How To Upcycle Your Green and Clean Lingo

Not to be confused with your own personal shower time, understanding what it means to be clean is all about deciphering the sustainability descriptors on the labels of some of your favourite grooming products. In honour of Earth month, Tina Hedges, the founder of LOLI Beauty along with her team of packaging suppliers provide clarity around some of the green beauty and grooming industry’s terms. And trust us when we say, these pros know what they’re talking about.

They’re so committed to the clean cause that LOLI’s packaging (you know, the paper boxes your skincare bottle or jar comes in) is grown from mushrooms and can actually be repurposed in your garden. Test it out. You can fully embrace Earth month by opening up the front of a LOLI box and filling it with potting soil, sprinkling on your chosen seeds and watering them, but not too much. Once your seeds start to sprout, plant them in your garden and water them frequently throughout the month as you watch them grow. Now here’s the bonus part, the packaging you just grew your seeds in also makes for great compost in about 180 days. Keep reading to update your green lingo.

BIODEGRADABLE VS. COMPOSTABLE
According to LOLI:
Previously, biodegradable represented the natural process of breaking down elements into basic, natural substances. While that sounds planet-friendly, it’s deceiving; the beauty industry is marketing their products under this term, but most biodegradable packaging is made of “bio-plastics” (e.g. PLA’s) which break down over time but can also leach microplastics into our waterways, air, soil and food systems. Certified garden compostable, single-use plastic-free packaging, like what LOLI uses, is more eco-friendly as it’s made from organic matter that completely decomposes while also benefiting the environment through fertilization, improving soil health or providing a food source for animalia.

FAIR TRADE VS. ETHICALLY SOURCED
According to LOLI:
Fair trade products shed light on the exploitative conditions international workers endure to highlight the intangible cost of goods, whereas ethical trade and sourcing involve taking steps to ensure ingredients and materials are attained in a manner that doesn’t exploit people or the environment. Both Fair Trade and ethically-sourced ingredients regularly review its supply chain to ensure that it doesn’t unknowingly support vendors that participate in people trafficking and supports local economies by creating earning opportunities from upcycled food waste.

SUSTAINABLE VS. ZERO-WASTE
According to LOLI:
 Sustainability refers to the reduction of garbage, largely through recycling. Zero-waste seeks to eliminate waste entirely. The first is an effort, but the latter is a solution. Sourcing upcycled, organic food waste; formulating without adding any water; manufacturing with limited energy use; and using packaging made from recycled, recyclable, refillable, and upcycled materials including freshly-grown mushrooms for 100% garden compostable boxes are all ways grooming companies can create zero-waste.

CRUELTY-FREE VS. VEGAN
According to LOLI:
 While the two words sound synonymous, products can actually be either, or and both. To be completely vegan, a product must be free of animal products and ingredients and not tested on animals. And did you know that organic products do not even contain beeswax? They use sunflower seed wax instead.

WATERLESS PRODUCTION
According to LOLI:
 This is when potent beauty remedies are not diluted with water. This helps to alleviate water stress while removing the reliance of synthetic emulsifiers, texturizers, fragrances, colourants or preservatives.

Adriana Ermter

Adriana is an award-winning writer and editor. The former beauty director for FASHION magazine and editor-in-chief of Salon and of Childview magazines has hosted beauty videos for fashionmagazine.com, as well as contributed to Men’s FASHION, Chatelaine and chatelaine.com, Flare and flare.com, Huffington Post Canada, National Post, AmongMen.com, thekit.ca, iVillage.ca and thewhaleandtherose.com. She lives in Toronto with her very spoiled feline, Trixie-Belle, and a fantastically large perfume collection.

You may follow Adriana on Twitter: @AErmter and on Instagram: AdrianaErmter.

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