International Women’s Day may have gotten a lot of attention this month, but there are other dates in the month of March that the smart consumer should pay attention to. Earth Hour happens to fall on the 30 March — and while shutting off your lights and electricity for just an hour might seem gimmicky to some, the rise in awareness of the need for conservation efforts is not something to be sniffed at. Earth Day comes less than a month later on 22 April, and if endangered animals and a fast dying planet aren’t getting to you, perhaps the uncomfortably hot weather of late might.
Beauty brands have joined in the wokenomic trend, but for many of them, this is not a one-off attempt to capitalise on the growing public support for this, but a genuine attempt to give back to the planet and practice responsible sourcing. From brands that actively encourage recycling to those that donate to their pet projects, here are some worthy causes we can get behind.
French-American brand Chantecaille may be known for its luxurious makeup and skincare, but founder Sylvie Chantecaille and her team have a passion for protecting endangered animals (such as the elephant and the polar bear), and have devoted particular makeup collections to this cause.
This year, the brand has found a novel way to do so. For every purchase of the brand’s limited edition Spring Lip Cristal (S$82) a stunning, glitter flecked lipstick, the brand will pay to have a tree planted in Kenya in a bid to curb global warming. This is in hopes that the effort will work towards saving the polar bears in the North Pole. The brand will be working with the Attenborough Foundation to contribute to the “Attenborough Canopy” a protective canopy of trees in Kenya that has been explicitly grown to combat global warming.
Chantecaille is available on Level 1, Takashimaya.
There are several ways in which British bath and body brand Lush tries to do its part for the planet. One way is by reducing packaging with its naked products — like its bath bombs, soaps and shampoo bars — so that it does not contribute to waste. So far 40 per cent of the brand’s products are “naked”. The brand also collaborated with the Sumatran Orangutan Society last year by purchasing 50 hectares of a palm plantation and restoring it back to its native forest, and are buying a second plot this year. The full proceeds (that’s every last cent) of the brand’s Orangutan Soap, S$19, will go towards supporting this initiative by completing the land restoration and protecting the area from poachers and incursions. The soaps which have already sold out in Singapore, will be exclusively sold in Asia and, rather fittingly. is made from a blend of orange and patchouli oil, and Sumatran extra virgin coconut oil.
It’s not just bigger brands that are seeking to give back, even smaller brands like Singapore-based, Australian brand Ambitist are doing their part. The niche skincare brand currently has three SKUs, including its Cue The Sun, an ocean-friendly sunscreen. Founder Kitty Fung wants to promote responsible consumerism and uses a mineral-based, reef-safe formula. Meanwhile, its packaging is also 100 per cent compostable (able to decompose in soil or seawater within three to six months) so that these products leave a minimal environmental impact.
If you love luxury eco-friendly products then it’s likely you’ve heard of Tata Harper, Vermont-based beauty brand that practices a farm to bottle skincare. Known for its distinctive packaging of green, glass bottles, you’ll be glad to know that these are made from recycled glass, and can be recycled in turn. The brand also recycles any plastic used in it production while labels on certain products like the cleanser, use a soy-based ink. The plastic resin for the tubes in your bottles are made from corn instead of petroleum.
Harper, the namesake founder of the brand is also serious about supporting sustainable ingredients for her cruelty-free and vegan products — if a particular raw ingredient is in low supply because of external or environmental factors like a storm, the product will simply not be in stock.
Available at Sephora.sg
The Body Shop
The Body Shop was one of the pioneers in eco- and socially-conscious beauty under the leadership of its late founder, Dame Anita Roddick. Today, the British brand continues these initiatives by using ingredients that are sourced from community trade agreements (that pay a fair price for raw materials in order to support small, agricultural communities.)
Earlier this year, the brand also launched its first biodegradable sheet mask, that is made of veocel, a cellulose fabric that is 100 per cent biodegradable. By continuing to push the limits of what a beauty brand can do in terms of responsible sourcing, fighting animal testing and seeking out new ways to promote recycling and biodegradable packaging, the brand continues to stay true to Roddick’s ethos.