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Brands and ecology: points of contact

Humanity has realized that we have one planet, and it must be saved. While a few years ago, shopping bags for groceries and reusable bags caused ridicule and bewilderment, now it is becoming the norm. Society chooses the concept of conscious consumption and care for the environment.

The concept of sustainability gains popularity with human’s desire to restore balance on the planet. Sustainability affects two aspects: the impact on the environment and the impact on society. Within this concept, the goal of any project is to positively influence one of the areas. Developing a strategy towards brand sustainability is important: if a company cannot take responsibility for its actions, it has no future. The two “dirtiest” directions for the environment are the cosmetic and fashion industries, and they clearly show that ecology must be reckoned with.

Cosmetic brands

Since 2019, Virginie Courtin-Clarins, s Deputy CEO of the Clarins company, has been overseeing corporate social responsibility compliance. The brand has set goals and achieved certain results in this direction: Clarins achieved carbon neutrality by the end of last year and offset carbon emissions in its production.

The company strives to receive the Certified B Corporation in 2023, which confirms the brand’s responsibility for the minimum ecological footprint during production. By 2025, Clarins aims to minimize plastic packaging, reduce its carbon footprint by 30% and change the manufacturing process to include organic ingredients, improve agriculture, and incorporate fair trade principles. Today, you can buy this brand’s cosmetics in the MAKEUP online store.

The British company Lush was one of the first to understand the importance of minimizing packaging waste and, for many years, has been producing cans for products only from recycled materials. 50% of the assortment are products without packaging. In addition, you can bring empty cans for recycling to every Lush store and get a fresh mask for five cans. The brand actively supports various campaigns to reduce plastic consumption and encourages its customers to do so.

MAC supported a similar initiative with the launch of the Back-to-MAC campaign: by bringing six packs of lipstick, eyeshadow, or foundation, you can choose lipstick, lip gloss, or eyeshadow for free.

L’Oreal plans to refuse single-use plastic by 2025. The brand has already launched the Sourse Essentielle hair care line, where shampoo bottles can be refilled in the L’Oreal Professionnel salon.

Fashion industry

“Fast fashion,” where collections are updated once a season and clothing begins to be produced at the stage of sketching, has led to the production of items of poor quality. As a result, up to 10.5 million tons of clothing in the United States alone ends up in landfills.

Manufacturing things from cheaper materials is also unsafe for the environment due to emissions of nitrous oxide, microplastics, into which some synthetic fabrics break down. At the same time, cotton production requires a lot of water, and plantations consume up to 25% of pesticides and 10% of chemicals. What do fashion houses offer as a solution to the problem?

The H&M company accepts clothes for recycling in its stores, and in return, gives a discount on things from the new collection. It is planned to switch to production from recycled raw materials by 2030. The brand comes out with eco-lines of clothing, where the environmental friendliness of the product is indicated on each product.

The Mango brand has reduced the amount of water used in production by 4 million litres. The production of Boy and Straight denim models of clothes now require 16.5 litres less.

The fashion industry took a big step towards sustainability. Thirty-two brands from Kering (Balenciaga, Gucci) to Inditex (Zara, Massimo Dutti) and Gap have signed an environmental agreement. One of the tasks is to eliminate single-use plastic from the production chain by 2030 and switch key processes to renewable energy.

Developing a brand within the framework of sustainability is a necessary step. In the near future, companies denying sustainability are unlikely to find a loyal audience. There already are consumers who are choosing exclusively ethical products, and their number will only grow.