Becoming a waste and plastic free Makeup and Lash Salon.
Updated: Mar 1
Oh hey! this is my first blog, I thought I would give it a go, There are a few things that I want to write about but I'm going to start with a super serious topic as it causes me inner turmoil everyday and maybe sharing it will help me emotionally.....Dun dun dunnnnnnnnn!!!
I have mega Eco anxiety, there is no denying the climate crisis upon us, so I do everything I can to reduce my carbon footprint. My issue is that I love and work in an industry that produces tonnes of waste, sooooo whatever effort put in to reducing my footprint is kind of being cancelled out by my occupation.
A couple of years ago I learned that most of the plastics that we put in the recycling bins were not being recycled at a fast enough rate to keep up with the incoming plastics and as a result are just being stock piled, sent away, burnt or it wasn't even recyclable in the first place. For a little light reading on the situation check out this article on the WWF website.
Initially I was really annoyed that this was not made common knowledge, I took for granted all my plastic I put in the recycling bin would be recycled (as advertised - by the council).
To do something about it, I decided to stop buying anything plastic or anything with plastic packaging in my everyday life to try and reduce the demand.
I am only one person, and my contribution is only a drop in an ocean of trash but in doing this, I felt empowered in the knowledge that I was holding myself accountable. It was super challenging in the beginning but now it is just habit and just requires some preparation and the realisation that I don't actually need the packaged stuff. *disclaimer - If for whatever reason I do buy plastic, I have a rule that I must be responsible for recycling it at home because Yumis Hummus in a bucket is the Jaaaam!
If you are thinking about going plastic free its totally doable, just start.
The beauty industry (this could be applied to any industry really) encourages us to buy things, and then buy more things again and again when the season and trends change, and because a brand brought out a new colour or texture or packaging and it goes on. When we think about how many cosmetic companies are out here churning out products, the push for us to keep consuming never ends and because there are so many brands, there is fierce competition to gain consumers' attention and as a result, they work harder and smarter to get it and we keep buying and while that means that the cosmetics industry is doing great from a business and growth perspective, all that shit ends up in the bathroom cupboard or Makeup kit for the most part not being used, and then into landfill forever.
Since I can remember, I have bought into this. Purchasing new stuff has been a driver of motivation and it has become more and more overwhelming with smart phones and social media having access to my attention, showing me all the fancy things I could have - ALL OF THE TIME - FAARK.
In what I would have seen as a "normal" way of life, I have pretty much been buying stuff constantly, without regard to what happens to it when I discard it and its packaging - now that I have come to find out recycling doesn't actually get recycled and my consciousness has changed, I have this dilemma.....Being plastic and waste free in our work place is almost impossible right now but I don't want to give up our Salon life.
Makeup wise the options are limited, MAC is great and is my go to as they have the Back to Mac program, but especially as a Makeup artist its frustrating to come across other, newer brands I might like to try but won't as they are not as environmentally conscious as I think they should at least make an attempt at being considering the environmental situation we have put ourselves in.
Working as a Makeup artist there is an expectation that we continuously update our kits, and this is fair I think, I am just having trouble justifying purchasing items that eventually cause further damage to the environment.
I have come across a few brands like Adorn, Kjaer Weis, Elate and Axiology who work towards being environmentally friendly which I am really keen to review in the near future, so hopefully they will open up some more options and maybe other brands will continue to follow suit.
We use plastic disposables all day everyday, and while it might just be one little spooli for a lash session, those guys add up, sometimes Ill accidentally drop one on the floor and cant use it again and have to grab another. When doing a makeup I might use 2 or 3. There are bamboo alternatives, these cost about 10 x as much as the plastic version but with the brush on a spooli that is still made of plastic. Re usables are not an option here for hygiene reasons so we are impatiently looking for complete alternatives, like something that decomposes or recycling them in a plastic loop.
Our Terra Cycle bin is one step towards our goal, so we, and our peeps can bring in their cosmetic plastics to be recycled. (Anyone can bring in your cosmetics plastics, you don't have to be a client, click the link to see how it works and what items are accepted)
Ultimately one of our many missions has always been to operate plastic and waste free. So far it has been an annoyingly slow process but we are making baby steps, doing things we haven't done before and having educational and eye opening discussions with people we would never have spoken to otherwise.
The journey towards this is an adventure but we are acutely aware the motivation behind is screaming for urgency.
With this in mind, if anyone actually read this to the end thank you! we appreciate you!! and if you know somebody who can help with our mission above please get in contact!
Co Owner Lead with Lashes.