Green Beauty Conversations by Formula Botanica podcast

EP69. Biodegradable Beauty - a license to greenwash the beauty industry?

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Biodegradable is a common label today on consumer packaging but what exactly does it mean? After all, everything can biodegrade over time, although it might take thousands of years. And while we tend to focus on the biodegradability of packaging, there is also the matter of the product itself.

What happens to the expired face creams we dollop into our household waste bins or the hair conditioners that wash away with the shower water? 

This podcast digs deep into this most complex of concepts. We weren't surprised to discover that biodegradable lacks a rigid definition, that it is easily confused with composting - a related but different process - and that even many giants in the beauty industry fail to provide clear facts about just how their packaging and products are biodegradable.

Biodegradable is yet another grey area for beauty consumers. After this episode, we're sure you will be asking questions about the biodegradable labels you come across and demand to know more. But would your best policy be to simply reduce the amount of beauty products you consume?

Formula Botanica CEO Lorraine Dallmeier, a chartered environmentalist and biologist talks to colleague Ana Green, who is Formula Botanica’s Deputy Education Manager and has for many years been taking a long hard look at the environmental impacts of the beauty industry and its packaging.

Together, they put a definition to this term and explain the complexities of breaking down a cosmetic formulation and its packaging in the environment.

Altri episodi di "Green Beauty Conversations by Formula Botanica"

  • Green Beauty Conversations by Formula Botanica podcast

    EP79. The indie beauty challenge of sourcing natural ingredients


    Finding cosmetic ingredients is one of the first challenges every indie formulator faces. After all, we want our ingredients to be natural, sustainable, efficacious and, ideally, available in small Minimum Order Quantities (MOQs). However, the big wide world of cosmetic ingredient suppliers has not set itself up to cater for indie beauty. Suppliers generally don't realise that today’s indie formulators may become tomorrow’s industry giants. We've a good many of our graduate brands at Formula Botanica which have grown large and fast and are now taking overseas markets by storm.  So, how do indie beauty brands find and source the innovative, plant-based ingredients that will set them apart and help them formulate effective products and grow remarkable brands? In this episode, podcast host and Formula Botanica CEO Lorraine Dallmeier talks to Timo von Bargen of Covalo, a comprehensive search platform that connects beauty brands with over 40K suppliers. Covalo offers access to a huge ecosystem of cosmetic ingredients as well as listings of suppliers of packaging, and services such as contract manufacturing, formulation, regulatory compliance and testing. These are all areas of the beauty supply chain and business that small indie brands have to grapple with. But how do they find their way through the thousands of possible solutions and ingredients? We encourage you to listen in for some very useful advice and tips to help you on your formulating journey.
  • Green Beauty Conversations by Formula Botanica podcast

    EP78. We can't shop our way to sustainability


    Welcome to this Green Beauty Opinion on the sustainability of the beauty industry. Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier shares her own views on the main takeaways from the previous episode with guest Anna Teal of the British Beauty Council. Lorraine, a chartered environmentalist herself, praises the British Beauty Council’s 2020 report ‘Courage to Change’ which raises the industry's unsustainable practices and challenges it to change. But, she asks if the industry can ever do more than pay lip service to sustainability if rampant consumption of beauty products lies at the heart of its economic model. There needs to be a complete rethink in the way the entire sector operates, from manufacturers, retailers and buyers to the media right down to individual shoppers. Lorraine is astonished that the beauty industry, while talking sustainability, has gone silent on the elephant in the room: its traditional model of volume-driven profit. After all, we can't shop our way to sustainability. Listen in for a thought-provoking five minutes that challenges us to be the voice of change and integrity, making the beauty industry better and more sustainable.
  • Green Beauty Conversations by Formula Botanica podcast

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  • Green Beauty Conversations by Formula Botanica podcast

    EP77. Does the beauty industry have the courage to change?


    "For beauty brands, the risk of not changing is starting to outweigh the risk of changing, uncertain and fraught with challenges as it may be." When Green Beauty Conversations' host and Formula Botanica CEO Lorraine Dallmeier read words like these in the British Beauty Council's report, The Courage to Change, she realised that the beauty industry had reached more than a light bulb moment in its drive for sustainability. The Council's 48-page report, which is full of wake-up call statistics and hard-hitting quotes from surveys and leading industry names, is more than window dressing. It shows that the British Beauty Council, a not-for-profit body founded just over three years ago, is already a catalyst for that change. The beauty industry impacts the environment heavily and touches all of us whether we're directly involved in the industry or not. From the obvious actors such as personal care manufacturers and beauty retailers to each of us taking a shower every day, this is one industry that we all participate in. The beauty industry is not traditionally known for its collaborative approach nor to value the environment more than the volumes of product it churns out. However, the Council's report states that some 88% of consumers want brands to do more to help them make a difference. Given the sheer diversity and scale of this sector, how can its players collaborate and be the actors of change consumers are demanding? Lorraine spoke to Anna Teal, The British Beauty Council's Pillar President for Innovation and a leader with over two decades in the commercial beauty sector. Listen in to hear how the Council, headed by visionaries like Anna Teal, is determined to help the beauty industry change the habits of a lifetime.
  • Green Beauty Conversations by Formula Botanica podcast

    EP76. Treat essential oils with reverence


    Welcome to our Green Beauty Opinion on the sustainability of essential oils hosted by Lorraine Dallmeier, Formula Botanica CEO, who is also a Chartered Environmentalist and biologist. In this short opinion piece, Lorraine picks up on the key takeouts from the last episode when she spoke to Dr Sally Gouldstone, a long-time conservationist and founder of Scotland-based natural skincare brand Seilich. The overuse and misuse of essential oils is worrying not only qualified aromatherapists but also environmentalists. Essential oils can leave a heavy production footprint to the detriment of the planet. Urging us to reduce our use of essential oils, Lorraine points to botanical alternatives that formulators can explore for their scent and skin benefits and talks about the option to go fragrance free. Can you cut down on your own personal use of essential oils? Would you pay more to buy the limited amount you need from ethical suppliers that support a sustainable essential oil industry? Listen in for a thought-provoking five minutes that challenges us to be the voice of change and integrity, making the beauty industry better and more sustainable.
  • Green Beauty Conversations by Formula Botanica podcast

    EP75. How sustainable are essential oils?


    A few decades ago, essential oils were used mainly by aromatherapists and barely featured in our daily lives. Now, we use essential oils in everything from cosmetics to household cleaners. Essential oils are also a mainstay of natural skincare where they are used for their gorgeous scents and also as skin-beneficial ingredients. However, our use of essential oils is putting pressure on plants, pollinators and the planet's sustainability. Essential oils are big business for entities like multi-level marketing companies and large cosmetics' manufacturers. Even indie beauty, which generally works in small batches and low volumes, is contributing to the global demand for essential oils. Lorraine Dallmeier, podcast host and Formula Botanica CEO, talks to Dr Sally Gouldstone, conservationist and Founder of natural skincare company Seilich. Sally puts forward some controversial opinions on essential oil use and starts by asking: "Just how essential to our lives are essential oils?" This episode challenges Sally to square the circle for natural formulators who want to continue using essential oils, but mindfully and sustainably.
  • Green Beauty Conversations by Formula Botanica podcast

    EP74. Beauty retail has to change


    Welcome to our Green Beauty Opinion on sustainable beauty retail. Lorraine Dallmeier, Formula Botanica CEO, a chartered environmentalist and biologist, voices her views on the key takeouts of the last episode with Jazmin Alvarez, founder of retailer Pretty Well Beauty.  In this short opinion piece, Lorraine says that the retail industry has the power and responsibility to make sweeping changes to the way cosmetics are sold.  While we are now seeing schemes such as Clean at Sephora and Target Clean, most large beauty retailers are fumbling in the dark about what to do.  Should mainstream retailers start refusing to stock some big name brands because they can’t demonstrate their sustainability credentials yet - if ever?  Can we envisage a retail world with store categories such as Circular, Biodiversity, and Zero Waste?  Consumers are seeking out these labels already. Systemic change won’t happen overnight but we encourage beauty retail to start having those conversations with brands. Lorraine challenges us to speak up and ask retailers for evidence of beauty brands’ sustainability credentials.  Listen in for a thought-provoking five minutes that challenges us to be the voice of change and integrity, making the beauty industry better and more sustainable.
  • Green Beauty Conversations by Formula Botanica podcast

    EP73. Should beauty retailers boycott unsustainable brands?


    Sustainable beauty is sometimes seen as a subset of clean, green, natural beauty and more, however the single word sustainable hides a very complex set of questions and definitions. What is sustainable to one beauty brand, may not be for another. So when a beauty retailer sets out to attract and sell only sustainable beauty brands, it challenges itself to define sustainability and sort out the pseudo sustainable from those beauty brands blazing a trail in the field. Green Beauty Conversations podcast host and Formula Botanica CEO Lorraine Dallmeier talks to Jazmin Alvarez, founder of New York-based clean beauty retailer Pretty Well Beauty about her drive to showcase the best sustainable, clean beauty indie brands about. Pretty Well Beauty already stocks one Formula Botanica graduate brand. Rarely do you find a clean beauty brand that isn't passionate also about reducing its environmental footprint and in promoting sustainability. But just how do you go about vetting beauty brands' credentials and finding out about their journeys to sustainability? This is the mission Jazmin set herself when she launched Pretty Well Beauty. And as a 14-year veteran of a parallel sector, fashion, before setting up her pioneering retail enterprise, Jazmin is well attuned to the issues of sustainability - or its lack - in the beauty world. In this episode, Jazmin explains her views and definition of sustainability and talks about the mutual and beneficial relationship sustainable retailers can build with indie brands who together are dedicated to paying more than lip service to sustainability.
  • Green Beauty Conversations by Formula Botanica podcast

    EP72. We must get to Net Zero in Beauty


    Welcome to Green Beauty Opinions. In this five-minute short, Formula Botanica CEO Lorraine Dallmeier reflects on the key takeouts of the last episode with Austin Whitman, CEO and founder of Climate Neutral; a non-profit actively assisting beauty brands to become certified to its carbon neutral standards. Sustainability will define the next decade in beauty and beyond. With indie beauty brands coming under intense pressure to demonstrate their sustainability credentials, and facing a bewildering number of new certification options, Lorraine queries how they can decide which schemes to embrace. And how does a brand measure its carbon footprint and in a way that is open to public scrutiny?  Lorraine prompts us as beauty consumers to be a ‘sustainability task force’, pressing for change in the industry, but also reflecting on what we really need to use and buy.  Listen in for a thought-provoking five minutes that challenges us to be the voice of change and integrity, making the beauty industry better and more sustainable.
  • Green Beauty Conversations by Formula Botanica podcast

    EP71. Is climate neutral beauty possible?


    Climate neutral is one of the hottest trending terms in the beauty industry at the moment. But, claiming carbon or climate neutrality is a massive undertaking which is why beauty brands that are investing in ways to reduce their carbon footprint tend to work on offsetting instead. When we came across a non-profit entity set up to help companies devise a road map to become climate neutral, we were enthusiastic about its mission but also sceptical about how this would be possible. At Formula Botanica, we praise any efforts indie beauty brands take to incorporate sustainability into their business. But what does it mean to become climate neutral? What's involved? And how do you know a brand is doing the right thing? To shed light on carbon neutrality and its application to the beauty business, podcast host and Formula Botanica CEO Lorraine Dallmeier spoke to Austin Whitman, CEO of non-profit Climate Neutral. Founded in 2019, Climate Neutral is a new certification scheme helping businesses in every sector become certified to its standards. With Lorraine a chartered environmentalist and biologist, this episode of Green Beauty Conversations drills right down into the grey areas about how we measure our carbon footprint and asks how small, indie beauty brands can hope to make sense of it. This episode demystifies carbon footprints and inspires beauty brands of whatever size or stage in business to start their own journeys to climate neutrality.
  • Green Beauty Conversations by Formula Botanica podcast

    EP70. Biodegradability is more than packaging


    Welcome to our Green Beauty Opinion on biodegradable beauty.  In our five-minute opinion pieces, Formula Botanica CEO, chartered environmentalist and biologist Lorraine Dallmeier voices her thoughts on key issues facing the beauty industry and sets us a challenge to make the sector a better place.  Commenting on the topic of biodegradable beauty, Lorraine says that the industry isn't yet leading the conversation on the issue. Despite all the noise about biodegradability, it is shocking how little information there is on how the beauty industry is embracing it. Having a 'biodegradable' label on products and packaging can hide the environmental impacts of production; for instance, the use of resource-heavy industrial composting plants.  Lorraine acknowledges that some big beauty brands are investing in biodegradability but says that many claims are not backed up. And how can indie beauty brands hope to join the biodegradable movement?  Are bioplastics the answer? What about the use of child labour in producing green packaging options? Should the change start with consumers buying less? And what about circular beauty's prospects? Not every solution is clear-cut and consumers are left in the dark.   Listen in for a thought-provoking five minutes that challenges us to be the voice of change and integrity, making the beauty industry better and more sustainable.

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