With cruelty-free cosmetics flying off shelves, going completely vegan seems the logical next step. The Ocean Frontier Institute in Canada has since developed fish waste nail polish — maybe too adventurous for some. On the tamer end, beauty brand Mented has raised $1 million to create vegan products for women of color.
“Our end goal is that women of color feel prioritized in the world of beauty,” said [co-founder K.J.] Miller. “Women of color were used to being treated as an afterthought. It’s not every day that you’re a priority.”
Mented, short for “pigmented”, is first launching non-toxic nude lippies, then an entire range of eye makeup. The remainder of the fundraised sum will go to hiring personnel and marketing the business.
“We really think we’re onto something here at Mented,” [co-founder Amanda] Johnson said. “Even though women of color have a difficult time raising money, if there’s an underserved market, investors attack it.”
Whether we like to think so or not, racial inequality remains present in many communities. Mented is not only bringing color onto lips, but into a society that may still be stuck in black and white.
Cosmetic brand Lush, known for its scrumptious bath bombs, is on a roll with its eco-initiatives. Since turning trash into packaging, it is also now funding permaculture farms at £1 million a year.
“For us, the work we focus on is often regenerative, as opposed to sustainable – we want to give back more than we take,”
The said permaculture farms provide the beauty brand with organic ingredients such as aloe and shea butter. While Lush can count on a stable supply of materials, it is also helping communities thrive.
“We started the fund in 2010, with the idea that there can be a different, more supportive way of doing business,” [says creative buyer Gabbi Loedolff.]
The initiative, called the SLush Fund, has reached out to groups in Ghana and Peru. It is creating jobs and providing new technologies while being mindful of the environment. On that note, I think a relaxing soak in the tub would be doing myself and Lush some good.
We’ve all heard of recycled cosmetics packaging, but recycled cosmetics? That’s a different story. Especially if we’re talking fish guts — but this group of researchers think they could be useful. Jennifer Murphy of the Ocean Frontier Institute has recently manufactured nail polish from mussel shells.
“We presented at the Newfoundland Aquaculture Association and she was presenting all the different things like acid mine drainage treatment and road salt, and then she showed the nails. All the questions were about the nails.”
“It’s really sparkly, it’s very pretty,”
The fish waste is also used in products such as fuel, road salt, and animal feed. In fact, fish oil mixed with regular oil can produce enough power to run a small boat.
[Institute professor] Hawboldt said sustainability and smaller impacts on the earth are a natural byproduct of using fish waste to make more money from [fisheries].
The institute’s primary goal is to figure out which products work best from each species and region. As it seems, different breeds work towards different purposes. Perhaps it’s about time for a manicure?