July is our favourite month for many reasons but today we’re here to focus on two of them:
- July 15th is Clean Beauty Day, a holiday we love to shine a light on for what it represents: a commemoration of the clean beauty movement. As with all holidays, it is one that lives on and becomes an integral part of many people’s lives: it is very much a movement and a lifestyle choice.
- It’s Plastic-Free July!! Our favourite time of the year, Plastic-Free July gives people around the world the chance to focus on all things plastic-free. Given that we started KOOSHOO as a way of providing plastic-free hair accessories (made ethically, from better quality ingredients) it’s sort of a big-deal holiday for us.
We think that there is an opportunity to tie these two important events together. But let’s back up for a minute: what is clean beauty and what does it have to do with going plastic-free?
What is clean beauty?
The phrase “clean beauty” is similar to the term “sustainable” in that it can mean many things depending on who’s making a claim.
Because clean beauty isn’t a regulated term, greenwashing claims tend to run rampant in this category of beauty, so it’s good to keep a weather eye out for falsehoods. We found this overview from Harpers Bazaar and feel it pretty well encompasses the classic definition of clean beauty:
“Safe for people and the planet, clean means that a beauty product should have considered human and environmental health, using a nontoxic element as a baseline and plant-based ingredients for active results. Much like eating clean rejects the idea of processed foods and focuses on nourishing, plant-based produce that delivers all the vitamins and antioxidants needed for a healthy immune and digestive system, the same is true for clean skin care.”
Typically, clean beauty is used to refer to the products we use or put on our bodies: shampoo, body wash, lotions, or makeup to name a few.
What is Plastic-Free July?
Plastic-Free July is an entire month (yep, 31 days!) to focus our efforts on eliminating unnecessary plastics from our lives and connecting with others who are doing the same. Of course, similarly to Clean Beauty Day, this month-long holiday is for many, a lifestyle choice that becomes permanent: once you start reducing plastics in your own life, it’s hard to stop after just 31 days!
To us, clean beauty and plastic-free go hand-in-hand. Less plastic in or on our beauty products and accessories means a more healthful product.
We started KOOSHOO as a way of addressing what we felt was a gap in the marketplace: a lack of ethical, sustainable, quality-made hair accessories that were also plastic-free. Now, more than a decade later, we’re really thrilled to offer a diversity of plastic-free and organic hair ties, scrunchies, and headbands to fill that gap.
We consider ourselves part of the clean beauty movement: we don’t want plastic on your head!
What else is clean beauty?
Here’s where we’re getting holistic: we think clean beauty is sustainable products and more.
Following the notion that everything on this planet is connected, we cannot simply stop at clean beauty being just about better products: this is just a starting point! In fact, many clean beauty brands make a specific mention of ethics and people on their products: for them, as with us, a product is more than just sustainable ingredients.
Sustainability at its core consists of three pillars: social, economic and environmental. In this way, the concept asks us to look at all the multiple connections our decisions will have on both people and the planet. In order to create a holistic clean-beauty movement, we must look at everything beyond products.
Clean beauty is more than skincare and makeup
For us, clean beauty is more than just the products themselves, although non-toxic, environmentally friendly, and ethical ingredients are a must (consider them essential!). At KOOSHOO, clean beauty encompasses the following:
- Redefining what it means to be beautiful: the beauty industry is always telling us how to look and feel and selling us idealized images that are often unrealistic and completely unsustainable. We think true beauty comes from within and any beauty products or accessories on the market should amplify what beauty already exists. (That’s why we’ve intentionally created hair accessories to fit a wide variety of heads and hair!)
- Reshaping our lives to include the right amount of sleep: it is amazing how often we overlook this one simple act. When we’re well-rested, we can make better decisions about our life goals, purchases, and everything else.
- Taking time to meditate (or just sit quietly): by slowing down, we can be more intentional with our lives. Instead of reacting, we make space to be proactive. Do we need to jump on the latest fad diet bandwagon? Or can we pause, consider what our bodies truly need, and move from there?
- Getting into nature: as with sleep, this simple act can be transformational. A quiet corner of a city park, your favourite nature reserve, or wildlife refuge will suffice.
- Taking a hard look at waste: there are many clean beauty products and accessories on the market that are full of amazing, healthy ingredients…but they are sometimes housed in non-recyclable packaging, leading to more waste than necessary. When we designed our hair accessories, we made sure that the packaging was 100% recyclable, meaning you can have your cake and eat it too.
- Eating right for our bodies: we’re not here to tell you what to eat, how much, or when. All we can say is that from our personal experience when we follow our “gut” and eat intuitively, we feel more healthful and by proxy, beautiful!
As we hope you’ve gleaned, there are so many ways to define clean beauty beyond the stuff we fill our medicine cabinets and bathroom countertops with.
And that’s what makes this month of July so special. The Venn diagram of clean beauty and Plastic-Free July shares a tremendous amount of overlap. Whether participating in one movement (or both) this July, it’s an opportunity to create new habits that benefit so many stakeholders, yourself first and foremost.
How do you define clean beauty? How are you merging your clean beauty routine with your plastic-free efforts?