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Plastic Free Beauty campaign gears up for biggest day of action to date

Gaelle Walker
02 June 2021

The UK's beauty industry is to be called out on its over-dependence on plastic as part of Plastic Free Beauty Day's biggest day of action to date, as the annual campaign seeks to fire up “real industry change.”

Taking place on 17 June, this year’s Plastic Free Beauty Day will feature a concerted education drive, in partnership with the British Beauty Council and Ocean Generation, in a bid to inspire and inform retailers, brands and consumers of the need and ways to change.

The initiative will be supported by an education-led webinar led by campaign founder Yolanda Cooper - who also established the ultra-sustainable beauty brand ‘We Are Paradoxx.’

Panellists will include British Beauty Council chief executive Millie Kendall, Ocean Generation sustainability expect Daisy Kendrick, and Ben Proctor, director of On Repeat - the new zero waste refill solution for beauty brands seeking to reduce their impact on the planet.

Taking place at 11.30am on 11 June, the webinar will cover a host of key topics including the beauty industry’s role in the world’s global sustainability efforts and the issue of “green-washing.”

It will also offer tangible advice for brands and businesses wanting to become more environmentally conscious.

Speaking to ahead of the webinar, Yolanda Cooper said: “I think industry leaders supporting initiatives such as Plastic Free Beauty Day is a clear sign that things need to change.

“By hosting this webinar, the British Beauty Council is firmly placing plastic pollution as a key issue for the beauty industry to address.

"As a result of our campaign, Look Fantastic is the first major beauty retailer to make Plastic Free Beauty a shoppable category, which is another sign of momentum growing, but we still have a long way to go.”

The annual day of action comes amid growing consumer demand for beauty brands to up their suitability games.

Research from Plastic Free Beauty Day reveals that 73% of UK consumers want to live more sustainably while 69% want to reduce their plastic consumption.

In addition, one in seven people have changed to more sustainable beauty products in the past three months, while 70% are taking action to reduce the impact of their personal beauty regime on the environment.

Recent years have seen an explosion in the number of beauty brands founded with an environmental focus and plastic-reducing innovations.

We’ve rounded up a selection of some of these newest game-changing brands below:

We Are Paradoxx

Founded in 2017 by Yolanda Cooper, We Are Paradoxx has developed a cult following thanks to its edit of natural, vegan and high-performance hair and body products.

The collection is available in eco-conscious infinitely recyclable aluminium packaging in a bid to “fight the war against plastic waste” and “reduce the amount of plastic reaching landfill and oceans.”

The company is also a member of 1% For The Planet which donates 1% of its annual revenue to environmental causes to help counterbalance its impact on the environment.

The brand recently extended its Moisture Collection with a hydrating hair mask that works in just one minute.

With an rrp of £30, the mask is available from Look Fantastic, Feel Unique and and comes in 90% plastic-free packaging.




Founded last year, SBTRCT (pronounced Subtract) offers a line of effective solid skincare products designed for people “who want to make a difference, without compromising on great skin or beautiful design.”

The UK-made formulations are solid in state, 100% plastic-free, palm oil free and contain less than 0.5% water, addressing three of the biggest environmental challenges facing the beauty industry; plastic pollution, water waste and the use of palm oil.

Containing squalane, glycerine, shea butter and coconut oil, the range is dermatologically tested and developed for both normal and sensitive skin.

SBTRCT products are also soap-free, cruelty-free, vegan friendly and have packaging that is 100% compostable.




Launched on Earth Day 2021, the LOOPECO brand offers a broad range of 100% natural, ethical and botanical skincare that is designed to be as good for the planet as it is the skin.

Founded by siblings Charlotte Adcroft and James Skipper, the brand’s mission is to create a closed-loop economy, where everything is shared, repaired, reused or recycled and waste is turned into a valuable resource.

Products are sold in plastic-free, compostable and or recyclable packaging, with the brand’s newest launch – a Matcha Green Tea face mask sold in a plantable boxes embedded with wildflower Chrysanthemum seeds and stamped with vegetable ink.



Forgo is the world’s first powder to water, plastic free, compostable and biodegradable hand wash.

Sold with a reusable glass bottle, each paper refill makes a full bottle of handwash which is available in three simple and effective scents - neutral, citrus and wood.

The products are made from excess lumber and repurposed fruits from the juicing industry.

Starter kits have an rrp of £45 and include one glass bottle and three hand wash refills.


Kan Kan

Launched in 2019 by London-based friends Eliza Flanagan and Mary McLeod, the Kan Kan brand provides consumers with a range of personal care products sold in a new format alternative to single use plastic bottles.

The range includes a hand soap, body wash and baby wash, all of which are available in refillable aluminium cans with rrps starting from £12.50 per 330ml can.

Starter sets include a 'Forever Bottle' and one refill can.



While not as new as some of the other beauty brands profiled above, pioneering skincare brand REN is certainly worthy of note here.

The brand, which has been at the forefront of innovations in the plastic-free space since its launched Zero Waste Roadmap in 2018, is on track with plans to become fully Zero Waste by the end of 2021.

REN also recently launched a ground-breaking alliance with four rival brands –  Biossance,  Caudalie, Herbivore and Youth To The People – to help reduce packaging waste across the beauty industry.

Each of the participants of the The #WeAreAllies initiative has signed up to a pledge to introduce planet-friendly packaging by the end of 2025 and, in an industry first, REN is also encouraging consumers to shop across these brands and promote their sustainability efforts.

REN recently extended its line-up with a ‘Summer Limited Edition Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic featuring a fresh scent and whimsical, garden-inspired label design.

Like its best-selling Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic, the limited edition variant comes  in a 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottle.

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