The topic of plastic free beauty products is on my mind every day. The devastation caused by plastic to marine life and other ecosystems, is a constant reminder of how important the issue is. As founder of Nakin, a cruelty free natural skincare brand, my heart is hugely devoted to environmental issues. I love nature, and my degree at East London University was a BSc Wildlife Conservation. This was some time ago in the 90’s and I desperately tried to get a job in that field, but at this time they were not readily available. Nowadays there is a daily focus on our use of plastics as well as global warming, and I am drawn to my passion to help nature.
My other love has always been beauty, and skincare in particular. I love the pampering element, and good skin makes us all feel great too. The reason I went so deeply into skincare back in the noughties was due to my obsession with natural skincare, and looking for natural beauty products that had the least environmental impact, and were beautiful to use. I then started my first company, the Soil Association certified organic and Vegan Society registered skincare range, called Skin Blossom. Following this Nakin came about from my desire to combine natural and environmentally friendly skincare products with extremely effective facial products; and to target skincare concerns such as lines, dullness and uneven skin tone for healthy soft, smooth glowing skin. But this all has to come with minimal impact on the environment.
So what are we doing at Nakin to make sure our environmental footprint is as low as possible? We would love to go completely plastic free and as the options for plastic free packaging increase, this is our long term aim. I am sad to say that it is not an option for Nakin at this present time, although we are taking steps towards this. But we are committed to being as ethical and caring to the environment as we can be. Some of the programmes that Nakin are currently undertaking are listed below.
- We adopt an eco-friendly approach to our work. We always reuse and recycle as much we can in everyday work, and we walk where possible.
- A new initiative at Nakin is volunteering at beach clean ups, our first was a Saturday in June 2019 at Sandwich Bay in Kent. It was organised by TW services, in conjunction with Beach Watch and the Marine Conservation Society. When we arrived at the beach, it looked picturesque and we found it hard to see any plastic, but this soon changed and it was shocking how much plastic there was on the beach. The thought of this being consumed and affecting animal life was very sad. Doing our small part to help out was hugely rewarding and motivating. The image below shows the Nakin team hard at work.
- At Nakin we are constantly assessing the packaging options available to us. We did a feasibility study into using glass, but could not convert to using it. We have a lot of communication from customers asking us to use glass, but we know in our hearts that it is not the right thing to do. This is due to effect on global warming, as the production of glass creates six times more global warming gases than plastic. Plastic seems to have taken over the headlines from global warming at the moment, but both will cause irreversible damage to ecosystems and the world.
- As a company we really admire the cosmetic refill programmes that many beauty brands offer, and we would love to do this. Nakin have also looked at the possibility of carrying out a refill programme, but as we are a small company, this is not achievable at the present time.
- At Nakin we always choose packaging that can be recycled where possible, although it will always depend on local recycling facilities. We use clear plastic PET bottles for our skincare products bottles and jars, this is because it is the easiest to recycle. Recycled PET is known as RPET and is used to make new products ranging from fabric for clothes to car parts; and to make more cosmetic PET containers. PET containers are the most environmentally friendly option available. The Planet Bottle note on their website that a recent life cycle analysis held by the Allied Development Corp, looked at the environmental footprint and greenhouse gas emissions of manufacturing and transporting PET, compared to other forms of packaging. They found that after measuring greenhouse gas emissions as well as energy consumption, PET containers had the best performance. PET plastic containers are also clear, which makes them very easy to recycle as it has much higher flexibility. Coloured plastic is much more limited, and some recycling facilities even opt to dispose of it.
- We are currently looking into using tubes made from paper, as well as skincare packaging made from bamboo, sugarcane and recycled plastic. We always keep plastic use as low as possible, so we recently stopped using shives in our jars, and we do not use security covers on our products.
- Adding and updating the natural face products in our range is an ongoing project. We are currently looking into the new products that we want to add to our natural anti-ageing skincare range, and how they can be made without the use of plastics and glass, such as developing bars. These are already quite highly prevalent in shampoos and soaps, although soap bars are not that great to use on our skin because of the drying effect that they have. A plastic free moisturiser would be ideal, however, it does need a container to go in. At the moment the best facial cleansers, moisturising products, face oils and face serums all come in liquid form.
We know how important it is for us to get this right, and plastic free skincare, cosmetics and make-up are a step that all beauty brands have to move toward. Nakin are dedicated to this. The Nakin range is also all cruelty free, meeting Cruelty Free International’s Leaping Bunny standards, and vegan where possible. Find out more about us at www.nakinskincare.com Nakin Skincare is kind to skin, it enhances skin and is also kind to the environment.