Do you know how far your beauty products have travelled before they reached your bathroom shelf?
Maybe you remember the journey to your local drugstore or the distance the delivery man drove before he dropped off your parcel, but that’s only part of the whole picture. Every single ingredient in every one of the products you use has its own journey. Add the miles together, and you’re left with a scary sum known as ‘beauty miles’.
Whether it’s plastic packaging or animal cruelty, many people have woken up to the environmental impact of the beauty industry. Beauty miles, however, are only just creeping up people’s consciousness.
This post will look at the ugly face of beauty, the ins and outs of the concept, and how we can help you keep your beauty miles down.
The ugly face of beauty
Beauty is a booming industry ridden with ugly secrets.
More than 120 billion units of packaging are produced by the global cosmetic industry each year, and, if this level of consumption continues, by 2050 there will be 12 million tons of plastic in landfills – enough to fill the Empire State Building 35,000 times!
And the problem’s not just in the packaging. It’s reported that 80% of countries still allow cosmetics to be tested on animals. Even in countries where it’s not required, shelves are packed with products that have undergone animal cruelty because they’re formulated or sold in countries where testing is still required.
Whilst plastic-free, zero waste, and cruelty-free are big buzzwords in the beauty world right now, cosmetics’ crazy carbon footprint still needs to be unveiled. That’s where beauty miles comes in.
What are beauty miles?
You may have heard of food miles, the total distance a food item is transported during the journey from producer to consumer. Similarly, beauty miles are a measure of how far your products have had to travel to get to you.
But there’s one crucial difference between food miles and beauty miles. Where the former is the distance of just one item, the latter takes into account every mile travelled for every aspect of the finished product. This makes it a lot more complicated and requires some Sherlock Holmes level detective work.
Luckily, Chartered Environmentalist Lorranie Dallmeier provides an example. She considers the beauty miles of a single lip balm, based on the common ingredients. ‘If you are a formulator in the UK’, she explains, ‘shipping these ingredients will cover a distance of about 19000 miles, in the US that distance rises to almost 23000 miles’.
And that’s before it even reaches the factory. After the ingredients are received and the lip balm is formulated, it’s either shipped directly to consumers or onto retailers. If the company ships internationally, the number rises quite considerably.
The problem with these long journeys is, of course, the nasty carbon footprint that comes with them. The transportation sector generates the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions, which drives global climate change and contributes to local air pollution.
Now here’s a challenge for you. Get out your beauty bag, head over to your bathroom shelf, and gather all your products together. How far do you think one item has had travelled? What about all the products altogether? It’s scary to think about, right?
Fortunately, there are ways to keep your beauty miles down and we’re here to help you out.
5 Ways to Keep your beauty miles down
- Be conscious of packaging
We all know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but what about judging a product by its packaging? Just think about the unnecessary miles generated if a product is packaged in a plastic bottle and wrapped in a cardboard cover, both made in different places.
Here at Mazillo, we’re committed to minimising our environmental footprint by doing everything we can to make our packaging as sustainable as possible. You can read about this in full detail on our FAQs, but basically, you’re not getting any pointless packaging around here.
- Look for local ingredients
Brands that are conscious of their beauty miles will keep the process local. That means utilising native ingredients rather than shipping exotic items from around the world.
We are lucky to be born in Bulgaria, a country with extremely diverse natural resources. All our formulations contain ingredients grown nearby and we work with local farmers and suppliers to select the most sustainable and highest quality ingredients.
- Shop small batch
It goes without saying that the more products a brand produces, the higher their beauty miles. Small batch production is a mindful method of matching production directly to demand, rather than making many products that sit on shelves waiting to be sold. This cuts down on wasted resources, the miles travelled, and an added bonus? You get fresher products that are better for your skin.
We are proud to be manufacturing our products in small batches. This allows us to loving fill, package, and send every one of our products to you ourselves.
- Go for the multitaskers
You know how we asked you to gather all your products together and consider their total journey? Think about how much shorter this would be if there was simply fewer of them. Cutting down on the number of products you use can lower the overall miles travelled.
Our products are designed to have multiple purposes. For example, our Regenerate + Protect Essence Toner acts as a second step of your natural double cleansing routine, and enhances skin regeneration, provides deep hydration, reduces the appearance of wrinkles, AND protects the skin against environmental factors. Yep, all that in just one product.
- Try keeping it close to home
Imagine the internet didn’t exist and the only way to build your beauty routine was to physically walk to the shop. Terrifying, we know. Would you go to the furthest one possible or keep it close to home?
The internet has broadened horizons and made access to ethical brands easier than ever. This means you can look a little further for the perfect products, but it’s still important to consider your location to cut down the shipping journey. As a Bulgaria-based Skincare brand, we have decided not to ship to remote locations but limit our reach to Europe only.
When we work with retailers, we always make sure they have well established sustainability policies if worldwide shipping is available. That’s why we are happy to announce we’ve recently partnered up with Wolf&Badger who are on a path to be carbon neutral by 2030.
Let’s end the days where our beauty routine has travelled further than we have…
Be part of the change and check out our locally-made products.