Green zone: Earth-friendly beauty buys

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Green zone: Earth-friendly beauty buys

It’s easy being green. And gorgeous. These environmentally-conscious brands maximise your beauty while reducing your eco footprint …get greener now

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

This quote came from Ghandi back in a decade when the idea of global warming simply inspired girls to get their bikinis out, but now more than ever, we all understand that global change comes down to us. Nowadays, climate control is common conversation; we all get that a cleaner, greener world begins in our own backyards – and bathrooms.

It’s even trendy to turn our beauty bags green. Consumer goods giant Clorox Company conducted some research that revealed more than half its customers want to buy eco-friendly products and 25 per cent of them will even pay more for it – and it snapped up natural beauty pioneer Burt’s Bees to boot. In a recent beautyheaven poll, 72.5 per cent of voters confirmed they’d switch their faithful cosmetic staples for a green-powered alternative.

So with environmental awareness at an all-time high, why isn’t every beauty company supporting eco-ethics? It’s expensive, explains David Johnston, the Australian General Manager of biodynamic beauty leader Weleda. “It’s harder and more costly [for companies] to get sustainably-farmed ingredients and you pay more to buy renewable energy off the grid … or install your own [green] alternatives,” he says. “But we do it because it’s an important investment in the environment.”

Want to buy into a more beautiful future too? These brands make it easy…

Eco-beauty brands

Weleda

The brainchild of biodynamic farming founder Dr Rudolf Steiner and Dr Ita Wegman, Weleda has been backing the planet since 1921. Harvesting biodynamically-grown plants from homeopathically-prepared soil by hand, the brand slowly processes plants into holistic, synthetic-free formulas for the skin, body and soul.

But it’s not just about what goes into Weleda’s recyclably-packaged products – it’s about how it gets there. To minimise its production footprint, Weleda’s New Zealand manufacturing site runs on wind- and hyro-power. And in Europe, the company’s offices and plants are built to capture natural light, insulated with rooftop grass cover and have ditched energy-hungry air con for a clever water-cooled system. “Sustainable practices are used wherever possible, without impacting on the quality of the products,” says Johnston. “The profits go back into feeding this process.”

Planet-friendly pick

Weleda Wild Rose Moisture Cream, $36.95 – Brims with fair trade damask and centifolia roses from the Turkish village of Senir.

La Prairie

One of the most exclusive brands on Earth is investing in the sea. With the help of Celine Cousteau, the international program co-ordinator of the Ocean Futures Society, activist and high-profile granddaughter of Jacques Cousteau, Swiss luxist La Prairie recently launched a salve for the skin and the imperilled ocean. Advanced Marine Biology Cream aims to rescue a prematurely ageing complexion with sustainable, aquaculture-grown algae and seaborne antioxidants. Plus, with every pot sold, the brand is making a donation to the Ocean Futures Society’s marine conservation projects.

Planet-friendly pick

La Prairie Advanced Marine Biology Cream, $260

Aveda

Proving even big corporations can get a conscience, Aveda has made every April since 1990 Earth Month. Pulling focus on specific eco issues each year – 2008 addressed the clean water crisis with the ‘Every Drop Matters’ campaign – Earth Month initiatives have kicked more than US$8 million into the coffers of grassroots non-profit environmental groups across the globe. Aveda also walks the talk by using predominantly organic plant ingredients and curbing carbon emissions. 100 per cent of the electrical usage at Aveda’s Minnessota headquarters is offset with wind energy.  

Planet-friendly pick

Aveda Pure Vital Moisture Eye Crème, $69.95

RPR Hair Care

The call to action: get gleaming hair while cleaning the air. Aussie-owned RPR’s contribution to climate control is to offset operational greenhouse gases with the Greenfleet (greenfleet.com.au) organisation. The impact of all electricity, air travel and even company car use is balanced by planting native Australian trees by the hundred. Greenie-pleasing blow-dries are also in the works: RPR salons will be turning carbon-friendly in 2008 too.

Planet-friendly pick

RPR Hair Care Hold Me Forever (Aloe Vera and Ginseng) mist, $16.95

Paul Mitchell

According to this most fashionable haircare brand, ‘giving back is the new black’ – and its plan is to make it almost unavoidable. The Paul Mitchell line of shampoos, conditioners, stylers and treatments has long been linked with sustainably-grown botanics and recyclable bottling, but now they are going carbon neutral. While countering the C02 emissions of production by sewing seedlings, the brand is also signed up with TREECREDs (treecreds.com). Each buy you clock up counts toward forest conservation.

Planet-friendly pick

Paul Mitchell Lavender Mint Moisturizing Shampoo, $24.95, & Conditioner, $25.95

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