The words "compostable" and "luxury" aren't often said in same sentence. The stereotypical leaf-stamped bamboo packaging that encases hemp derivatives and the like doesn't exactly evoke feelings of chicness, unfortunately. But Kjaer Weis — creator of new recyclable, compostable Red Edition packaging — is proof that high-end beauty and radical sustainability can, in fact, coincide.
Founded by Danish makeup artist Kirsten Kjaer Weis, the luxury cosmetics brand has long maintained its position at the forefront of this past decade's eco-crusade. When it debuted its silver Iconic Edition compacts in 2010, the refillable cases were the closest thing to recyclable packaging Kjaer Weis could achieve back then, even after a multi-year design process. Now, to celebrate its inaugural 10 laps around the sun, the brand is finally launching the initiative it's been working toward all along.
Starting May 13, a fully recyclable — even compostable — Red Edition package will be available for a number of refillable Kjaer Weis products. While its silver Iconic Edition cases will remain in rotation for infinite use, the new packaging will provide a disposable (eventually, after its corners are tattered and you've refilled it a thousand times) alternative that you won't have to feel so guilty about pitching.
According to Zero Waste Week, the global cosmetics industry creates more than 120 billion units of packaging per year, and not much of it is recyclable, considering the cost of cardboard versus ultra-cheap plastic. Pioneering the refillable makeup movement, Kjaer Weis has forever sought to reduce the beauty industry's carbon footprint with regards to both the production of its products and packaging as well as the disposal of them.
Kjaer Weis' Red Edition packaging — $8 each, not including the price of the refills themselves — doesn't yet include the full range of the brand's products, but its initial launch will feature packaging for its Cream Blush, Cream Glow, Cream Foundation, Flush & Glow, Lip Tint, Lip Balm (which comes in a Black Edition package, all of the same stuff), Powder Bronzer, Setting Powder, Eye Shadow, and Cream Shadow.
Made of glossy red paper, the new recyclable-slash-compostable packaging adheres to Kjaer Weis' lofty standard of elegance (no hemp or botanical inscriptions in sight). Zero-waste makeup just reached a whole new level of luxury, indeed.