I believe there’s a problem at the heart of sustainability in the beauty industry. And we need to talk about it.
Hopefully, we all want to buy beauty products that have as little impact on our environment as possible, but with no requirement for companies to publish their ingredients, it is impossible for us to know what we’re actually buying. And that’s why so many companies use words like ‘natural’, ‘organic’ and ‘eco-friendly’ to describe their products. Many of these terms have no real meaning, but can create the impression that a product has been developed sustainably when in reality, it hasn't.
This dilemma is neatly summed up by research published by the sustainability monitoring company, Provenance at the end of 2022. Its ‘Skin Deep Beauty Report’ said: ‘91% of Brits found sustainability and ethics-related considerations important when buying beauty and wellness products’ but ‘83% of British beauty shoppers thought the industry should be more transparent about the impact of products and only 16% think beauty brands’ sustainability claims are ‘very trustworthy’.
People are most concerned about the impact on the natural world, with 77% saying this factor is either important or very important to them, followed by lowering waste, at 76%.
However, 71% also say they aren’t sure what ‘environmentally-friendly’ means, 69% say the same about ‘eco-friendly’ and 62% about the word ‘green’.
Beauty companies that have caved to temptation only have themselves to blame. With the potential for greenwashing and misleading marketing practices, beauty brand buyers have been left in a state of frustrated confusion. They want to buy ethically but the information simply isn’t there to make informed choices.
It was this challenge which led to the launch of Amatus and our commitment to simplicity, transparency and sustainability. In the same research, when asked what a beauty brand could do to win confidence that a sustainability claim is true, 61% said ‘a full list of ingredients’. We include a full list of ingredients with every product, including their purpose, so you can understand what’s working and why.
Our goal is to produce the effects you would expect from any product using the fewest possible ingredients, leading to a more sustainable beauty regime. By focusing on quality over quantity, we can reduce waste and minimise the carbon footprint associated with excessive product usage. Every part of our packaging is recyclable.
We will never use the words ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ to describe our products. They are often used in our industry to create a misleading impression and what is also true is that something which is both organic and natural, doesn’t mean it is good for your skin. In fact, it can be very damaging to your skin! That’s why we only give information that is true and actually means something - such as when we say our products are ‘cruelty-free’ or ‘vegan’.
We know, as a small company, we need help to make an impact. As we grow, we’re going to be looking for and working with people who are as committed to sustainability as we are. We have created our first ever Sustainability statement (you can read it here), we’re already working with our suppliers to reduce environmental impact and as we work towards our goals, the people we partner with to promote our products and the stockists you can buy from will be chosen because they share our values.
We know the impact social media Influencers have in our industry and we’re looking for people who are already active, especially on Instagram, who can amplify our message. If you’re keen to promote a more environmentally conscious and responsible approach to skincare, get in touch! We’re at @amatus_skin.
Sustainability is a journey for us, we’re not perfect and we’re always looking for ways to improve. The lack of transparency in our sector is one of the reasons Amatus was set up and you’ll always know what’s in any of our products. It will always be the smallest number of ingredients needed to make it effective for your skin. And that’s a promise!