Sustainability is a term which we often hear today in many fields, including the beauty industry. We are used to cosmetic brands, mainstream and indie, praising the sustainability of their products by including natural ingredients, repurposing raw materials or using biodegradable packaging.
In addition to sustainability, we also hear every day “similar” terms related to cosmetics: natural, green, clean, organic and eco-friendly.
The question is do we know the difference between these terms?
Do the brands really know what they are committing themselves to when they use these terms?
All the mentioned terms refer to awareness, as well as environmental and social responsibility (although most are not strictly defined by law and certified), so technically they can be used interchangeably. However, there are slightly differences in the meaning which is important to define.
Green- “green” is often used colloquially to apply to almost everything related to the environment benefits, from energy sources and modes of movement to architecture and fashion.
Clean implies ingredients – natural or synthetic – that are not harmful to our health.
Organic, eco and bio are synonyms, meaning that something does not harm the planet. Organic is by law defined term used to certify food, cosmetic products and other agricultural products produced with no synthetic chemicals that are harmful to the environment and people. Therefore, we only use this term if we are talking about certified organic ingredients or products.
Eco-friendly is a term which doesn’t have exact definition, but in general it refers to products and activities that do not or minimally harm the environment. For example, it can refer to a production process which is less harmful to the environment (reduced use of fossil fuels) and the result is a more environmentally friendly product (even though that process actually harms the environment in the long run).
Natural means obtained from plant, animal or mineral sources. Natural ingredients usually go through some processing to make them suitable for safe use in cosmetic formulations. There is no unique, accepted definition of natural in industry, and the term is often misused due to the marketing of the product itself.
Sustainable means that the action or product will have positive benefits on the environment, economy and/or society and must not directly harm them (such as pollution).
Natural cosmetics and sustainability – more than a trend
Over the last few years, we went through various crises, and the sustainability of our planet has crawled into our consciousness. The beauty industry is one of the most unsustainable industries in the world, and the very concept of sustainable practice is quite complex, considering the large use of natural resources and waste production.
As the founder of a natural cosmetics brand, I want to emphasize that for me, natural and sustainable is not just a trend, but represents the desire and will for a better and healthier life.
Natural cosmetics and sustainability do not imply each other, rather they go hand in hand. At Immortella, we strive to implement sustainability in all areas – from production to the final product.
Four key items of sustainability that are our guides at Immortella:
- Fresh and manual production
We strive for sustainability already during the production process – we use renewable energy sources, the production is manual and in small batches which implies a reduced use of energy sources. Additionally, our cosmetic is fresh – we do not stock large quantities of products but produce according to demand, thus we are careful in preserving environmental.
- Natural ingredients
The advantage of natural cosmetic is in natural ingredients and undergo minimal processing that is necessary in production. Hence, the ingredients are biodegradable and safe for the environment.
I would like to emphasize that our emulsifiers are obtained from natural sources, their composition and structure are very similar to our skin and are suitable for sensitive skin types. As well, vegetable oils undergo minimal processing phases.
We also use by-products in our production: immortelle flower water and apricot pits. Instead of becoming waste, we used them and their benefits for repurposing them and making high quality final product.
Additionally, we strive for simpler formulations, without unnecessary ingredients. The focus is on quality ingredients and proven concentrations that are suitable for even the most sensitive skin types.
I love the design of our products – clean, simple and refined! I believe that it is the first indication of natural high-quality brand, with simple and effective formulations to the customer.
When it comes to product packaging, the emphasis is on less plastic and the use of packaging that can be repurposed. We can do a lot more in this segment and my future goal is refills and filling stations.
- Skin minimalism
We believe that less is actually more and the customer does not need 15 products in daily beauty routine. Through communication with the customer, we encourage the use of fewer quality products. This way we do good for our skin and the environment because we create less waste.
Our list is not exhaustive and we will continue to keep trying and search for other ways to make the Immortella brand even more sustainable.
Sustainability is our future and it is necessary to implement this philosophy in our own lives to live in harmony with nature.