Beauty innovation: The first reusable, recyclable zero-waste mascara

·2-min read
Izzy Zero Waste Beauty claims to have launched the world's first zero-waste mascara.

When will beauty go zero waste, ditching cosmetics packaging in favor of solid formats, for example? The beauty industry is working hard on becoming more environmentally responsible, with some brands standing out in particular with their innovative offerings. Izzy Zero Waste Beauty is one such brand; it has now launched the first reusable and recyclable mascara, promising a zero-waste format.

Last October, research carried out by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation ( CSIRO ) estimated that there are 14 million tonnes of microplastic on the seafloor, highlighting the urgent need to reduce plastic use on a global scale and, more broadly, reduce waste of all kinds as much as possible. This is something that some of the most polluting industries, including fashion and, to a lesser extent, cosmetics, are now making efforts to address.

So how about a mascara that's vegan, clean, reusable and recyclable -- not to mention certified CarbonNeutral -- that could help reduce or even stamp out waste in the bathroom? It might sound impossible, but that's exactly what Izzy Zero Waste Beauty is promising with its debut product, billed as the first zero-waste mascara. But how does it work?

A mascara for life

Evidently, the packaging -- or lack of packaging -- plays a big part in this cosmetics innovation. The brand states that its Zero Waste Mascara comes in a US-made medical-grade stainless steel tube designed to be refilled again and again, and with no plastic components. The applicator brushes -- which are made from plastic -- are ground and recycled to limit potentially polluting waste. Izzy Zero Waste Beauty also promises low carbon emissions linked to transportation, since the brand's supply chain is located within a 400-mile radius (approx. 640 km).

What's more, the mascara in question ships without extra packaging -- that goes without saying -- in reusable envelopes made using recycled materials.

And the beauty brand isn't stopping there, also offering a subscription service to buyers. In fact, seeing as the stainless steel mascara tubes are designed to be cleaned and refilled over 10,000 times, this is a mascara that you can keep for life.

By becoming a Zero Waste Member (with several subscription options available), you can receive a sterilized refilled mascara tube that's ready to use, every three months, accompanied by a prepaid returns envelope to send back the mascara tube when it runs out. Membership starts at $35 for the starter kit plus $19 per quarter for quarterly refills, but it's also possible to test the mascara without subscribing for $39.

Other, similar initiatives have been cropping up around the world. The Danish company Sprout World, for example, recently launched a zero waste eyeliner that ends its life by transforming into wild flowers.

Christelle Pellissier