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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
“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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
This article was updated on 14 January 2022.