How Local Sourcing Creates Sustainable Cosmetics

How Local Sourcing Creates Sustainable Cosmetics

by Michael Lorence (

Big brands leading the cosmetic and personal care industry do everything in their power to maximize the efficiency of manufacturing. But most of the time, efficiency comes at the expense of sustainability and, sometimes, even quality.

Nowadays, customers are incredibly aware of the ecological and economic impact of harmful practices employed by big cosmetic brands. Due to the environmental impact, they now demand products with traceability, transparency, and accountability about their raw material sourcing. So companies with traceable and ecologically friendly materials get a better reputation with consumers.

Impact on Large Brands

Ecologically aware customers directly influence how big companies act. By consciously spending their money on locally sourced and sustainable cosmetics, the consumers send a strong message that the industry must change if they want to keep selling their products.

Currently, the beauty industry is already taking notes on the needs of modern customers and becoming more ecologically aware. Cosmetic companies are now adapting by focusing on sustainable practices, including recycled packaging, removing toxic ingredients, and creating anhydrous (water-free) cosmetics.

Impact on Local Communities

Supporting locally sourced cosmetics doesn't only guarantee better, more sustainable products, but they also directly impact the local economy. It empowers local farmers, beekeepers, and producers, generating a ripple effect on the local economy, creating new jobs, and helping conscious producers maintain their operations.

The eco-friendly methodologies employed by local businesses generally focus on quality over quantity by avoiding toxic pesticides and investing more into clean production and environmentally friendly waste disposal.

Improved Product Quality

Shopping for locally sourced cosmetics comes with many benefits. For example, locally produced organic ingredients use little to no industrial chemicals and preservatives to extend their shelf life. In turn, these ingredients have a higher purity rate, making for better cosmetics both for your skin and for the environment.

Meanwhile, the toxins present in preservatives and parabens used by many large cosmetic brands have questionable effects on the skin. Moreover, their usage negatively affects the environment, going directly against the sustainability trend.

All-natural products that follow a strict quality standard can produce quality cosmetics that will make your skin clean, hydrated, and young for longer while avoiding harm to the environment.

Carbon Footprint and Freshness

One of the great advantages of shopping for products made with locally sourced sustainable products is the transportation of organic ingredients. 

When you purchase a cosmetic from a big brand, the raw organic materials generally have to be shipped across continents until they reach labs and manufacturers. Shipping across long distances creates high volumes of carbon, adding to the final product's total carbon footprint.

Meanwhile, when you choose small labs using locally sourced products, you guarantee that the products have traveled short distances and haven't been negatively affected by transportation. 

Additionally, shipping across short distances also severely reduces the carbon miles used to transport a product to you, reducing both carbon footprint and air pollution.

Avoiding Fake Sustainability

Locally sourced products are great, but you must be aware that not everything locally sourced is sustainable. For instance, sometimes businesses claim to make the product locally while their raw materials are shipped from countries like China and India, which goes directly against the sustainability goal.

Brands Embracing Local Sourcing

Brands understand that they must move towards a sustainable and clean future to retain their customers. Currently, Lush is one of the big names leading the sustainability trend.

While the brand has over 250 stores in North America, it still strives to produce cruelty-free products from fresh fruits, herbs, and vegetables. Those materials are also sourced from a small farm managed by a family in Ontario for over 90 years, boosting the local economy.

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