These brands recycle waste to create fragrant beauty products
We have understood that upcycling is not a new and revolutionary idea. But when it comes to finding ways to be more sustainable, it comes out on top. For years, people have been recycling clothing and furniture to give new life to old items (which used to be clean in the trash). But the truth is, when it comes to beauty, the concept of upcycling as a way to make more sustainable choices hasn’t taken off in the same way.
Now, however, some brands are taking steps in the right direction, and the process might surprise you. While some niche brands, like UpCircle, have been using by-products such as coffee beans and fruit seeds to make skin care products, more recently brands have recently looked for ways to recycle waste. to produce perfumes.
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Yes, you read that right. It turns out that the fruit skins, pulp, and even sawdust can be reused to create some really pleasant scents for the nose. In fact, the process is so effective and efficient that some of the bigger perfume houses in the game might be looking to rethink their methods in an effort to make their processes more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
The best part is you wouldn’t even want to to know that the products you buy contain fragrances created from sustainable and recycled sources. Yes they feel this Well. So what’s the problem with recycled perfumes and why should we care? Here’s what you need to know …
Why are recycled perfumes more sustainable?
Traditionally, the creation of perfumes requires a lot of resources. Without even considering manufacturing, at a very basic level you need a huge amount of raw materials to extract natural essences. And even then, you can usually only use a certain part of the thing (for example, flower petals or wood resin), which in itself creates waste.
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In an effort to make the process of creating perfumes more sustainable, brands are starting to recycle waste from other industries. For example, the citrus industry generates more than 40 million tonnes of waste annually worldwide, with waste citrus peel accounting for almost 50% of the wet fruit mass. Waste like this has to be shipped, stored and treated, resulting in a huge carbon burden. By creating fragrances from waste from other industries, brands are able to streamline this process and reduce the amount of emissions produced – genius!
What types of waste are recovered in perfumery?
Well, citrus fruits are big. Fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes all have an important role to play in scent. Using leftover peels and pulp from other industries, such as food and drink, can create delicious citrus scents.
Some brands are also turning to upcycled wood chips and sawdust to create woody notes. Harvesting trees produces an immense amount of heat and biogas, as well as a significant amount of waste in the form of chips and sawdust. Instead of beauty brands harvesting trees for the purpose of creating scents, excess shavings and sawdust can be used to distill scent oils. And we’re sure there will be more sustainable fragrance innovations to come …
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So which brands are already doing this?
The flower harvest itself creates tons of byproducts. The luxury perfume brand Sana Jardin has long turned to upcycling. By setting its sights on a rural flower-growing region in Morocco, the brand realized that the grape pickers could only work a few times a year during the harvest. In addition, 900 tonnes of orange blossom waste by-products were created from the region. The brand’s fragrances are created from essential oils obtained from the distillation of flowers, but they also work with women harvesters to run a cooperative. By training the women to recycle flower waste, they were able to create products they could sell on their own, such as flower water and candles. Sana Jardin Berber Blonde Eau de Parfum, £ 180, contains a beautifully uplifting blend of orange blossom water, neroli and musk.
And it’s not just independent brands that are making waves. In fact, global perfumer Givaudan wants to make upcycling the norm in perfume creation. Working with wellness brand The Nue Co., Givaudan perfumer Guillaume Falvigny helped create the stress-relieving fragrance Forest Lungs, £ 80, using cedarwood extract made from waste sawdust from the furniture industry. “I see more and more natural fragrances that respect our environment with products from sustainable development and ethical sourcing. This is something that is important to me personally, that we continue to respect nature and that we do not destroy in order to create, ”says Falvigny.
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Also keen to use the power of wood harvesting byproducts, Issey Miyake’s latest scent, A Drop from Issey Eau de Parfum, £ 56 for 50ml, has been blended with cedarwood extracted from wood pulp in North America, and is one of the most sustainable channels for aromatic wood.
And while we’re on the subject of perfume, it’s worth noting that it doesn’t just impact scents. In fact, upcycling could be used in the fragrances of a whole bunch of our beauty products. The enviable sustainable handwashing brand, the FORGO Handwashing Starter Kit, £ 45, (which champions simply add water refill products) also uses citrus scents from leftover peels and pulps to create its tangy citrus scent and distilled wood remnants to create bright notes of white wood and cedar in its woody aroma. Now is the time for more brands of the beautysphere to launch …
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