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  • Rovindu Ambagolla

Triple Bottom Tuesday>>> Make-up Going Green? –The Beauty Industry is Revolutionising Sustainability

Picture Credit: Amy Shamblen

The beauty industry has been dominated by well-known brands such as L'Oréal, Unilever and Estée Lauder who have been the front runners in terms of products that they offer to customers. However, most of these products such as shampoo, cream and other make-up products are made out of chemicals acquired from crude oil. Now times are changing as these massive corporations are being pushed by consumers to find better, healthier, and more sustainable alternative ingredients for these products.

The road to sustainability for the industry as already begun. “Cosmetics will lead the environmental transition because it’s the first oil-based sector that will completely get rid of oil” comments Marc Delcourt, co-founder and CEO of Global Bioenergies. The industry is investing heavily on finding more sustainably produced products as consumers raise concern for the impact of such products on human health and the environment.

However, it’s important to highlight that the industry is not tightly regulated, with little oversight from any independent bodies. So, it’s not common that producers use words like “green” and “organic” a little too loosely for consumers liking, and ultimately end up tricking consumers into buying products under the perception that they are helping reduce the environmental impact. Michelle Wong, a blogger with a Ph.D. in chemistry comments “There are a lot of brands genuinely trying…And there are lots of brands greenwashing, whether they mean it or not”.

Picture Credit: Raphael Lovaski

Marc Delcourt and his company Global Bioenergies has come up with a method of creating a key element used in most cosmetic products without the use of crude oil. Isododecane is a critical component in making long lasting makeup and had been traditionally sourced through petrochemicals, but Global Bioenergies has managed to create a renewable, plant based Isododecane.

Global Bioenergies teamed up with chemists specialising in cosmetics and L'Oréal to make and test their new products. Their new “Last” lineup consists of liquid eyeshadows, waterproof mascaras and liquid lipsticks which were all 90% plant based with Isododecane, vegetable waxes and oil derivatives as the main ingredients. Even their packaging is sourced from recycled plastics and cardboard.

However, Global Bioenergies won’t stop there. Next year they are determined to produce several tons of plant based Isododecane to sell to other businesses and help them become more sustainable. Georgie Eisdell, a Los-Angeles based makeup artist comments “For me, if a clean product has the same performance level as a not-clean product, then it’s a very easy choice. Why wouldn’t you use the cleaner product?”.

October 19th 2021 | 01.00 PM

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