When I say Bali, what do you think of first? Maybe beaches. Trash? Probably not—but Bali has a major waste problem and poor management is mostly to blame. In fact, just three years ago the Indonesian province produced 20,000 cubic meters of garbage a day; almost 300 tonnes in the south alone. Millions of tourists clammer to the island’s beaches, stumbling over piles of trash and adding some of their own.
If you’re reading this, you probably already know that Axiology is a brand that cares about animals. All of our lipsticks are cruelty-free, certified by PETA’s “Beauty Without Bunnies” program. We’re completely vegan, meaning there’s no bug bits in your favorite red and no beeswax either. Our formula is also 100% palm-oil free. In fact, proceeds from each tube you buy goes to the Orangutan Foundation International (OFI), an organization that cares for one of the animals most jeopardized by conflict palm-oil production. But none of this would hold much weight if we didn’t also care about the environment and women around the world.
When we realized that we could help clean Bali’s beaches—which we personally hold so dear— through our packaging, we jumped at the chance. In the spirit of transparency, here’s just one way that your favorite lipstick changes the world:
First, 100% post consumer recycled paper from offices, hotels, and schools around the island is sorted and shredded. While Bali has recycling available, it’s not accessible for everyone. Directly collecting paper waste before it has the chance to litter streets and shores is a really helpful preemptive strike. The shredded paper then gets boiled and soaked overnight—this process is the most eco-friendly way to clean the paper without using bleach or other harmful chemicals. This step also allows our manufacturer to consume less energy down the line. In fact, they only use one piece of true machinery, which is a huge energy saver. All of the water used in the process is also saved and then carefully reused.
You may have already heard this recently but sustainable choices are feminist choices. Women are so often exploited in factory positions and only 10% of ‘domestic workers’ are in a position to receive protection under national labor laws. We’re proud to say that the factory where our signature triangular boxes are born is female-owned, with a mostly female staff who are empowered by their role as environmental protectors. Paper making and binding by hand is a historically rich, creative trade and we’re so happy that we can help keep that alive through our brand.
While recycling and repurposing paper isn’t as glamorous in the States as say, solar panels or composting, it’s a crucial part of saving Bali from eventual destruction. By keeping just one ton of waste from making its way to the ocean, we potentially save up to 17 mature trees and energy that could power a home for months. We secure meaningful jobs for women—much like you—who want to make a difference in their community. And we’re able to do all of this while maintaining the aesthetic and style that makes Axiology so unique. Now, who said that you couldn’t be eco-friendly, fair, and chic at the same time?