What Makes Beauty Products Ethical & Sustainable?

10 Jun 2019




As much as I would like to consider myself knowledgeable in the world of sustainable and ethical beauty and have previously posted about how to be sustainable on a budget, there are definitely some areas I am less knowledgeable of. Today, I called upon my friends at Sustainable Jungle to bring together a short guide to ethical and sustainable beauty, including how to avoid Green Washing.

Who doesn't love a good mascara, a beautiful scent, a nourishing moisturiser or a functional deodorant? The good news is that we as consumers of these products can use the power of what we purchase to really make a positive impact on both the people involved in making them and, of course, the planet. 

How exactly can we make sure that the beauty products we are consuming are truely as ethical and sustainable as possible? How do we avoid falling victim to greenwashing in an area that is especially ripe for smart and tactical marketing?

there are a few things to consider. We think a useful way to think about this is from the very start of the product's life (i.e. the ingredients), all the way along the manufacturing and testing process and, ultimately, its packaging and end of life story. We've come up with the following key attributes we use as a framework when looking for the most ethical and sustainable brands and products on the market.

Ethical Sourcing

Ethical sourcing is a very broad term, we tend to use it in the context of impact on human life in terms of what's going on in a brand's supply chain, if they pay fair prices for material and goods, and whether their suppliers are committed to a positive environment and social impact while providing safe working conditions for all that work.

Vegan & Palm Oil Free

Separately, we look for products with ingredients that don't have a negative implication for our planet. We tend to focus on animal rights and biodiversity loss: products that are vegan (i.e. contain no animal products whatsoever- even if you are not vegan, you just simply don't need crushed insects in your lipstick, which a real thing) and palm oil free because while it's a complicated issue, the reality is that palm oil is devastating forests and jungles that are critical to biodiversity.

Ingredient Quality

Similarly, we look for products with ingredients that are high quality and non-toxic- ideally, these will be organically farmed, all natural ingredients containing no GMOs, manufactured herbicides, artificial fertilizers, artificial or synthetic colours, preservatives or chemicals. This one is super difficult to find a key problem area for greenwashing, especially in the case of cosmetics.

Cruelty-free

This is probably the attribute you are most familiar and thankfully, the cruelty-free movement has done an excellent job of forcing a number of brands to stop the cruel practice of testing cosmetics and personal care products on beagles, bunnies and other animals- a practice that we will no doubt look back on in 50 years' time as utterly barbaric.

Thoughtful Packaging

Increasingly we are looking for brands and products that cater to zero waste lifestyles and have a very clear end of life story- i.e. there is a way to responsibly reuse (through send-back programs) or compost the packaging. This is not always available to everyone everywhere so, at the very least, packaging should be recyclable.

Forward Thinking Business Practices and Charitable Giving

Finally, we love to find brands that have thought beyond just the product themselves, for example, may be powered by renewable energy, have an entirely plastic-free delivery process or have a community garden for their employees. Many ethical and sustainable brands out there also prioritise giving back to their communities through charitable giving programs.


While this framework is not entirely perfect, we find it a useful way to minimise our risk of doing damage and to support brands and small businesses out there that are doing the right thing and creating products that align with our own values.


If you want to learn more about this topic in detail, Joy and Lyall of Sustainable Jungle have gone into more detail in this article that is worth the read. Their site is also a great place to learn more about sustainable products and brands. You may also see a post by me crop up on their website in the near future.

We hope you find use in it too and we'd love to hear your ideas, thoughts, comments or questions on this thinking!

Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x 



GRWM: BTS CONCERT EDITION

6 Jun 2019

*AD: This post contains affiliate links but all opinions, as always, remain my own*



Here's the rundown of the make-up and the outfit I wore for the sold-out Wembley "Speak Yourself" concert as well as my bag essentials. 

It was just last Saturday that I was at the BTS "Speak Yourself" concert at Wembley Stadium. This happened to be a very hot and humid day in London and so spending hours outside called for some makeup that could withstand both the heat and the time. I also wanted a simple outfit that was perfect for the weather and wasn't too much fuss. Honestly, there's not many new products included in this post but just some old favourites that always do the job. Today, I thought I'd share with you how I got ready and what I packed for the concert. 

THE MAKEUP

For my base, I opted for The Body Shop Vitamin E day cream and the Barry M Primer. Together, these made a hydrated and smooth base to apply my Kat Von D Lock It Foundation. This foundation is on its last legs but it's always been the best option for days that I need my makeup to last longer and want a little more coverage. I applied my Revolution Concealer and my eyebrow powder as usual as well as bronzing with my favourite Natural Collection Bronzer. For extra highlight, I stole my sister's Estate Highlighter which I am definitely going to be buying myself; it had such a good sheen and glow and is only $10. 

As much as I had planned to rock some bright pink eye shadow, I did not trust it to withstand the weather so, I instead applied some of my bronzer and highlighter on my lid to just add a little colour. 
I then finished my make up by setting it in place with my One Heck Of A Blot Powder, applied my Barry M Waterproof Mascara (which was a very good choice) and then simply layered on some lip balm to protect my lips from the sun. 

As I said, I wanted my make up to be simple yet lasting and I think this did the trick.

THE OUTFIT

My choice of outfit changed quite a lot as the weather was so unpredictable. However, as it turned out to be such a warm day, I settled for a Plain White Cotton Tee from New Look and an old favourite of my Pink Primark shift Dress. I paired this with my staple black converse as I knew they wouldn't let me down and would be comfortable to wear for the whole day. 

For accessories, I wore my usual Whale tail necklace that I never take off and my current favourite Oliver Bonas Heart Contour Earrings. And, I'd like to give a thank you to my friend Hila for kindly gifting me the BT21 Koya Headband; a BTS concert look will never be complete without them! 

THE BAG ESSENTIALS

Glasses
It may not look the best with your outfit but, if you're anything like me, they are essential to make sure you see everything. You'll regret missing anything later if you had to squint throughout the show. 

Tickets
Don't roll your eyes at how simple this is. It happens to the best of us, so make sure you have them with you to prevent you from having to panic and run home to pick them up. 

Waterbottle
I can only speak for how it works at Wembley Stadium but I was so glad to find that you could take your own bottle in and refill it at certain first aid points around the stadium. Especially in the heat, I was so glad I had this as well as glad I didn't have to pay for an overpriced bottle of water. 

Phone
By this, I mean a phone that specifically has a lot of free storage for all the photos you may wish to take. Honestly, this time around, I didn't really take many photos and I don't really regret it. I actually really enjoyed myself not watching it through my phone screen. Of course, if you want to take some photos and videos to look back on later and wish you were still there, then make sure you've got the storage ready!

Portable Charger
Having a phone with battery life as bad as mine, I would have been lost without this. It's good to make sure you keep your phone topped up with charge so you can take all your photos, contact anyone you need to and get home easily, especially if your travel involved any trains and public transport. 

THE CONCERT

While I've said before that BTS is not my usual type of music I listen to, over the past couple of years they've become one of my most played artists so I was excited to finally see them live. The tickets were probably the most expensive one I ever have bought (and will ever buy) but I think it was worth every penny. It wasn't just a concert but a show that had you smiling and laughing the whole way through. I thought I'd share a few photos I took from the day but if you want to see some more as well as some videos, check out my latest Instagram post and June Highlights on my feed. 



So there's everything I wore and took to my most recent concert. I'd love to know what you think. Are there any concert essentials I missed off? 

Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x 

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