This post originally appeared here, on The Detox Market's blog, Detox Your Life.
For the past few years, sustainability efforts in the beauty industry have focused on two of the main “R”s: Recycle and Reuse.
Brands have made important shifts to easier-to-recycle materials, like aluminum, innovated ways to reuse the bulkiest packaging, such as with refillable palettes, and partnered with TerraCycle to make it possible to recycle pretty much anything.
The result has been a new paradigm in which brands across the cosmetics world (“green” and otherwise) are taking steps to produce less waste. There’s obviously still a long way to go, but these are important steps to making the industry more environmentally responsible.
But what about the third — perhaps most important — “R”? Reduce. Isn’t the best way to cut down on humanity’s rampant waste problem to produce less in the first place?
This is where Axiology Beauty comes in.
Axiology, the same little lipstick company from Bend, Oregon that Ericka Rodriguez started in her kitchen, has been recognized this past year by everyone from the Beacon Awards to Oprah (Oprah!) for the company’s pioneering, plastic-free, zero-waste Balmies. These wee crayons are the first of their kind, innovating in that category of “reduce” as no other brand (that we know of) has done before.
How did it happen? Well, instead of asking, “how can we reuse this?” the small-but-mighty Axiology team went straight to “we don’t need this at all.”
The result is the Balmie, a three-in-one crayon — and by crayon, we mean it’s literally reminiscent of a crayon, à la Crayola.
And that’s where the brilliance lies. Axiology’s chief formulator, Chloe, took the idea of a cream multi-stick and re-engineered the formula to be sturdy enough to hold up on its own, but soft enough to apply gently as a light cream.
The end product is a lipstick-like-bullet that can be wrapped solely in a thin sheet of post-consumer recycled paper (made by a women-owned and run factory in Bali) — no tube, pot, or palette necessary. To keep packaging as sparse as possible while maintaining hygienic requirements, each Balmie (or set) comes in an adorable matchstick box that’s made by the same group of Balinese women.
Here’s the kicker: Both the box and paper wrapper can easily be recycled, or — better yet — composted at home or by your city composting system.
Axiology’s Balmie has revolutionized the possibilities in sustainable makeup packaging by innovating a new way simply to use less.
Whereas up to this point the cosmetics industry has been asking itself how we can innovate in packaging, Axiology has demonstrated that the brilliance can be in the formula eliminating the need for wasteful packaging in the first place.
Go zero-waste and shop Axiology’s Balmie Sets at the Detox Market.
Love the Balmies? Check out Odacité’s 552M Soap Free Shampoo Bar for more zero-waste goodness.
By Lauren Evashenk