As creators and advocates of Clean Beauty, we’ve always appreciated how clean makeup aims to honor so much more than the health of our bodies alone. Using products that are made of non-toxic ingredients that are safe and healthy is clearly a HUGE step in the right direction. But choosing sustainability as a criteria for your beauty choices is really just as important. Who cares if our skin is glowing, if the world around us is dying?
Though the terms “clean” and “sustainable” are often associated together, they’re not exactly the same thing. Here’s why, a “clean” product may exclude harsh, or even toxic, chemicals, (which is awesome) but that doesn’t necessarily mean the same product has excluded non-renewable materials like propylene glycol, dimethicone and good ol’ fashioned petrolatum. Put another way, a cosmetic ingredient may actually be non-toxic, like dimethicone, but that doesn’t mean it’s renewable. In fact, most forms of dimethicone include petrochemical derivatives. Petrochemicals are processed from petroleum and as we all know by now, petroleum is clearly not renewable. In all fairness, using “clean” non-toxic products can represent other environmental benefits because many of the toxic ingredients that aren’t good for you aren’t good for the planet (plants and animals). But, again, that doesn’t mean they’re sustainable. You with us?
So when a product touts sustainability, but includes any of the aforementioned petrochemicals, the brand is essentially green-washing. This misleading representation is not OK because it makes a company appear more earth friendly than it really is. Not to mention, this kind of marketing essentially steals from the good work of brands like W3LL PEOPLE who are avoiding both petrochemicals and toxic ingredients for the sake of you and our planet.
So, say it with us, clean does not automatically mean green. Petrochemical ingredients like propylene glycol, petrolatum, and dimethicone found in both conventional and clean cosmetics are not sustainable–they’re made from non-renewable fossil fuels.
The good news is there are plenty of legit brands, like W3LL PEOPLE, who strive to keep you clean, green and glowing! We’ve teamed up with the Environmental Working Group (EWG) who advocate for our health and the environment, i.e. taking on big corporations and Capitol Hill to affect positive change. In fact, we share about 1.5% of all our sales to support their efforts. And we are a founding member of their EWG Verified program. The EWG Verified badge is the gold standard in non-toxic certification which makes it clear, simple and easy for you to know whether a product contains potentially hazardous ingredients. Look for it! And also look for some of those petros we described as those savvy eyes of yours sweep across a product ingredient deck you’re considering.
Meet the EWG
The EWG, or The Environmental Working Group as it’s formally known, is a third party, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. Basically, all of those questions you might have when you’re buying a new product–– “Are there chemicals in this?” “How was this manufactured?” “Are these ingredients safe for our planet?”–– the EWG vets the products first and has those answers for you.
Years ago we began the process of getting EWG-verified, and we’re so excited that as of 2016 we officially have our certificate! When you see the EWG-verified mark on any of our products, that means it’s passed the EWG’s strict health & safety standards, and that the product is free of any concerning chemicals. We’ve chosen to partner with the EWG because we don’t believe in creating products that promote a sense of confidence and beauty if the ingredients in them are harmful. We want you to know that what you choose to put in and on your body is healthy and safe, and the EWG makes this easy for us to do.
If you’re interested in doing a deeper dive on the amazing work the EWG is doing to regulate the cosmetics industry and to keep our products safe, head to their Skin Deep Database. Here you can look up virtually every brand, product, or ingredient and find out how safe it actually is. While you’re at it, head to our page to learn more about how the EWG rates our products!
Cleaner Packaging = Cleaner Planet
Here’s the bad news: there’s a lot of waste created in makeup manufacturing. From ingredient sourcing to packaging and shipping and to long supply chains, the cosmetics industry’s carbon footprint is sadly a large one.
But here’s the good news: we’re on a mission to majorly minimize that carbon footprint, starting with the way we source our formulas and the way we package our products. If you shop a plastic W3LL PEOPLE product, you can be sure it was made from recycled plastics and is recyclable, and for paper-based items, we choose to use sustainable FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) paper. FSC-Certified means the paper material is harvested and produced in a socially and environmentally responsible manner from start to finish. Our Nudist Eyeshadow Palettes, for example, are all made using FSC-certified paper.
Completely eliminating waste from a cosmetics production standpoint isn’t possible just yet, but where there’s a sustainable option available, we choose it every time. We’re excited to continue implementing sustainable, earth-friendly production methods into our makeup and hope to say bye to plastics altogether in the coming years.
Progress, Not Perfection
As a company, we get that it’s a big job to say bye to unnecessary waste entirely, but the earth is worth it to us. While we can’t promise perfection, we can always promise you progress, and our partnership with EWG, as well as our sustainable packaging choices, are really just the beginnings of what we think we can accomplish for mother earth! We’re a pleasantly diverse mix of nature lovers, beauty junkies, crunchy granola hippies, wellness enthusiasts, and believers of choosing better, which is why we’ll take the earth-friendly option always, even if it means a little more work.
We’re raising a plastic-free glass to our earth this month and every month, and hope we can all work together to make our planet a healthier place to live!