In most ways, being a consumer of beauty products is inherently at odds with being friendly to the environment. With its single-use plastics and abundance of packaging materials—that even when made from recyclable materials are simply too small to recycle—the beauty industry is one of the major culprits of waste. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to get your beauty fix while still minimizing your impact on the environment. Becoming a more mindful consumer by choosing brands that are committed to environmentally-conscious practices is just one of the many avenues for making your love for beauty more sustainable.
Beyond minimizing their imprint through eco-friendly packaging, some beauty brands are even taking the lead to make an impactful change at the end of the product life-cycle. Vegan skincare and beauty brand Town & Anchor just teamed up with L.A.-based sustainable handmade jewelry brand CLED for a collaboration that boldly reveals the beauty in repurposing your empties.
CLED upcycles to create all of its jewelry. For this collab, the ethical jewelry company has repurposed Town & Anchor's empty face oil bottles to turn them into one-of-a-kind statement earrings. The bottle glass was melted down and then reshaped into an organic oval. The original bottles' biophotonic glass lends a unique black violet shade to the earrings and presents a striking contrast against the gold vermeil posts. Since each piece in The Black Sea Earrings line is handmade, size, color, and shape will vary slightly, making each earring truly unique.
Even as we strive to become more sustainable consumers, the end of the product life-cycle is often not given as much attention as the first step of purchasing consciously. This can be especially detrimental considering the general lack of awareness for how to recycle your beauty products and the fact that more often than not, tossing your empties into the blue bin simply doesn't cut it. If you've already made a habit of buying from eco-friendly brands, you can still make your beauty consumption even more sustainable by committing to more intentional recycling—and upcycling—practices.
More often than not, tossing your empties into the blue bin simply doesn't cut it.
"Since sustainability is a crucial part of the brand ethos at Town & Anchor, customers can also ship empty bottles back to us to be upcycled into jewelry or be refilled with their preferred face oil and receive 20% off," notes Morris. For those looking to purchase already upcycled wares, 10% of all earring proceeds from The Black Sea Earrings go to the Environmental Defense Fund.
If you feel inspired by these upcycled earrings, there are a handful of ways you can easily upcycle your empty glass bottles at home:
- Dropping off beauty product empties at a nearby TerraCycle bin
- Repurposing bottles into one-stem vases
- Housing at-home tincture for cocktails or reusing them as incense holders
- Simply refill an empty bottle with your favorite bulk carrier oil
Here are 26 ridiculously easy ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle.