In the late 1980s/early 1990s I stopped using any products which were tested on animals. 25 years on, I still don’t knowingly use any products which are although with so many brands now cruelty-free these days, Animal Testing Concerns have been Replaced By Single-Use Plastics Micro-Beads And Parabens
In a few year’s time when we’ll be spending prolonged periods traveling in our campervan, we’ll already be using multi-purpose products with universal properties. Not just to save on space and money but to eliminate waste. Many plastic containers for toiletries are deliberately shaped for product to get caught in the bottom, meaning of course that you buy them more frequently. Worse than this in my opinion though, is the fact that you are also amassing more single-use plastic as a result.One obvious solution is homemade products and the internet is awash with information on how to do this using as natural products as possible.
I was a big fan of Lush and they became my go to brand when The Body Shop sold out to L’Oréal. Not just their products but their ethics, what they stood for. However this has been called into question for me a number of times over the past few years as Lush are not so ethical and sustainable as their marketing campaigns would like us to think, information that has come to light via a number of sources. It was very recently confounded by a BBC article, in which Lush owner Mark Constantine stated, “we are not the number one cosmetics company, but for the sake of the environment, we really need to be”. It’s true that Lush helped pave the way for several natural product brands but there are plenty of them now, Plastics-Free and Faith in Nature to name just two”.
The big cosmetics brands will tell you that the shampoo is essential for removing the build-up of product from your hair. However I figure that seeing as I only use a leave-in conditioner, it’s not really an issue for me.
For a large chunk of 2018 I experimented with my toiletries with varying degrees of success. Shampoo and conditioner have taken the most time to get used to (and cost the most money) – most ‘natural’ products left my hair really quite lank and greasy. To the extent that some were added to the soap pile for our home-made washing powder after only one or two washes. And it took some time to settle on natural products which my hair and skin also liked, not just my wallet. I finally settled on cubes of shampoo from the amazing Plastics-Free based in Newquay, Cornwall which work really well, considering that I have very thick, long hair.
My husband fully embraced it too, but with equally sensitive skin albeit from twenty years as a plasterer in his case, I fully respect his decision to go back to his normal soap. Whilst neither of us got on with the shampoo, Faith in Nature’s Replenishing Moisturizer has gone down a storm. Whilst it goes against the grain that it comes in 50ml plastic bottles (albeit recycled plastic), nobody’s perfect and I’d like to think I’m offsetting this in other ways. And they do offer 5-liter refills for their shampoo, conditioner, laundry liquid, body wash and hand wash.
A few tips for saving money and reducing single-use plastic:
- Cut containers in half to get to the rest of the product
- Dilute the contents of your washing up liquid, shampoo, shower gel and hand wash
- Buy your household cleaners and toiletries in 5-liter containers where possible
DISCLAIMER: Have your concerns about animal testing been Replaced By Single-Use Plastics, Micro-Beads And Parabens?