A guide to the most sustainable beauty brands and their environmentally friendly initiatives

Posted by for Beauty

We round up the beauty brands across skincare, hair, make-up, oral care, fragrance, candles and body care that are making an effort to leave a positive impact on the world.

We don’t need to tell you that we’re experiencing a climate crisis. Of course, there are many ways in which we can try to do our part and live a more sustainable lifestyle. Some of the changes we can make lie within our beauty routine.

The beauty industry is a major contributor to plastic pollution but over recent years, many brands have been making a conscious effort to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

From offsetting their carbon use and only using fully compostable packaging to eliminating plastic completely and ensuring all of their ingredients are responsibly sourced, here we round up the brands that are leading the way in sustainable beauty.

Sustainable hair brands

  • Nature & My


    From its packaging to its postal materials, Nature & My is committed to being as eco-friendly as possible. All of its products are manufactured and packaged in a fair trade environment, too.

    Try: Nature & My Bamboo Hair Brush – Oval. This plastic-free hairbrush is made from bamboo and natural rubber, making it biodegradable. Each bristle has a cushioned, rounded end to massage the scalp and help stimulate hair growth.

    Shop Nature & My Bamboo Hair Brush – Oval at Peace with the Wild, £10

Sustainable skincare brands

  • BYBI


    Alongside products committed to improving your skin’s health, BYBI uses raw materials and only 100% natural, vegan and cruelty-free ingredients. It has also pledged to be a net zero carbon brand by the end of this year and runs an event series called the BYBI Susty Summit, which tackles a range of sustainable-related subjects.

    Try: BYBI Beauty Babe Balm. This cult balm is packed with shea butter, calendula and hibiscus oil, which serve to soften, protect and soothe skin. It can be used on lips, hands, cuticles, knees, elbows, heels and any other rough patches.

    Shop BYBI Beauty Babe Balm at Feelunique, £18

  • UpCircle


    Since it launched, UpCircle has pledged to never use any SLS, SLES, palm oil, silicones, parabens, mineral oil, parfum or sulfates in its products. It also uses upcycled ingredients (hence the name), 100% recyclable packaging and is ocean friendly.

    Try: UpCircle Coffee Body Scrub with Peppermint. This coffee scrub is made with used Arabica coffee grounds sourced from artisan coffee shops. It also contains shea butter, vitamins A and E and essential fatty acids so skin isn’t left feeling stripped.

    Shop UpCircle Coffee Body Scrub with Peppermint at UpCircle Beauty, £14.99



    Palm-free, vegan and housed in 100% domestically compostable packaging, SBTRCT has made a conscious effort to reduce the water content that goes into its products.

    Try: SBTRCT Gentle Foaming Cleanser. Formulated with vegetable derived emollients, coconut based surfactants and a beautiful blend of geranium, rose and tonka essential oil, simply wet this cleansing bar, lather it in your hands and apply it to your face.

    Shop SBTRCT Gentle Foaming Cleanser at SBTRCT, £22

Sustainable make-up brands

  • Axiology


    Axiology is strongly against the use of any animal ingredients in its products, as well as testing on animals or selling to countries that test products on animals. It also donates to animal welfare organisations.

    Try: Axiology The Bullet Lipstick in Bonafide. This 100% recyclable lipstick is rich in pigment and has a long lasting formula.

    Shop Axiology The Bullet Lipstick in Bonafide at ASOS, £20.40

  • Odylique


    Beauty brand Odylique harnesses the impressive benefits of plants in its products. It avoids all synthetic chemicals, sources its packaging in Europe to reduce its carbon footprint and packs its deliveries with biodegradable nuggets that dissolve in water instead of polystyrene.

    Try: Odylique Organic Mineral Eyeshadow in Lagoon. Free from potentially irritating chemicals, vegan and rich in plant oils, this eyeshadow is kind to eyes and blends out beautifully.

    Shop Odylique Organic Mineral Eyeshadow in Lagoon at Odylique, £8.50

  • PHB Ethical Beauty


    British family-owned business PHB Ethical Beauty has a large range of vegan, cruelty-free and halal-certified products. Its products are handmade in the UK and are also palm oil free. To give back, PHB launched its own charity, The OneLove Foundation Support, with which it donates 20% of net profits each year to charities and causes that inspire the team.

    Try: PHB All in One Natural Mascara. Lengthening, thickening, water-resistant and non-smudging, this mascara is housed in an aluminium tube.

    Shop PHB All in One Natural Mascara at PHB Ethical Beauty, £16

Sustainable body brands

  • Soaper Duper


    Soaper Duper avoids the use of SLS, SLES, parabens and artificial colours in its products and packaging. It aims to use recycled plastic in its packaging (they rely heavily on recycled milk bottles) and all of its pumps are 100% recyclable. It also supports WaterAid to bring soap and water to communities who need it.

    Try: Soaper Duper Creamy-Deluxe Shea Butter Body Wash. As well as skin-protecting vitamin E, this body wash contains shea butter to keep skin nourished and soft.

    Shop Soaper Duper Creamy-Deluxe Shea Butter Body Wash at Soaper Duper, £9.99

  • KanKan


    All of KanKan’s products are handmade in the UK by artisan makers using sustainable, vegan and cruelty-free ingredients. All of its products come in aluminium cans, which are known for their ability to get recycled many times, so it’s easy to refill your glass bottle (if you don’t have one, you can buy one from KanKan). Plus, for every can sold, it plants a tree.

    Try: KanKan Starter Set º1 Hand Wash. Formulated with natural botanicals, this hand wash set comes with a glass “Forever Bottle” and one refill can.

    Shop KanKan Starter Set º1 Hand Wash at KanKan London, £24

  • LastObject


    Frustrated by the amount of single-use products on the market, LastObject aims to bring you everyday objects, like a tissue and cotton bud, that you can use time and time again.

    Try: LastSwab Basic. This reusable swab replaces the need for over 1,000 cotton buds. Once used, it can be easily washed using soap and water.

    Shop LastSwab Basic at LastObject, £10

  • Wild Deodorant


    Made from durable aluminium and recycled plastic, completely compostable and refillable, these deodorants tick all of the boxes. It also contributes a percentage of sales to charity On A Mission to support reforestation projects and offset its carbon use.

    Try: Wild Deodorant in Mint Fresh. One of the best things about Wild Deodorant is the ability to customise your purchase exactly to your needs. Pick a colour (aqua, coral, purple or silver) and then one of six scents. You can make a one-off purchase or subscribe for refillable top-ups.

    Shop Wild Deodorant at We Are Wild, £25 for a one-off purchase. Includes one case and three refills.

Sustainable dental brands

  • Parla

    Founded by three dentists, the idea behind Parla came from the shocking figures that revolve around the dental market. It uses eco-friendly ingredients and aims to cut out plastic from dental products to help protect the ocean.

    Try: Parla Original Tabs. We know, toothpaste tablets sound weird but hear us out. They’re made from kind-to-teeth ingredients and come packaged in a reusable jar. Simply put the tablet in your mouth, chew for five seconds and then brush your teeth.

    Shop Parla Original Tabs at Parla, £6.95

  • georganics


    georganics is committed to only using pure, natural and organic ingredients in its products in a bid to avoid the environmentally harmful effects of some dental care products.

    Try: georganics Dental Floss Orange. Dental floss can cause harm to oceans and so, georganics has created an alternative made from fully compostable corn-PLA. It also comes in a refillable glass dispenser and floss refills can be purchased from the brand.

    Shop georganics Dental Floss Orange at georganics, £4.90

  • The Truthbrush


    Did you know that plastic toothbrushes don’t actually break down very well? As a result, they’re contributing to the large amount of plastic that ends up in oceans. Truthbrush is a brand that sets out to change that. It harnesses the fully biodegradable properties of bamboo instead.

    Try: The Truthbrush Petal Pink with Medium Plant Based Bristles. The handle is made from bamboo, the plant-based bristles are made from 62% castor oil and 38% nylon, the packaging is fully recyclable and shipping carbon neutral. Tick, tick, tick.

    Shop The Truthbrush Petal Pink with Medium Plant Based Bristles at The Truthbrush, £4.50

Sustainable fragrance and candle brands

  • Sun.Day of London


    Hackney-based brand Sun.Day of London handcrafts all of its candles in apothecary jars, which are also produced in the UK. As for the candle blend, it’s vegan, palm oil-free and contains aromatherapy-grade essential oils.

    Try: Sun.Day of London I. Beyond the Pines Candle. This candle contains notes of pine needle, cedarwood, eucalyptus, lime and peppermint to make your home feel and smell fresh. What’s more, it has a 100% pure cotton wick.

    Shop Sun.Day of London I. Beyond the Pines at Sun.Day of London, £26

  • Floral Street


    Ever since it launched in 2017, Floral Street has created vegan and cruelty-free perfumes that contain sustainably sourced ingredients. Plus, its packaging is reusable, recyclable and compostable. But that’s not all, every perfume is carefully formulated to deliver a unique scent blended with unexpected notes.

    Try: Floral Street Ylang Ylang Espresso Eau de Parfum. Floral with a twist, this perfume contains notes of red rose, ylang ylang and jasmine which are combined with the scent of just-brewed coffee, fresh cream and Sichuan pepper.

    Shop Floral Street Ylang Ylang Espresso Eau de Parfum at Floral Street, £60 for 5ml

  • Haeckels


    Haeckels launched with a pledge to protect the coastline. It harvests ocean vegetables from a cretaceous chalk reef to create natural products and also runs a Rubbish For Product scheme. If you bring a bag full of beach rubbish to its shop (with visual proof that it came from the beach), the brand will give you a free product.

    Try: Haeckels Dreamland Candle. Harnessing the emotive powers of scent, this candle was made to evoke the memory of wooden rollercoasters at Dreamland, the iconic amusement park in Margate (the brand’s hometown).

    Shop Haeckels Dreamland Candle at Haeckels, £55

  • bel rebel


    bel rebel is passionate about remaining a small batch brand. It struggled to find anywhere in Europe that would produce environmentally friendly glass bottles in small quantities, so it had to bring them in from China. However, it ships these over by sea rather than sky to minimise its impact on the environment. Meanwhile, its clever full compostable packaging is made from mushrooms grown in the Netherlands.

    Try: bel rebel born to rebel. This uplifting perfume is blended with zesty lemon and bergamot to recreate the feeling of golden hour on the beach. Dreamy.

    Shop bel rebel born to rebel at bel rebel, £139 for 69ml

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