Is eco-beauty an oxymoron?
Can we love beauty products and care about the planet? Can you purchase beauty products and be an environmentalist? Can the beauty industry genuinely be more eco-friendly?
Yes! I believe we can. Could the beauty industry be doing more for the planet? Absolutely! Can we, as consumers, demand smarter practices from brands? Yes! We can have nice things, while being respectful of our planet, but only if we make good choices and start challenging the status quo.
One major way we can make more of a positive impactful is to ask questions about the materials used in our products. As we’ve all heard, there is more plastic in our oceans than even before and by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans. Plastic does not belong in our waterways. The negative impacts of plastic in our ecosystems is felt across the board, from people living in coastal communities surrounded by waste, to animals ingesting plastic, to the releasing of greenhouse gasses which contribute to climate change, and even to the water we drink which can contain bio-plastics.
There are two things we need to do immediately to make a significant difference in the health of our waterways. One: reduce or eliminate the plastic that we put into waterways. If we can prevent plastic from entering our waterways in the first place, that's the best case scenario. Two: use recovered and ocean-bound plastic in manufacturing whenever possible.
Consumers and manufacturers can do more by asking, could this product be made more sustainably? Could it be made with ocean plastic? And as we create more things, are we addressing any of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals? Every product that is made with hard plastic should be made with at least a portion of recovered or ocean-bound plastic. We put this plastic into our oceans and it’s our responsibility to remove it and even better, prevent it from ending up there in the first place. Oceans are not the place for plastic.
While manufacturing with recycled plastic has been in place since the early 70’s, producing products with ocean plastic is still in its infancy and we need to make it more common practice. The possibilities of reusing ocean plastic are endless. Luckily, there are incredible organizations like Oceanworks, 4Ocean, The Ocean Clean Up, and The Ocean Conservancy, working every day to keep plastic from entering waterways and pulling plastic out from oceans. Now it’s up to manufacturers and consumers to adopt the use of ocean plastic.
Working with Oceanworks, I created a makeup case made of ocean-bound plastic. A case with a cause. As a cosmetics lover I was always looking for a beautiful place for my beautiful things. When I couldn’t find one that was more sustainable, I researched materials and factories and created one, proving we can have beautiful, functional products that are eco-conscious. The OSHEN makeup case addresses 5 of the 17 UN’s Sustainable Development Goals:
11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities
12 – Responsible Production and Consumption
13 – Climate Action
14 – Life Below Water
15 – Life On Land
Did it take longer to develop than a product using virgin plastic? Yes. Does ocean plastic cost more than virgin plastic? Yes, about 25% more. Is it worth it? Yes! And most importantly, is it the right thing to do? Absolutely!
So, with a goal of cleaning up our oceans and offering beautiful, functional home goods, I am proud to introduce you to the OSHEN makeup case. This is the first makeup case made from ocean plastic. As a beauty lover, it makes me so happy to now have an organizing solution for all my beauty products, but mostly, as an environmentalist, I feel immense satisfaction knowing that we are working to keep our oceans clean. The future of eco-beauty is powerful. As consumers, and creators, we have the agency to make positive choices and make a real impact. I hope you will join me in challenging the status quo.
A place for everything, everything in its place.
Tonia Krauser, Founder