What makes a perfume sustainable?

Scents with great ethical responsibility.

Image: Unsplash, 2021.

The cosmetic industry generates 120 billion units of packaging every year. The manufacturing techniques and processes of making perfumes cause many issues such as over-cultivation and overload waste. As a result, the perfume industry needs to use less environmentally harmful packaging.

Ideally, a sustainable perfume should be produced in a responsible manner. Meaning, the perfume should contain responsibly sourced ingredients, be animal cruelty-free, and should contain waste-free packaging, the product packaging needs to be up-cycled from waste or be recyclable.

Here are things you should look for in a sustainable perfume:

  • Ethically-sourced ingredients

Sourcing of the perfume ingredients needs to help develop local communities where the ingredients are sourced. The environment where the ingredients are sourced needs to be protected. Meaning farming needs to be done in an ethical manner; to avoid over-farming and destroying the local community’s land. Certain raw plant materials have now been overused by perfume makers to a point where the overused plant species can be extinct, this is a major concern. As using endangered plant species or flowers in perfumery should be prohibited. In ethically sourcing the perfume ingredients, the environment has to be protected at all costs, because the main goal is protecting ecosystems and raw materials.

  • Eco-conscious packaging

The perfume product packaging has to have an aspect of being refillable, recyclable, and biodegradable. The eco-conscious aspect is to help decrease waste problems, and with implementations of reusability, there will be less waste produced by the beauty industry in landfills.

  • Creating a social impact

Creating a social impact is so important as it empowers the locals in communities where the perfume brand operates. Creating a social impact can be through creating employment, creating non-profit organizations to empower the locals, creating channels of economic and skills empowerment.

Questions you need to ask yourself when buying a perfume:

  • Does the perfume contain a refillable bottle?
  • Is the perfume packaged in eco-friendly packaging?
  • Can the perfume bottle be reused?

Perfume brands need to be transparent and honest about how their products are made and how the ingredients are sourced. Consumers demand brands to be more transparent about the manufacturing of their products and the ingredients in the product. This is important as it will help consumers make better purchasing decisions.

It is very important for big beauty brands to make more effort in lessening the environmental impact caused by its industry. Usually big brands inspire small brands. If big brands create more innovative ways of using less and being sustainable the small brands will follow in the footsteps of big brands. Remember, great scent needs to connect with greater social responsibility.

Refillable perfumes to know about:

Mugler Alien

Source: Superbalist.com, 2023.

ARMANI: My Way Eau de Parfum

Source: Woolworths, 2023.

Guerlain Guerlain Allegoria Nerolia

Source: Guerlain Guerlain Allegoria Nerolia, 2023.

Lancôme: Idole Eau de Parfum

Source: Superbalist.com, 2023.