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Pollution and Abuse: The Not-So-Pretty Side of The Beauty Industry

February 4, 2022

If you really want to start living more consciously, ethically, and sustainably, the first step you should take is to understand the beauty industry – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Doing your homework properly is one of the key stages of getting an A+ on the sustainable living test – and yes, we understand that spending hours in your favorite cosmetics store and reading the fine print isn’t how you’d like to spend your afternoons. Luckily, it doesn’t have to come to that at all!

The toll that unethical beauty’s supply chain takes is huge. According to a 2018 survey, a number of ingredients in best-selling cosmetic products has been labeled as “high-risk” when it comes to ESG (environmental, social, and governance risks), which includes not only animal cruelty but also deforestation and child labor. An example of this is palm oil, an ingredient that is found in many of our household products – whilst it is very cheap to produce, it has contributed to causing widespread deforestation, devastating tree diversity and wildlife.

The beauty industry also relies on plastic, which means that it produces a whole lot of plastic waste. Shampoo bottles, eyeshadow palettes, disposable razors, and other such end-of-life plastic packaging are all found floating in the seas, causing a great deal of harm to sea life and the natural environment as a whole.

The mainstream beauty industry is slowly learning from its mistakes. However, it still has a long way to go. Luckily, everyday consumers can still contribute to making a positive impact, one step at a time.

Quick Ethical Beauty Tips

  1. Purchasing cruelty-free products (those that have not come into any contact with animals) doesn’t have to be a chore – look for the bunny symbol on the packaging.
  2. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, remember that cruelty-free doesn’t always mean vegetarian or vegan! Be on the lookout for the Vegan-approved symbol.
  3. Before you set off to buy some cosmetics or make-up in your favorite high-street store, do your research! If you have a number of favorite brands, have a quick look on their website to see whether they are sustainable, cruelty-free, or vegan-friendly. If not, consider swapping for a different brand – who knows, perhaps you’ll find a new favorite?
  4. Don’t throw away products that you already have – even if they are not as sustainable as you’d like. Consider selling them online if they are brand new or giving them away to a friend.
  5. There are lots of ethical, sustainable small beauty brands that can make your beauty routine feel truly special! Miigle+ is an excellent place to find your next favorite brand and change your consumer habits for good.

Are you looking to start your ethical, sustainable journey? Visit Miigle+, the world’s largest database of socially responsible brands.

Picture Credit: Ron Lach/Pexels


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