Our planet is overflowing with waste from every industry, and it’s our personal care items that could be doing the most harm. The cosmetics industry alone produces 120 billion units of packaging each year. But before the product even leaves the factory, 90 percent of the raw materials used to create it have already become waste. There’s a reason beauty is frequently labeled the new fast fashion.
But there’s hope. By leaning into those tried-and-true sustainability techniques of re-using the old to make new, we could help change the beauty industry’s wasteful ways, and in turn, mitigate its environmental impact considerably. Upcycling may be the future of beauty.
By upcycling waste, we can mitigate beauty’s environmental impact
According to 2019 research, upcycled products have a global market value of $150 million. Emerging and established fashion designers often repurpose plastic, deadstock fabrics, and even food scraps to make clothes and accessories. Previously, Adidas and Stella
McCartney partnered to create an athletic product line made with recycled ocean plastic. And Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams teamed up with French fashion house Coperni to turn discarded apple peels into vegan leather handbags.