Share This Post

Fashion / Fashion & Grooming

Is Refillable Packaging The Future Of Sustainable Beauty?

is-refillable-packaging-the-future-of-sustainable-beauty?

Getty Images

The beauty world has finally woken up to the problem of packaging waste, with many brands switching to recycled plastic pumps, aluminium bottles, compostable wrappers and more in a bid to reduce their contribution to landfill. And taking things a step further, the sustainable solution that’s rapidly gathering pace in the industry now is refillable beauty packaging.

Just as we’ve become used to bringing our own bags to carry home our groceries, the inevitable next step is bringing our own shampoo bottles to the salon when we’ve run out of shampoo, or having our perfume bottles refilled once we’ve spritzed the last drop. Bringing single-use packaging down to an absolute minimum, this route tackles waste as well as encouraging brands to create objects built to last for years rather than the lifespan of one product – take Kjaer Weis’s ultra-chic silver make-up compacts, which are designed to be used again and again.

Of course there’s an element of effort involved on the part of the consumer, which is why putting our spending power behind the brands making a difference is so powerful. Anitra Marsh, associate director of brand communications for global skin and personal care brands at Procter & Gamble, says that a new refillables initiative being trialled at Olay is kicking off with just one product, but that the company hopes to expand it further if it’s successful.

“This initial pilot will help us learn more about whether people like the idea of refills and whether the package design is intuitive and enjoyable,” she told us. “We feel we have a unique opportunity to impact how people shop for skincare products… it’s important for us to learn and experiment to see what works and figure out the best path forward.”

Many brands also offer incentives for those making the effort to shop more sustainably, such as reward schemes or savings on refills in-store. Preserving the planet as well as getting a better deal? There’s really no excuse not to. Discover some of the brands making the change below.

  • Kjaer Weis

    Kjaer Weis

    Make-up brand Kjaer Weis’s goal is to offer sustainable packaging without compromising on luxury or beauty, using stylish silver compacts, tubes and pens that are built to last and designed to be refilled time and time again. Even mascara, lip gloss and eyeliner come in refillable format, with refills sold at almost half the price of the original products.

  • Olay

    Olay

    Olay’s much-loved Regenerist Whip moisturiser can now be bought alongside a refill that fits right into the jar, practically halving the packaging waste. Olay’s parent company, Procter & Gamble, is also signed up to TerraCycle’s Loop refillables initative, which you can read more about here.

  • Le Labo

    Le Labo

    Le Labo’s beautiful, hand-blended scents are tempting enough as it is, but the eco-friendly packaging clinches the deal. Not only do the glass bottles come in recyclable cardboard boxes with no plastic wrap, they can be refilled in-store at a 20 per cent discount once your fragrance has run out.

  • MAC

    MAC

    MAC has been selling refill versions of its much-loved eyeshadow, concealer, blush, powder and more for years now, allowing you to buy the product in its metal pan without having to repurchase its plastic container (Nars and Surrat are among other brands offering refills for their compacts). And if you don’t want a refill, MAC’s Back To MAC scheme allows you to return six of its primary packaging containers for recycling in exchange for a new lipstick of your choice, at no charge.

  • L’Occitane

    L’Occitane

    L’Occitane’s Eco-Refill packaging uses up to 90 per cent less materials than the original containers. In fact, the innovative scheme saw an overall saving of 124 tonnes of material in 2017. Refills are available for hair, body, hand and bath products, and offer better value than buying a new bottle, as well as keeping waste to a minimum.

  • L’Oréal Professionnel Source Essentielle

    L’Oréal Professionnel Source Essentielle

    From the stackable square bottles to the real petals suspended in the shampoos – yes, really – and the naturally-derived ingredients, there’s a lot to like about L’Oréal Professionnel’s Source Essentielle haircare range. On top of all of that, the bottles can be refilled up to three times at participating salons, and then recycled afterwards.

  • Rituals

    Rituals

    From hand wash to body cream, many of Rituals’s products now come in eco-refill format, using minimal packaging and allowing you to reuse the original packaging again and again. Rituals says that buying a refill version of one of its body creams saves an impressive 70 per cent in CO2 emissions, 65 per cent in energy and uses 45 per cent less water.

  • Bleach London

    Bleach London

    At Bleach London you can buy glass bottles filled with your favourite shampoo and conditioner in one-litre or half-litre sizes (or even one of each, if you use conditioner at half the rate of shampoo, or vice versa). Once you’re finished – and it will take a while to get through a litre of shampoo, we assure you – wash the bottles and pumps and bring them back into the salon where they can be refilled, cutting out waste altogether.

Share This Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>