created a line of luxurious Hemp Soaks with ingredients like Epsom salt, hemp, charcoal, and essential oils to detox and nourish you inside and out.

PiperWai

PiperWai is a naturally powerful, aluminum-free deodorant that uses activated charcoal to absorb wetness and fight odor. Natural ingredients like organic coconut oil, shea butter, and pure vitamin E soothe even the most sensitive skin. The essential oils they use truly keep you smelling fresh!

 

Black-Owned, Sustainable Makeup Brands for All Skin Tones

Lamik

Based in Texas, Lamik Beauty is a vegan makeup line made with natural and organic ingredients for multicultural women. Its products are made without parabens or other known harmful ingredients and delivered to customers in reusable and recyclable packaging.

Mented

Founded by KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson, Mented Cosmetics is a premium beauty brand offering nude makeup that matches deeper and diverse skin tones. All products are vegan, paraben-free, non-toxic, and cruelty-free.

Laws of Nature

Founded in 2015 by Jasmine Rose, Laws of Nature is a clean makeup brand that provides Black women a diverse selection of shades with high-performance botanical ingredients designed to nourish the skin while also providing coverage. Its products are suitable for all skin types and conditions—normal, dry, combination, eczema, sensitive, or oily/acne-prone.

 

Marie Hunter Beauty

Licensed cosmetologist turned entrepreneur KéNisha Ruff founded Marie Hunter Beauty,  a luxury cosmetics, skincare, and home fragrances brand that globally and ethically sources all of its ingredients. Every lipstick, candle, cream, and fragrance is certified cruelty-free and vegan. 

Range Beauty

Alicia Scott founded Range Beauty, a clean and affordable makeup brand, out of a need for more diverse shades and fewer toxic ingredients in the cosmetics industry. The brand uses simple, high-quality ingredients such as water, french clay, and flower extracts that suit all skin types— sensitive, oily, acne-prone, and combo skin.

 

Non-Toxic, Black-Owned Nails Polish

Mischo Beauty

After not being able to find a quality, toxin-free nail polish while pregnant, founder Kitiya Mischo King was inspired to create Mischo Beauty, a clean, vegan nail polish. The richly-hued lacquer brand avoids all ingredients that have been known to contribute to cancer, reproductive issues, nausea, headaches, and more. 

People of Color

Started in an effort to create colors that are more complementary to darker skin tones, People of Color polish is free of toxic ingredients like formaldehyde, toluene, parabens, artificial fragrances, etc.

Habit

Habit is a natural strengthening nail polish made with Myrrh Extract. It’s PETA-certified as vegan and cruelty-free, gluten-free, free of Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor, TPP, Xylene, Phthalates, Parabens and Fragrances, and is made in the U.S.A.

 

The post 63 Black-Owned Non-Toxic Beauty Brands appeared first on Ecocult.

]]>
https://ecocult.com/black-owned-non-toxic-eco-sustainable-beauty-skincare-makeup/feed/ 0
15 Sustainable and Non-Toxic Perfume Brands https://ecocult.com/sustainable-non-toxic-perfume-brands/ https://ecocult.com/sustainable-non-toxic-perfume-brands/#respond Wed, 14 Oct 2020 13:00:30 +0000 https://ecocult.com/?p=1077053 The fragrance world faces scrutiny for its opaque and confusing labeling — especially around natural and organic fragrances. Here’s what to look for in your next shopping spree and our roundup of sustainable and non-toxic perfume brands.

The post 15 Sustainable and Non-Toxic Perfume Brands appeared first on Ecocult.

]]>
This post contains some affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase, EcoCult receives a small percentage of the sale price. Some brands may have paid a small fee to be featured. We only recommend brands that we truly believe in. Support our editorial work by supporting them!

Although the perfume industry is portrayed as glamorous and fun, it’s also notorious for its negative impact on the environment. Concerns range from ingredient sourcing to carbon footprint reduction and the environmental impact of packaging.

The fragrance world especially faces scrutiny for its opaque and confusing labeling — especially around natural and organic fragrances. Most perfume formulations are hidden behind one word on perfume labels, usually “Parfum” or “Fragrance,” making it difficult for consumers to know if the ingredients were ethically sourced or safe.

The Food and Drug Association (FDA) states that U.S. regulations allow companies to list fragrance, and flavor ingredients simply as “Fragrance” or “Flavor,” as companies can say the ingredients are “trade secrets.”

If you are looking for sustainable perfume alternatives, we recommend you ask brands these questions:

 1. What are your ingredients and are they safe? You want the ingredients and their sourcing to be transparent. But as The Guardian has stated, “Trying to avoid fragrance chemicals is perhaps one of the trickiest modern consumer challenges.” 

An individual “fragrance” in a product typically has a complex of mixtures of several dozen to several hundred chemicals, primarily synthetic compounds. A 2016 study found strong evidence that fragranced products can trigger adverse health effects in the general population. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) found concerning ingredients under the fragrance label (or a similar term such as perfume) including phthalates (hormone disruptors linked to menstruation and ovulation dysfunction), as well as octoxynols and nonoxynols (also hormone disruptors). 

Natural doesn’t always mean better, either. Some natural materials can be overharvested to extinction, or cause skin irritation. In this case, synthetics can act as alternatives to ingredients that cannot be extracted from nature due to over harvesting, animal cruelty or natural disasters. They can be “natural identical,” that is extracted naturally or replicated in the laboratory in an environmentally friendly way.

A 2018 study released by the Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health journal analyzed and found potentially hazardous chemicals in 24 commercial essential oils, including 12 with claims of being “natural” or related terms, such as organic, 100% pure, or plant-based. The results identified 188 different volatile organic compounds (VOCs) with a total 595 (VOCs) in the widely used essential oils, which it says are exempt from disclosure of their ingredients on their label.  

 2. Where is your product manufactured? This includes its packaging manufacturer. It shows if the company is choosing local suppliers as a way to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

 3. Is your product tested on animals? The FDA states that some companies promote their products with claims of being “cruelty-free” or “not tested on animals,”  but the use of these phrases is unrestricted. There are no legal definitions for these terms. It’s possible for some companies to apply such claims solely to their finished product, buttheir raw material suppliers could perform any animal testing. Look for third-party certifications.

 4. Is your packaging eco-friendly? You are looking for biodegradable, reusable and/or recyclable packaging. Glass perfume bottles and cardboard box packaging are often recyclable but plastic cellophane and pumps aren’t. 

 5. What’s your alcohol base? Ethanol, typically fermented from corn, is a common base for most commercial fragrances. Brands creating sustainable perfumes often use sugar cane alcohol as their environmentally friendly alternative, as it is energy efficient and cost effective

Knowing all that, here’s our roundup of sustainable and non-toxic perfume brands.

 

By Rosie Jane

Made in California, By Rosie Jane is a clean, cruelty-free fragrance brand made out of natural and essential oils. Its products are free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and phosphates and packaged with recycled materials.

 

Abel

Founded in Amsterdam in 2012, Abel creates 100% natural, vegan fragrances that are derived from plants and made with an organic, food-grade alcohol base. Each fragrance is composed of natural oils and absolutes that are mostly certified organic raw ingredients. Its products are free of paraben, soy, and sulfates and stored in responsible, recyclable packaging.

 

Maison Louis Marie

Founded in 2014, Maison Louis Marie crafts vegan, cruelty-free fragrances without toxic ingredients. Its perfumes contain both natural ingredients and synthetic ingredients, to avoid animal products and to protect against known natural allergens. The brand’s packaging is made from recycled fiberboard and paper and without any toxic coating.

 

Hermetica

Hermetica formulates alcohol-free fragrances using natural ingredients and synthetic molecules derived from natural sources. Its water-based scents are vegan, paraben-free, and packaged in recyclable materials. Hermetica pledges to plant one tree with every fragrance sold online.

 

Sana Jardin

Founded in 2017, Sana Jardin is a clean, sustainable fragrance house with an eco-friendly collection of luxury fragrances made out of 15-20% of essential oils. It sources its ingredients from Morocco such as rose and jasmine and the production of these perfumes helps Morocco women who are harvesting the flowers to develop their own businesses. All of its fragrances include 15-20% natural plant essential oils, are 100% free of phthalates, artificial colorants, parabens, and formaldehyde. 

 

Heretic

Heretic is a gender-neutral, vegan perfume brand made from 100% naturally derived botanical ingredients that are blended in organic, non-GMO grape, and sugarcane alcohol. Its composition is clean and non-toxic and doesn’t include any synthetics or chemicals.

 

St. Rose

Born in Australia and based in New York, St. Rose is a vegan and artisanal fine fragrance brand handcrafted with responsibly-sourced ingredients. The brand uses organic sugar cane alcohol for its perfume base, as it’s an energy-efficient crop. Its compositions are cruelty-free and free of harmful additives, sulfates, phthalates, and parabens. 

 

Henry Rose

Henry Rose is a cruelty-free, hypoallergenic, and unisex fragrance brand that is verified and certified by two clean and sustainable organizations, Environmental Working Group and Cradle to Cradle. Its products don’t include parabens, phthalates, or any carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. The brand’s bottles are made from 90% recycled glass, are 100% recyclable and its caps are made from sustainably-sourced and commercially compostable soy.

 

 

PHLUR

PHLUR is a B Corp-certified, non-toxic, and cruelty-free fragrance line based in Austin, Texas. It sustainably sources its ingredients using both lab-created synthetics and botanicals, minimizing skin irritants and unnecessary additives. The brand is known for publishing its ingredients and processes for each of its scents online. Its packaging is made out of recycled material and its opaque bottle contains 20% recycled glass, which protects its scents. In addition to perfumes, Phlur also makes candles, body washes, and lotions in the same scents. 

 

Pour le Monde

Wendi Berger founded her natural and cruelty-free brand after being advised by her doctor to eliminate her perfumes due to the unknown effects the chemicals in them may have had on her unborn child. Founded in 2013, B Corp-certified Pour le Monde creates 100% natural perfumes that are free of harmful chemicals such as phthalates, petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances, and dyes. The brand uses corn-based alcohol and essential oils that are extracted using a steam distillation technique.

 

 

IME Natural Perfumes

Founded in 2012, IME creates vegan, botanical perfumes without artificial and animal fragrances, phthalates, parabens, or synthetic ingredients. IME’s pure botanical essential oils, absolutes, and balsams are sourced from around the world, but it locally sources its pure grain and sugar cane alcohol in Australia.

 

Lavanila

Lavanila is a cruelty-free, non-toxic, and non-irritating fragrance brand made from organic ingredients and free of harsh chemicals. Its perfumes are infused with organic sugar cane alcohol, high-powered antioxidants, vitamins, and natural oils that are harvested ethically and sustainably.

 

Providence Perfume

Providence Perfume creates 100% natural, artisan, and botanical perfumes that are blended in pure alcohol and crafted in small batches using real plants, flowers, fruits, and woods. Its perfumes don’t contain synthetics, petrochemicals, fragrance oils, dyes, parabens, phthalates, or chemical fragrances.

 

TSI-LA

TSI-LA creates 100% flower and plant-based perfumes that are blended with organic sugar cane alcohol without any synthetic chemicals, preservatives, or colorants. Its pure essential oils are steam-distilled or cold-pressed to help preserve the natural aroma of them. During bottling, the brand batches each perfume in about 50 bottles or fewer, so each natural fragrance retains its purity. 

 

Sigil

Sigil composes cruelty-free perfumes from organic, wildcrafted, and sustainably-sourced botanical ingredients that are blended in an organic corn alcohol base. All fragrances are designed as unisex scents and are not tested on animals. Sigil is a member of 1% For the Planet and donates 1% of all sales to Earth-conscious, grassroots nonprofit organizations.

 

One Seed

Established in Australia in 2009, One Seed is an all-natural, botanical, and cruelty-free perfume brand that incorporates at least 80% organic content, recyclable and sustainable packaging, and printing.

 

 

The post 15 Sustainable and Non-Toxic Perfume Brands appeared first on Ecocult.

]]>
https://ecocult.com/sustainable-non-toxic-perfume-brands/feed/ 0
Should You Try Probiotic Skincare? https://ecocult.com/best-probiotic-skincare-brands/ https://ecocult.com/best-probiotic-skincare-brands/#respond Wed, 07 Oct 2020 13:00:50 +0000 https://ecocult.com/?p=1077246 Probiotics is a wellness buzzword that is thrown around a lot these days and many beauty brands have been jumping on the probiotics wagon using both live bacteria and non-live probiotics for its products. If you're introducing probiotics to your beauty routine, here are our top picks.

The post Should You Try Probiotic Skincare? appeared first on Ecocult.

]]>
This post contains some affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase, EcoCult receives a small percentage of the sale price. Some brands may have paid a small fee to be featured. We only recommend brands that we truly believe in. Support our editorial work by supporting them!

Probiotics is a wellness buzzword that is thrown around a lot these days. A type of “good” bacteria first marketed as a food or dietary supplement, now they’re marking their territory in the beauty industry. This sector is anticipated to reach $37.8 million by 2025 and can be found in cleansers, moisturizers, masks, serums, and other skincare categories. 

Bacteria are known to exist on our skin. There’s a community of them, in fact, called the microbiome found beneath the top layer of our dead skin. According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are plenty of things that can throw the bacterial balance off, such as soaps, face scrubs, and medications like antibiotics. Therefore, “Those bacteria are essential to fight infection, protect against environmental damage, regulate pH levels and keep the skin hydrated and healthy.”

Research shows that the use of probiotics can help prevent and treat skin diseases by fighting “bad bacteria” with “good bacteria,” as well as balance our skin microbiome the same way they do for the gut. 

A 2019 review of the research evaluating the effectiveness of applying specific probiotic microorganisms for preventing wound inflammation and improving the healing process speed was positive. The researchers observed that there was an overall improvement when burn wounds were treated with Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a yeast found in many beauty categories such as foundation, serum, and moisturizers. However, the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) stated that while “consuming probiotics (live bacteria and yeast) may help improve our overall health — and even treat diseases,” it’s“difficult to find effective results because there are so many types and products, and everyone has a different microbiome.”

Many beauty brands have been jumping on the probiotics wagon using both live bacteria and non-live probiotics for its products. Aurelia Probiotic Skincare, for example, formulates its skincare with a non-live probiotic from bifidobacteria, one of the most common probiotic bacteria found in the human body. On the other hand, Mother Dirt uses live bacteria to create its A0+ Mist, a fact that purportedly sets it apart from its competitors, who are concerned about preservatives and spoilage. 

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) has pointed out that the regulation of probiotics in the United States is complex: “Depending on a probiotic product’s intended use, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) might regulate it as a dietary supplement, a food ingredient, or a drug.” The Dermatology Times has stated that “the FDA currently does not have a position on the use of probiotics in cosmetics.”

In short, there is some evidence probiotics could help your skin, but the proof is not definitive. Still, if you’re one of those people who have had their digestive system revolutionized by yogurt, kimchi and kombucha, there doesn’t seem to be any harm in trying it on your skin!

If you are interested in introducing probiotics to your skincare routine, here are some brands that aim to maintain a healthy bacterial balance in the skin.

 

TULA Skincare

TULA is a clean, toxic-free probiotic skincare brand made with superfoods. Its cruelty-free products target all skin types and skin tones and are free of harmful preservatives such as parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, and sulfates.

 

Aurelia Probiotic Skincare

Based in England, Aurelia Probiotic Skincare formulates clean and natural skincare by fusing BioOrganic botanicals and essential oils with probiotic ingredients. Its cruelty-free products are made without sulfates, parabens, and mineral oils, and its packaging is made out of recyclable glass and jars.

 

Kinship

Kinship formulates clean, plant-based probiotic skincare that is free of parabens, sulfates, and fragrances. The vegan brand is dermatologist tested, and its shipping materials are made from post-consumer recycled materials.

 

Esse

Esse is a certified organic and cruelty-free skincare brand that uses live probiotics for its formulations. The vegan brand is certified by Ecocert, which bans ingredients deemed unsustainable or unsafe and audits the production facility to ensure full traceability of all raw materials.

 

Mother Dirt

Founded in 2015, Mother Dirt is known for its live probiotic spray made out of Ammonia-Oxidizing Bacteria (AOB), which works in harmony with its plant-based formulations. Its products are made without added preservatives, and its packaging is recyclable.

Biossance

Biossance is a 100% plant-based squalane skincare line that ethically and sustainably sources its ingredients. The brand formulated a probiotic gel moisturizer with squalane suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.

REN Clean Skincare

REN Clean Skincare creates sustainable products formulated with more than 97% plant, and mineral derived actives designed for all skin types. The brand developed a silicone-free primer with probiotics to promote a healthy microbiome on your skin’s surface. Its products are free of chemical ingredients like synthetic fragrance and colors, mineral oil, sulfate detergents, and parabens. REN Clean Skincare’s bottles are made with Ocean Plastic and its tubes from post-consumer-recycled plastic.

 

 

The post Should You Try Probiotic Skincare? appeared first on Ecocult.

]]>
https://ecocult.com/best-probiotic-skincare-brands/feed/ 0