With Earth Day not far away, it is time to reflect on our place on the planet and think about what we can do better. Although handmade skincare can have a positive effect on the environment, it is also important to consider sustainable sourcing. Ultimately, our skincare is only as sustainable as its ingredients. Fortunately, many companies are leading the way and providing resources for the sustainable sourcing of cosmetic ingredients. Learn more about sustainability for cosmetics and tips for the sustainable sourcing of ingredients.
What Is Sustainability?
You might wonder what exactly sustainability signifies when concerning natural cosmetics. The International Natural and Organic Cosmetics Association defines sustainability as “taking into account social, environmental and economic aspects” of the whole production chain. That includes the lives of the workers who harvest the product, how it affects the environment or country, as well as retail profit. Granted, it can seem like a lot to take into account when we want to make a homemade skincare product. However, by making conscious choices and supporting sustainable suppliers, we help set the standard for how brands should treat both people and the planet.
Be Wary of Marketing Tricks
Marketers are clever, and they’re often ready to twist words on labels to make you think products are something they aren’t. Terms like “clean”, “green”, or “non-toxic” can lead consumers to believe that what’s on the shelf is safe or even sustainable. With consumption of organic cosmetics rising by almost 15% in 2019 in the UK alone, a deeper look at the marketing terms used by brands is necessary. The Soil Association investigated brands using the term “organic”, finding that many only had one organic ingredient in a product. For this reason, it is important to look out for trusted ingredients approved by non-profit organisations like COSMOS or Fair Trade.
Tips for Sustainable Sourcing
Sustainable sourcing is a learning process, and you’re bound to make some mistakes, especially in the beginning. What’s most important is that you keep learning and sharing your knowledge with others. Here are some helpful tips for anyone searching to source ingredients sustainably:
If you can get the ingredient you are looking for close to home, why wouldn’t you? Not only will you be guaranteed to find something fresh, but you can also get to know the producer and their methods. Whether the ingredients come from a local farmer or artisan, shopping locally also helps keep them doing what they do.
Research New Ingredients
We come across new and exciting ingredients all the time, from Chinese herbs to exotic fruits! Should you decide that you want to try new ingredients, take the time to do your research and purchase them from certified suppliers in their country of origin. Doing this will help ensure that the product is produced ethically and allows for sustainable sourcing.
Learn About Resellers and Retailers
However, there may come a time when you can’t find a producer making an ingredient that comes directly from its country of origin. Fortunately, resellers and retailers can help you with that, although you must get to know them and their ethos. Don’t be afraid to ask resellers questions about where the product comes from, how it’s made, where the raw materials are harvested, etc. That’s what sustainable sourcing is about!
Buy In Bulk
Anyone hoping to reduce their waste while sustainably sourcing should buy in bulk. While this may not be viable for everyone, depending on the size of your production, it’s recommendable when possible. If you can get together with local brands and formulators to share the cost of ingredients, this may be the way to go!
Keep Sustainable Sourcing Notes
Have you found the perfect producer who ethically harvests, prepares and sells ingredients? Then, be sure to make a note of it! Saving contact names and numbers of suppliers, plus their minimum order quantities and prices will help you keep track of your sourcing, as well as figure out pricing for sustainable products.
The phrase “vote with your wallet” has never been more powerful. As marketers and brands dominate the beauty world, it’s vital to share knowledge with others about sustainable sourcing. When we make responsible purchases, we tell companies what we expect to see from them. This Earth day, let’s make sure that we contribute to a brighter future for others, as well as the planet.
Sustainable sourcing is an essential part of the sustainable skincare making process. If you are searching for more advice on sustainable sourcing, be sure to check out our eBooks and follow WapoBeauty on Instagram. The launch sale for the New Organic Skincare eBook has been extended, so take advantage of this special price! As always, you can find comprehensive skincare lessons in our Complete Facial Skincare Online Course for Beginners and discover how to make professional, safe, and stable natural beauty products. We invite you to enrol in the course where you will learn how to make a luxurious Hyaluronic acid serum, cleanser, cream, face mask, moisturiser, gel, lotion, serum, toner, mist, exfoliant, elixir, ointment and fresh cosmetics.
About Our Blogger
Ashuni Pérez is an American writer based in Valencia, Spain. She has a passion for natural beauty and the environment. Ashuni loves to cycle and drink smoothies in the sun. Follow her on Instagram at @ashuuuuni.