For the next post in my Sustainability Series, I wanted to focus on small sustainable companies. These brands are all eco friendly beauty brands, with fabulous credentials. However, in this current climate, with the coronavirus impacting all of us, small brands need our support more than ever. I wanted to show my support to them, and share some of the brands I love. I hope you find this post useful!
What is an Eco Friendly Brand?
So let’s get a little background. What exactly does it mean, eco friendly brand? With so much greenwashing being done by brands, it is hard to separate the wheat from the chaff right? Well, hopefully I can simplify that a little for you. If you want the officially description, a sustainable/eco friendly brand is;
A sustainable business is any organization that participates in environmentally friendly or green activities to ensure that all processes, products, and manufacturing activities adequately address current environmental concerns while maintaining a profit.
Clear as mud?? Thought so… To be a sustainable brand, the company should of course, have a focus on meeting the needs of the present. We need toiletries, clothing, food etc. However, that need must be met without compromising the ability to meet the needs of future generations etc. So, production of their products must not be adding fuel to the fire that is burning our (metaphorical) house down! To be sustainable they must not be depleting natural resources, and must be supporting the long-term ecological balance of our little planet. We are seeing more and more companies work hard at becoming carbon neutral, so slowly slowly the message is getting through. The big brands need to take note……
Greenwashing – Where a company uses marketing to make unsubstantiated claims about its eco impact. They use words that could allude to a far greater ethos than they actually have!
Beware of the fake Eco Friendly Brands
I will issue a little word of caution here. Advertisers are blooming clever! They will use words that make the consumer, (ie us) think we are buying sustainable and eco friendly items. The industry is largely unregulated in how things are worded, so you can be fooled! As those of you know that have been in my little corner of the internet a while know, this is a huge bug bear of mine. I have worked in the professional skincare industry for 20 years, I see how they get clever with their wording and adverts! Some examples of this are;
Vegan products – This can make you think you are buying a wonderful cruelty fee product. In fact, it may only mean that the finished product is not tested on animals etc. The ingredients that go into that finished product, could have indeed been tested on animals! A certain “because I’m worth it” brand exploit this to the max. If in doubt, a quick google search will tell you the ethics of a brand.
Organic – In the UK, an “organic” beauty product is not monitored in the same way as organic food. A beauty product can actually contain only a small percentage of organic ingredients to call itself organic. Look out for certifications such as The Soil Association. These only give their certification to products with 95% organic ingredients.
Pretty Nature Scenes – This seems to be a popular one. The packaging of a product has pristine lakes or clear skies as a backdrop to beautiful mountains. It sends a subliminal message that the product must be nature friendly! Think of bottled water. In a single use plastic bottle, yet almost all of them have gorgeous nature scenes on their labelling….
We could go on and on about this subject, but I have plans for a whole post on greenwashing coming up soon…..
Small Sustainable Brands
Ok, let’s get on to the brands I want to share with you. I have found these brands at vegan fares, wellbeing shows, eco shows, or through recommendation. I wanted to share the smaller, independent brands only in this post. I know there are a lot of big brands out there doing great things, but I wanted to get behind the little guys in this blog post. Please feel free to share any other small brands in the comments.
Sustainable Beauty Brands
Since Nik’s battle with cancer started, I have found myself being drawn more and more to clean beauty. Well, clean products in general really! Obviously, cruelty free beauty is a must for me, but I am now more cautious what ingredients are in them! Brands that have a true sustainability ethos, often (but not always so don’t assume), have a great stable of ingredients. I also try to avoid palm oil, especially unsustainable palm oil. Sustainably sourced, natural, organic and clean beauty is where my values lay.
Wild Sage & Co – Small, family run business based in Herefordshire countryside. I absolutely love this brand. They grown many of the herbs and ingredients that go into their products, right in their cottage garden. They are committed to having as minimal impact on the environment as possible. No artificial ingredients, and everything is hand made and cruelty free. I absolutely love their combination/dry skin cleansing oil. I was bought it by a client last year and I used it as a pre-cleanse. I need to replenish it!
FriendlySoapCo.Uk – This is a brand I discovered just after Christmas. I had been looking for a new shampoo bar. My Lush one that I had used for about 18 month, has been discontinued. This Yorkshire based company started in 2008, and is passionate about both ingredients and sustainability. No nasty ingredients whatsoever, (SlS, parabens, palm oil etc) and all recyclable packaging. They source their ingredients 100% ethically. For example, their coconut oil does not come from coconuts harvested by slave monkeys. Their shea butter is from a woman’s worker cooperative in Ghana. I love the back story to this company built from a genuine desire to make a change.
We Love The Planet – Another new discovery to me this year, but I’m a big fan of their deodorant sticks. The company is a small company based in the Netherlands, but Holland and Barrett stock it here. You would have seen me raving about them on Insta Stories if we are friends over there. It is the best natural deodorant I have tried. It has an amazing sustainable brag sheet, and I couldn’t love it more. Seriously…. I have the cardboard tube version, but you can get a cream in a tin too.
Earth Conscious – I know we have spoken deodorants. But, I honestly feel we should all be looking at natural deodorants for our health as well as the planet. There is a lot of research about using aluminium based deodorant. So, I have to mention this brand too. It is fantastic. All natural ingredients, zero waste packaging and choice of scents. Not only that, the company donates to Marine Conservation Society from every purchase.
By Sarah London – I was given a sample of this brands facial oil, and fell in love. Sustainably sourced ingredients, Soil Association approved and fully recycled packaging. The brand even won the Eco Age Brandmark award in 2019. When I read the story behind this brand, it made me smile. The founder, Sarah, explained how she curated the products herself. It made me think of my early days in my skincare career, where I would experiment with mixing natural beauty products at my kitchen table. A lovely brand, (again, they were created in times of serious illness), that I am keen to explore more of this year. The Green Clay Cleansing Balm in particular is on my radar.
La-Eva Skincare – So who says sustainable means no luxe? Well, this beautiful, simply styled Oxfordshire based brand will change your mind. Certified organic, vegan and packaged in recycled packaging, their commitment to sustainability is admirable. The brand have recently created a limited range of products with the well loved Petersham Nurseries in London. Their Roseum Wash is one of the loveliest, spring inspired scents ever!
Iuvo Skincare – I came across this brand at a wellbeing festival in Essex. I bought their natural deodorant bars, (yep, I have tried a lot of natural deodorants) and their body moisturising bar. Both were gorgeous. This brand was created whilst the owner was going through cancer, so I have a personal attachment to this brand too. Iuvo have been moving over to exclusively recycled/sustainable packaging, and are making great strides into this.
Upcircle Beauty – I love everything about this company. Brother and sister duo, William and Anna are passionate about “making products that leave the planet better than we found it”. William had an idea, to find a use for all the coffee grounds that usually end up in landfill. He became aware of the fact that he was throwing a cafetiere of coffee grounds each morning, so wondered how much was being thrown away by coffee shops all over London daily! Upcircle beauty was born, and their body scrubs are amazing! My favourite is the tangerine one! Totally sustainable, totally vegan and palm oil free company, with a passion to have zero impact on the planet. I am a huge fan.
White Rabbit Skincare – In the interest of full disclosure, this company is only 99% plastic free. They are on track to be 100% plastic free in 2020. The reason I have included them as a fantastic sustainable beauty brand, is because of their passion for sustainability. The items that are plastic, are the plastic atomiser on two of their products, However, the company has made these optional, and only 5% of their customers opt for the plastic! They also offer a refill service. White Rabbit skincare aims to get rid of these this year. Although I have yet to try anything from this range, it was recommended to me by my eco loving friend. I have my eye on the travel kit!
Tropic Skincare – Now although not a small company like the others, their distributors all are. All the Tropic sellers run their own little independent businesses. If you subscribe to my newsletter, you would know I tried Tropic for the first time earlier this year. I was impressed by the cleansing cloth and cleanser, but more impressed by their ethics! Tropic are a carbon neutral company, totally vegan and freshly made in Surrey. In 2019, they sent ZERO waste to landfill. That is blooming impressive!
My Sustainable lifestyle Series going forward
I hope I have introduced you to some great brands here. I have concentrated on beauty brands in this post, as that is what I get asked about the most. However, I will be doing a post on household brands, lifestyle brands etc. My plan is to create a directory on the blog. I am going to have separate sections, with all the brands that I find and love. I also have a post coming up on some fo the best books I have read on living sustainably, as well as brilliant documentaries to watch. Would that be useful to you? It can get incredibly overwhelming when you are trying to switch to a more sustainable lifestyle. Trust me, I know! Even 3 years down the line I could still get caught out with clever marketing or teeny tiny small print if I am not super aware!
I love that so many of us are trying to live a more sustainable life. We have to! Things are getting increasingly critical for our planet. I also want you to be assured there will be no judgement here, so feel free to ask any questions. My monthly newsletter that goes out has eco tips every month, (along with other bits like book recommendations, fab posts or articles I have found and other stuff that doesn’t get on the blog). You can sign up at the bottom of this page if you would like to see me in your inbox.
An Interesting Read – I wanted to pop the link to this article in this post. Why don’t we treat the climate crisis with the same urgency as coronavirus is the question the Guardian is asking. I found myslef nodding like a Churchill dog in agreement. It’s a thought provoking read!
Let me know if there is anything in particular you would like to see covered in this series. If you have any amazing sustainable brands that you have found, please feel free to leave their details in the comments. It is great to share information and learn from each other. I will be doing a full post on sustainable periods (soz to my male readers, I should have given a trigger warning there haha). A lot of you I know, are curious about this. I have a lot to tell you!