The green beauty scene in Bristol

With hopes to reduce single-use waste and clean up our act, Crystal Rose dives a little deeper into the plastic problem in the beauty industry and discusses a few of the good guys doing great things locally

Defined in the Cambridge Dictionary as ‘causing little or no damage to the environment and therefore able to continue for a long time,’ the word sustainability in the beauty-sphere covers the ethical side – being PETA-approved, vegan-friendly, organic and eco-friendly – and the recyclability of packaging. Using recyclable packaging is vital, especially after recent claims that 70% of the waste in the beauty industry is from the packaging itself, according to Arnaud Meysselle, CEO of REN Clean Skincare. These are all things that should be taken into account when considering the sustainability of a product. As part of a generation that’s clued up, invested in and passionate about our planet, we think it’s key. Aiming to make it a little easier for you to switch out the old habits and make way for some good-for-nature alternatives, here are our suggestions for small changes that could make all the difference…

Recycling made easier

Here’s a great way to reduce plastic waste: send your beauty product packaging to recycling programme TerraCycle ( Partnered with Garnier, TerraCycle is a free service that welcomes all containers (including tubes, lids and caps) regardless of the brand. Simply print a free-shipping label, take your empties to your local drop-off location and reduce plastic waste for the planet.

Additionally, skincare apothecary Kiehls has launched its Recycle And Be Rewarded programme where you earn a stamp for each empty bottle you return and on your tenth return you can choose a complimentary travel product of your choice.

Reduce single-use

We can’t shout this enough. As Collins Dictionary’s 2018 word of the year, use of the term ‘single-use’ has shown a four-fold increase since 2013 and can be seen as an indication of the global movement to kick our addiction to disposable products. We’re hoping that brands may follow in the footsteps of cruelty-free store Lush (, which has recently opened its first ‘naked’ shop in the UK in a bid to ditch plastic packaging – introducing bars of shampoo, similar to soap bars, to eliminate the need for bottles. Skincare saviour Dove is also in the midst of its #CareThatGoesFuther initiative, aiming to move to 100% recycled and recyclable plastic by the end of this year – watch out for the refillable deodorant currently being piloted. Plus REN has recently released a body cream to add to its totally sustainable range and pledges to have zero waste by 2021. Using packaging made from 20% reclaimed ocean plastic and 80% from recycled bottles, this range also features the first, and only, 100% recyclable pump bottle.

Many of us are aware of the effort to banish the use of single-use make-up wipes – as it can take many moons for the polyester sheets to biodegrade – but now it’s said that the use of cotton pads could be just as harmful to the environment. And, with a hint that there may be stronger laws coming into place with regard to plastic waste in the beauty industry, now is a good a time to switch out those single-use products and make way for a whole new generation of sustainable, eco-friendly tools.

Sustainably sourced, wild-crafted incense in compostable packaging from Breathe & Be Incense

Local heroes

Recently voted vegan foodie capital of the UK, Bristol has so much to offer in terms of sustainability and this extends to the beauty sector. Here are a few nearby superstars at the forefront of sustainability in the city and doing great things for the environment.

Noco Hair

­Found on Whiteladies Road, Noco Hair ( is playing its part to save the planet. With shelves stacked full of refillable range Davines (one of the most notable sustainable brands in the hair industry that uses 75% recycled plastic packaging), reclaimed planks from Bristol Wood Recycling Project and eco-friendly taps that use 60% less water, Noco is spearheading industry change. Plus, if you have any old shampoo and conditioner bottles that you’re looking to lose, take them into Noco and you’ll receive a complimentary mask with a cut and blow-dry. With giving back at its core, the team have recently pledged that for every £1 spent on memberships, one minute of their time will be donated at the end of the year to Bristol charity The Avon Wildlife Trust for cleaning, planting trees and protecting wildlife.

Breathe & Be Incense

Founder Ceri Evans, from local, natural brand Breathe & Be Incense (, tells us her products are all vegan (including dyes and glues used in the packaging), sustainably sourced, plastic-free, compostable, predominantly British-made and zero-waste – she’s a champion of sustainability indeed! The incense is hand-rolled in the UK; Ceri’s top tip is to sprinkle this on to your plants after use as it’s all organic matter. Breathe & Be Incense is set to host monthly incense-making workshops to spread the beauty and benefits of incense – so keep your eyes peeled.

Kings Grooming

The UK-made, vegan and cruelty-free Kings Grooming range ( comprises environmentally sustainable ethical fragrances and grooming products for men that contain no parabens or palm oil. Kings also encourages men to challenge the unhealthy, unrealistic ideas that society holds about masculinity; ideas that often contribute to men’s anxiety and low mood. “We want to empower men to think independently, break the mould and live by their own definition of being a man,” says visionary founder Blué O’Connor. Kings also funds local charities Mentoring Plus and Bristol Mind, as well as national male suicide prevention charity CALM.

No Guilt Cosmetics

Launched in 2016, No Guilt Cosmetics ( is a Bristol-based mineral beauty company producing cruelty-free, vegan and paraben-free products. From eyeshadows, bronzers and foundations to bamboo brushes and make-up bags, products are kind to the skin, sustainably sourced and downright beautiful. It’s both welcome and refreshing to see a cosmetics company that provides quality products with no guilt attached.