How Green is Glossier?
When thinking of companies that have been thriving lately or have really taken off this year, Glossier is definitely one that comes to mind. This female founded skincare/makeup brand caters to almost every demographic there is and uses the slogan, “Skin first, makeup second. Smile always”. This concept helps attract makeup lovers, but also gets consumers who are into skincare and the ‘no makeup’ makeup look interested, as well. This 4 year old startup company has really taken off and seems to be doing everything right.. but what about sustainability? In this article, we are going to discuss what measures (or lack of) are being taken to ensure sustainability in Glossier products, packaging, and company as a whole.
The use of sustainability in the fashion/ beauty world has recently been discussed more frequently and is becoming a priority to consumers when purchasing items. Our generation is very conscious of what we are putting in our bodies, wearing on our skin, and how these things will affect both us and the environment long term. It is becoming harder and harder to grow a company that doesn’t involve ethical aspects and sustainability because it is something that individuals are incorporating into their everyday lives more- as it should be.
Is Glossier an Ethical Company?
While it is difficult to become a completely 100% sustainable and ethical company, especially when the majority of this makeup brand’s sales are through online orders, these practices should still be implemented as much as they can. Glossier has a variety of different vegan products and they never test on animals. The products that aren’t vegan, are because they often use honey. Instead of using bubble wrap and excessive, wasteful packaging, Glossier uses their famous ‘pink-pouch’ that is reusable and has a bubble wrap-type insulation already built in. They recommend using this pouch as a travel bag, makeup bag, or even pencil case afterwards. From the outside looking in, this concept seems like an innovative idea that eliminates waste, but what happens when you order from Glossier very frequently and you start to acquire more pink pouches than you know what to do with? This is where the pink pouch, itself, becomes wasteful.
The idea that this pink pouch is excessive and not always needed was brought to our attention by a Glossier Rep, Lian Najarian (@liannajarian). As a conscious glossier consumer and rep for the company, she decided to send an email addressing this pink pouch issue and proposed ideas in order to create less waste in the future. She said, “I have so many pink pouches all over my house, a lot of which don't serve any purpose anymore.” She gave examples of ways they could improve such as: a box at checkout that could say “I’ll skip the pink pouch this time” or creating some kind of recycling program in which people could send in all of the pink pouches that they aren’t using and they could be given to other customers. Her email was thought out, well written, and allowed her to give her opinions to a company that she, herself, is involved in.
Glossier responded to Lian thanking her for her helpful and conscious feedback. They went on to say that while opting out of the pink pouches is not an option for them right now, they always recommend and strongly encourage their customers to reuse the pouches for other purposes.
While the outcome was not what Lian was hoping to hear, we appreciate the fact that they got back to her and didn’t avoid this topic altogether. We hope that if more individuals like Lian take initiative and reach out to Glossier and address this issue enough, they will eventually propose a change and become an even better brand then they already are. We are excited to see what the future holds for Glossier, hopefully including more sustainability.
Screenshots courtesy of @liannajarian
Written by Maddie Woytovich