Curating a beauty routine with minimal impact on the planet requires steadfast resolve, sometimes a fairly lofty budget, and a certain knack for sniffing out greenwashers. The notoriously wasteful industry — producing a reported 7.9 billion units of plastic per year, hardly any of which is recycled or even recyclable — is a minefield, often forcing its consumers to choose between zero-waste packaging, clean ingredients, circularity, or ethical sourcing. However, the radically sustainable, British-born skincare brand BYBI (now launching in the U.S.) is a rare exception to the rule.
Apart from producing effectual, all-natural skin care, the indie label's primary focus is on becoming one of the first carbon-neutral beauty brands by the end of 2020. According to Zero Waste Week, the cosmetics industry alone is responsible for producing 120 billion units of packaging per year, and almost 70 percent of it winds up in landfills. In the same vein, the Food and Drug Administration reports that 30 to 40 percent of the United States' entire food supply — $161 billion worth — goes to waste.
With BYBI, co-founders Elsie Rutterford and Dominika Minarovic hope to create not just a circular beauty brand, but one that also cuts down on other industries' waste. It takes leftover clementine water from the world of juicing and churns it into an overnight cream, for instance. Uses discarded pumpkin flesh in face masks. Makes facial oil out of abandoned berry seeds. More than half of BYBI's entire offering features upcycled ingredients.
And its emphasis on sustainability doesn't fall by the wayside when it comes to packaging, either. Though pretty enough for Instagram documentation, BYBI's products are housed in either carbon-neutral (and recyclable) bioplastic material made from sugarcane or, when that isn't possible, glass. It comes to you in boxes made from grass paper, which uses up to 80 percent less energy than paper made from wood pulp, saving about 5 tons of carbon per ton produced, according to the brand.
BYBI is radically transparent about its environmental impact, laying out everything from its harvesting process to supply chain and transport to third-party manufacturing on its website. Rutterford and Minarovic launched the brand in 2017 after co-running Clean Beauty Insiders, a content platform centered around from-the-earth beauty, for two years.
Now, its beloved Boosters (skin care supplements derived from strawberry, blueberry, and bakuchiol), hyaluronic acid-spiked Mega Mist spray, brightening Supercharge Serum, and shea butter Babe Balm — among other deliciously clean and guilt-free things — are available in the U.S.
Products range from $9 to $35, with the majority of the lineup landing under $20. The Zoe Report's fall must-haves, ahead.
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