Finding beauty brands that meet your moral ethos has never been more important. So why is sustainable beauty still so tricky to navigate? This new online beauty store is about to make things a hell of a lot simpler…
Shopping for beauty has never been trickier. And that’s not simply because there’s seemingly a new brand entering the arena every single day, thus making the job of ascertaining products right for you and your skin/hair/body (delete as applicable) an even more confusing exercise. More than that, shopping for beauty is a complicated task because we simply expect more from our products.
As we ride this new (and very welcome) wave of conscious consumerism, we’re all becoming increasingly scrupulous over our every beauty choice. Needless to say, efficacy is still front and centre in every decision; whether a product works or not is, and will always be, the bottom line. But beyond that basic requirement, there’s a new set of obstacles a product must tackle — it must align with our personal moral code.
Is that new moisturiser vegan? Is that perfume made from 100% organic ingredients? Does that make-up brand exercise sustainable sourcing practices? Does it offset its carbon footprint? Does it sell in China, and thus carry out animal testing? Is the packaging of that new palette recyclable? Does the formula contain x, y or z? It could be long or short, but we all have our own list of boxes that a product must tick before it makes it into our virtual basket.
Problem is, while many brands are working hard to improve transparency about their company practices, ingredients and packaging, many still aren’t. The beauty industry is one that is especially plagued by greenwashing, and considering terms like ‘organic’, ‘clean’ and ‘toxic’ all mean very different things to different brands, figuring out who or what to trust is a minefield.
So what’s the answer? Well, Enter SUST Beauty — a new online beauty retailer for the conscious consumer. Just launched, the site features a selected edit of brands and products, each adhering to a minimum set of requirements: sustainable production, responsible packaging, and using what the site describes as ‘non-toxic’ ingredients (although it’s notable that the use of that term is still up for debate).
Basically, the site does all the legwork of researching a brand’s moral credentials for you. Just the very fact an item appears in its tight edit is confirmation that a brand and/or product upholds certain standards — and that’s a very welcome shopping shortcut indeed.
Add to that easy-to-follow recycling guidelines for each and every product (because we all know beauty recycling is v. complicated) and a load of niche lines you won’t find everywhere else.
Into it? Here are few products available on the site right now worth exploring.
Ere Perez Moringa All-Beauty Creme
When it comes to aesthetic, Australian line Ere Perez could give even the most insta-famous beauty brands a run for their money. Better still, the products contain only the most hard-working botanical ingredients. This cream is simply a sturdy moisturiser best placed in the bathroom cabinet of anyone looking for some extra nourishment for skin prone to dullness.
Boxes ticked: Cruelty-free.
Neighbourhood Botanicals Sunday Morning Dry Shampoo
Dry shampoo is potentially one of the most useful beauty inventions of our times, but as it’s usually packaged in a hard-to-recycle aerosol, it isn’t particularly kind on the environment. Neighbourhood Botanicals (which rose to beauty fame through its nourishing oil blends) has developed this powder formula, containing corn and tapioca starch to soak up excess scalp oils. Sprinkle on the roots and rub in as usual; you won’t know the difference.
Boxes ticked: Vegan. Cruelty free. Made in UK. Natural ingredients.
The Beauty Archive LBD & Red
Straight out of Scandinavia, The Beauty Archive creates high pigment, multi-use products in the creamiest, dreamiest, balmiest textures. Not all pigments are natural, though — in order to avoid using animal ingredients, some pigments are synthetic while the brand searches for a natural alternative. This poppy-red cream works equally well melted into eyelids, lips and cheeks.
Boxes ticked: Some certified organic ingredients. Vegan. Cruelty-free. Small batch. Recyclable glass.
MONTAMONTA Basil + Parsley + Black Pepper Hand Wash
Like beauty editor Lucy, I’m a sucker for having a fancy hand soap and cream duo sink-side, and right now, I’m hoping to impress guests with my giant glass bottles of Montamonta’s herbaceous formula. The brand also makes excellent coffee-based body scrubs, repurposing spent grains from a local London coffee shop, and SUST Beauty exclusively stocks its latest launch: a dry exfoliator containing used cacao pods from local chocolatier LAND Chocolate, for adding to your body wash, lotion, face cleanser or moisturiser.
Boxes ticked: Up-cycled ingredients. Made in UK. Small batch.
Wilder Botanics Organic Herb Infused Body Oil
If you’re someone who rarely moisturises your body (i.e. me), then make the occasions when you do slather your limbs in hydration especially effective by swapping lotion for body oil. Wilder Botanics’ one smells like the herb garden at Soho Farmhouse, and contains sweet almond oil to plump up and smooth over dry, flaky skin, as well as rosehip oil, which is soothing and nourishing in equal measure.
Boxes ticked: Organic. Sustainable production. Recyclable packaging.
Images: courtesy of SUST Beauty.