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French beauty and skincare brand L’Occitane has announced the launch of a reduced-waste line of products. Vegan and free of plastic, the range includes solid soap and shampoo bars. Both products and packaging have been developed with biodegradability in mind.
The new vegan range is a sustainable alternative to traditional liquid bath products. Such items are traditionally supplied in plastic containers. The full line has been developed to appeal to travellers, as well as eco-aware consumers.
All new soap and shampoo bar formulations have been developed with 95 percent biodegradable materials. This aligns with L’Occitane’s Clean Charter that pledges to prioritise environmentally safe ingredients. 95 percent natural origins are sought for products, as well as 95 percent biodegradability. The company cites transparent information access about all claims of compliance as being readily available.
Soap bars are available in three scents; shea, lavender, and verbena. All are palm oil-free and made using traditional methodologies. The shampoo bars are offered in ‘repairing’ and ‘gentle & balance’ configurations. Both contain essential oils and are silicone-free. 100 percent recyclable packaging materials have been used and metal tins can be purchased for storage.
Another step forward
Last October, L’Occitane opened a new Green Store concept. Located in Sydney, it was kitted out with sustainable furnishings and displays and showcased circular beauty products. One of the notable additions was a refill station that allows consumers to top up their favourite products, without taking home another plastic container.
The pilot Green Store in Sydney directly contributed to a Hong Kong “MEGA” store concept later that year. Refill options and minimal-waste packaging lines have been included in the location.
It should be noted the L’Occitane is sold in Mainland China, where animal testing is still required for certain cosmetic items. The company is transparent about this and highlights that it is working with Chinese authorities to implement alternative testing regulations. As a company, L’Occitane has never condoned or conducted animal testing. It states on its website that, “We remain of the firm opinion that it is by working from inside China that we will be best placed to further influence Chinese regulation and put an end to animal testing.”
Zero-waste cosmetics becoming the norm
Before plastic packaging was the norm, most cosmetics were zero waste. The shampoo bar, in particular, was hugely popular and effective. Solid blocks, contained in cardboard packaging were sold long before zero-waste was a popular term. Then came the dawn of liquid soap and shampoos, complete with single-use packaging. Today, we have come full circle with new brands following the footsteps of pioneers such as Lush and ditching the plastic.
Last year Credo announced that it was phasing out all single-use plastics, PFAs and packaging toxins. As a beauty retailer, it leveraged its buying prowess to stop promoting brands that had failed to account for environmental concerns. 2021 also saw beauty billionaire Kylie Jenner take her entire cosmetics line vegan. The brand had been cruelty-free since inception, but underwent a full reformulation to remove all animal products.
All photos by L’Occitane.