In the past few years, there has been a major shift in the consumer’s perspective concerning personal health and what they expose their bodies to in order to maximise that health. Be it the ingredients list on a food label or that of their skincare products. The consumer has become more aware and educated with what big corporations are putting in their everyday products in terms of artificial and possibly harmful ingredients.
Hence, the natural skincare industry was born from a consumer need to contrast, the larger skincare and cosmetic industry leaders that still use cheap fillers and artificial additives that pose possible negative effects on the consumer’s health. Look we’re not saying that you can’t get a negative reaction from a natural ingredient, of course you can. Chilli is natural and contains high doses of free-radical fighting vitamin C, but in contrast to that, it can really send an unsuspecting dinner guest up the wall. Here we want to go beyond the ingredients list.
As one of the fastest-growing industries, the global natural and organic skincare products market is expected to be valued at US$21,776.9 million by the end of 2024. The rise of this global trend comes with no shortage of boutique, small-batch, natural skincare brands starting up all over the world.
This large amount of variety is a double-edged sword for the consumer. On the positive side, there is much more choice. On the negative side, it’s harder to make that choice, with all these brands claiming 100% natural ingredients, no parabens, etc. But does being a natural skincare brand, or any natural brand for that matter go much deeper than only the ingredients list.
What to look out for when choosing a natural skincare product?
Choosing a skincare product based on its use of natural formulations is the easy part. Most consumers now know what to look out for on the back of their skincare label, but for those who don’t, check out the Top 10 list of potentially harmful ingredients in skincare and cosmetics today. However, how does this product affect the planet and other people? Sustainability and ethics is a very important factor when choosing your skincare brand.
Sustainability/Ethics can be divided into the four stages of the product journey:
- Sourcing of Raw Materials
- Product Production Process (carbon footprint – energy, water and waste management)
- Product Packaging (compostable, biodegradable, recyclable)
- Product Afterlife (Biodegradable or repurposing of packaging)
Let’s have a look at each of the above in a little more detail.
1. Sourcing of Raw Materials
Many ingredient sources, like Rosewood, are now endangered because of unregulated harvesting. Another example is non-sustainable Palm tree harvesting for the production of palm oil. Unregulated harvesting destroys natural palm forests, the habitat of Orangutans, of which there is estimated to be as little as 50,000 left in the wild.
But it’s not only the fauna and flora we need to concern ourselves with, but we must also consider our fellow man, woman and child. By that, we’re referring to who is harvesting these ingredients. Here we must also be aware that many harvesters make use of child labour and foster unfair and unsafe working conditions or do not provide their workers with a livable income. In other words, are the ingredients ethically sourced?
At Tameless we ensure our ingredients are harvested from sustainable sources, we do not use Palm or Rosewood in any of our products and that our suppliers carry the Fairtrade certification.
2. Production Process
This is an area that often gets neglected by the producer and overlooked by the consumer. If a brand claims to have a sustainable and ethical end product it should be so throughout the entire production process. This means that steps should be taken to ensure a minimum carbon footprint regarding all activities around the production process. This includes formulation, shipping, manufacturing and even storage. And let’s not forget that there should be no animal testing involved.
The Tameless philosophy is to continuously review our processes to ensure they are of a minimal environmental impact. We currently reuse or recycle old packaging and waste materials; restrict water usage by utilising water-saving measures with all cleaning processes; digitise most of our internal processes; ensure the majority of our shipping packaging is biodegradable and sustainable otherwise recyclable; ensure courier collections are efficiently utilised by hoarding packages set for delivery. Last but certainly not least, we endorse absolutely no animal testing.
3. Product Packaging
The beauty and cosmetics industry is known for its lavish packaging, whether it’s a fancy box with a gold foil, containing a plastic jar with another shiny plastic lid and jet another label, or a fancy plastic tube with full-colour printing and a convenient flip-top concealed in another unnecessary box. Excessive packaging seems to be the norm. Brand’s that utilise this amount of excessive packaging will always claim it’s for the good of the consumer, claiming it’s to prevent product tampering. Or is it merely a ploy to mask the truth about its contents?
At Tameless the majority of our packaging is glass which is 100% recyclable and sustainable. For our jars we use only aluminium lids which is one of the most plentiful resources on the planet, making it sustainable, environmentally friendly and almost endlessly recyclable. Only where necessary and where no other means are currently available to us, do we use plastic, in which case we strongly urge our clients to please recycle. Additionally, all our label printing is certified carbon neutral.
4. Sustainable/Ethical Product Afterlife
All brands that produce tangible consumer products should consider what happens to the product once the consumer is done with it, how will they dispose of it, and how will this impact the environment. These considerations will influence all decisions made in the earlier steps of the product supply chain. Here it can be decided that a product’s packaging can be repurposed or merely recycled. These brands can then produce unique packaging designed for repurposing once the product is finished or reached the end of its lifespan. In the case of disposal of the packaging, the producer should clearly indicate if the packaging is recyclable or not.
Example of used tins being repurposed
All Tameless product packaging is made from durable and recyclable materials that can surely be repurposed, whether it’s for the storage of your own homemade skincare concoctions, tables, etc. Once our customers are done with the packaging, the individual materials can be recycled separately: glass, aluminium and plastic.
We know that the recycling infrastructure might not always be up to scratch across all areas of the country. To help our customers with this we implemented our own Recycling Programme, where we can send any Tameless product packaging back to us, and we’ll repurpose or recycle it for you. Find out more.
Considering all the above we now know that choosing your natural skincare is a much more important and selfless decision than we previously thought. Choose wisely…