15 of our Favourite Sustainable Beauty Brands

A new year has got us thinking about pastures – and facials – green. From biotechnology to recyclable packaging, planet-friendly beauty is where it’s at. These are the ethical brands making sustainable strides straight into our washbags.

Don't think we don't know that greenwashing is rife. We're well aware that over the last few years the once-sacred term "sustainability" has been bandied around by clueless industry giants left, right and centre. Thankfully, by keeping our ear close to the ground, we've worked out which brands in this crowded market are actually doing what they say they're doing.

From recyclable packaging to social enterprises, waste-reducing techniques and conscientious manufacturing methods, these are the earth-friendly brands we know you're going to want to try for yourself. So, lather up, rinse and enjoy.

Cleaning up: the best green beauty brands


Luxurious London-based beauty brand Oskia uses biotechnology to produce molecules identical to those found in nature for use in its products - an award-winning range of formulations that are sustainable on both a social and environmental level. Stylishly elevating your bathroom vanity unit with its gorgeous glass bottles, the company also prides itself on its sustainable packaging, which is 98 per cent plastic-free.

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Forest Essentials

Crafted with ancient Ayurvedic wisdom at its core, Forest Essentials is pushing the boundaries of plant-derived beauty as we know it. All ingredients are sourced from trees and herbs growing in the Himalayan foothills of Uttarakhand, which helps to support both the local community and our planet. The brand also lives by the rule that if you can't eat it, you shouldn't use it on your skin - an incredibly reassuring ethos. An added bonus? The products' heady fragrances will take you to new sensorial heights. Trust us.

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Producing a sumptuous array of hard-working products, this cult brand's signature buys marry potent natural ingredients - sustainably sourced and 100 per cent traceable to their specific geographical origin - with cutting-edge modern science. But what we love most about Fresh is the company's unwavering honesty and commitment to be better. By 2030, not only does it plan to achieve net-zero carbon emissions, it is also drawing up comprehensive blueprints to positively impact each and every community it sources its ingredients from.

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Sana Jardin

Sana Jardin creates its scents by eco terms, while also giving back to those who help to create them. Although based in London, their philanthropic efforts are focused in Morocco (where they source their ingredients). Supporting the female flower harvesters they employ over there, this beauty company helps these workers create and run their own businesses, using by-products from the fragrance-making process.

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Tata Harper

Formulated and shipped out of its namesake Vermont farm, Tata Harper products come EcoCert-certified, with a focus on sustainable methods of production. The entirety of the "farm-to-face" skincare and natural makeup line is non-toxic and naturally harvested. Our hero product is the regenerating cleanser which refines pores, exfoliates and brightens.

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MAC Cosmetics

Minimising packaging waste while experimenting with your lip colour? Sign us up. "Back to Mac" is more than a clever marketing rhyme - if you collect and return six empty Mac containers to one of the brand's stores (the service is also available online) you will receive a free lipstick of your choice as a thank you. While others under the Estée Lauder wing have some way to go to reach Mac's eco-aligned mindset, this is a move in the right direction.

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Herbivore Botanicals

When a product is highly Instagrammable, highly effective and eco-friendly you can be pretty sure its created by Herbivore. Reaching cult status in the beauty world, Herbivore Botanicals make switching to green look seamless. From lip tints to night treatments, it's all in our virtual shopping basket. Every product is bottled in recyclable glass and the external packaging is made from biodegradable ingredients, putting a definite pep in our carbon-reduced step.

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"Multi-purpose" equals less packaging, which is obviously a good thing. But when it's 100% natural, vegan and cruelty-free, it's even better. In any event, BYBI's packaging is sugarcane-derived and plastic-free. Our favourite product from this eco-friendly range has to be BYBI's Babe Balm - there isn't a bugbear it can't resolve and for that we are eternally grateful.

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Sourcing ingredients from the Amazonian rainforest, in association with the indigenous people in the area, this haircare line is 100% plant-derived. Vegan and completely cruelty-free, profits from the products are dedicated to preserving the Amazon rainforest, supporting communities and sustaining the rainforest's ecosystem. Clean hair and a clean conscience - splendid.

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La Bouche Rouge

An estimated one billion lipsticks are thrown away annually. With this in mind, La Bouche Rouge refillable lipstick cases are a pretty innovative - and important - idea. Refills come in recyclable paper tubes, minimally labelled with the shade name. Each tube is sheathed in double-tanned calf's leather to promote durability.

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A firm favourite among fashion and beauty insiders, family-owned Davines produces fully recyclable hair products that utilise high-grade natural ingredients. An ethical, original range with all the style and beauty that happens when Italians do something extremely well, Davines is committed to innovative projects, like the "I Sustain Beauty" campaign - a global call-to-action to make the world a more beautiful place.

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Bleach London

A brand with a waste-not attitude, Bleach London deliver bold, bright hair colours and playful makeup with a conscience. Vegan formulas and sustainably focused packaging - it's made from recycled and eco-friendly materials - get this brand extra brownie points. They've also shifted to using eco-friendly glitter in all their products, making for guilt-free festival-friendly sparkle.

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Simultaneously solving the Thanet Coast's seaweed problem and our skincare woes, this "made in Margate" brand uses seaweed plucked from the shore to create 100 per cent natural moisturisers, scrubs and balms. Something of a skincare superfood, seaweed is packed with valuable vitamins, minerals and amino acids - slather on Haeckels' Eco Marine Cream to reap the benefits. Plus, if you bring a bag of beach rubbish to the Cliff Terrace store, you'll be rewarded with a free product to try.

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Ere Perez

Clean beauty runs deep in Ere Perez's family tree; her Mexican grandfather was a medicine man and her mother regularly concocted homemade beauty recipes. Created from ingredients more likely to be found in kitchen cupboards than bathroom cabinets, the eponymous cosmetic line uses beetroot extract to colour cheek and lip tints, arnica's anti-inflammatory properties to soothe tired eyes in cover-all concealers and avocado oil to create the first all-natural waterproof mascara.

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We Are Paradoxx

For clean hair and a cleaner conscience, opt for We Are Paradoxx's haircare heroes which use naturally derived, vegan-friendly Irish ingredients - think: moss, clover and Celtic sea salt - packaged up in aluminium bottles that can be recycled on an infinite loop. Infused with Jameson whiskey and stored in a funky hip flask, the Hangover Hair Elixir is like a bloody mary for morning-after-the-night-before bed hair. Smooth through the ends for sleek, shiny and sin-free locks.

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This article was updated on 14 January 2022.

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