The cosmetics you choose are only ever as good as the impact they make on the world around them. It's nice to own a great foundation, but it's genuinely conscious beauty brands that are making real waves.
All the products we stock at Belle & Sage are cruelty-free and gentle on the environment, but we do have a few conscious faves we like to shout about from time to time.
Here are our top five conscious beauty brands that are changing the world around us - inspirational companies with productive, creative ideals.
There are many ways to do meaningful environmental and social good and we reckon what these guys are doing is right on the money.
Zoo Nurtured is a brand dedicated to all-natural hygiene products and supporting our furry friends the orangutans. Their signature natural deodorant paved the way for other simple, natural and effective goodies like the ever popular charcoal tooth whitening powder.
That's right, 50c from every single Zoo purchase goes towards The Orangutan Project. They're a not-for-profit organisation supporting orangutan conservation, rainforest protection and local community partnerships.
The organisation helps with technical and financial assistance for conservation projects and orangutan rescue/rehabilitation centres. This includes resources for the day-to-day care needs and the reintroduction of orphaned orangutans. All in all, it's a pretty incredible initiative.
What's more, Zoo products are also totally palm-oil free. This means no natural orangutan habitat is harmed or compromised to create their gorgeous deodorant, teeth whitener and oil range either.
Kiwi skincare brand Essence of Humanitydescribe themselves as a 'social enterprise' rather than a standard business.
Their ethos comes from the African idea of 'ubuntu', or 'human kindness', with 100% of all surplus profits given to those who need it most.
Working for years in impoverished regions of Africa, co-founder Cassandra knows the devastating effects of poverty from first hand experience. Because of this, Essence of Humanity aims to the lives of children in some of the world's most vulnerable communities.
Essence of Humanity is a private company with only one shareholder - the Essence of Humanity Trust. This trust is a registered New Zealand charity, with surplus from the company flowing into it and the funds distributed to charities working to alleviate poverty.
Their blog also keeps you up to date with their charity milestones, achievements and upcoming projects. It's a fantastic way to ensure you'll always know where your money is going.
It's no secret we love Snowberry Skincare for their incredibly effective, natural products - but did you know they're carbon-neutral too?
In 2017 we're starting to feel the effects of climate change more and more all around us, with carbon dioxide (CO2) from the burning of fossil fuels a major contributor to the greenhouse gasses. To help fight this effect, brands like Snowberry are opting for carbon-neutrality.
This means they either produce no greenhouse gasses, or offset the minimal amount they do produce in a sustainable way.
Snowberry is the first New Zealand skincare company to get carboNZeroCert™ certification for each of its products (and maybe even the first in the world).
The certification proves that any carbon produced as Snowberry products are made is completely neutralised by environmentally friendly activities.
To quote Snowberry creator Soraya Hendesi, "there is no bigger issue in the world today. If we don’t get that right, nothing else will matter.”
Certification isn't always crucial for a beauty brand to be genuinely conscious, but it certainly helps ease the mind and communicate real benefits. Lucky for us, Australian makeup brand Inika has it in spades anyway.
For Inika, adequate certification means they can promise that their products are safe for absolutely everybody, human or not. Firstly they're certified by Organic Food Chain Australia, which means any product with the OFCA symbol contains over 70% organic ingredients.
They've also got the tick from Vegan Society UK and Cruelty Free Australia - confirming that no harm has come to any of our furrier friends to make our favourite products. Inika is Certified Halal too, as well as a 'Truth in Beauty' brand - meaning all their products are safe, natural, ethical and environmentally conscious.
Quite a long, impressive list right?
Girl Undiscoveredis a mesmerising New Zealand skincare range sourcing their ingredients in a really unique and creatively conscious way.
Instead of stopping at organic, Girl Undiscovered ensures all the produce they use is either wild or from family farms. This means the brand supports locals in the areas they buy from and plays no part in large-scale deforestation. It also means all their sources are 100% traceable and naturally grown, without the use of harmful pesticides or week-killers.
The Girl Undiscovered team visits the communities they buy from in places like Thailand and Myanmar regularly too.
What's more, they're totally transparent when it comes to their suppliers. You can even check out the family businesses they link in with on their blog.
It's pure Kiwi ingenuity gone global and a gorgeous product to boot - what's not to fall in love with?
All five of these brands are incredibly socially-literate, environmentally savvy and totally conscious. Changing the world can seem like a really big job, but by shopping more consciously, we all play our part.
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