The beauty industry’s ugly problem
We believe that the traditional beauty industry is heavy on pollutants and plastics. It starts with the packaging. Packaging is the number one plastic pollution offender globally. The beauty industry creates 120 billion units of packaging per year and is therefore responsible for almost 30% of this. All this packaging causes immense pollution and waste. Even now, close to 80% of plastic waste is either discarded or burned. Researchers at UC Santa Barbara estimate that annual emissions from all plastics are close to 2 billion metric tons of CO2¹. To put that in perspective, the US in its entirety emits around 5.8bl tons of CO2 per year.
But we think that packaging is only just the start of the problem for the beauty industry. We see that the products themselves are full of chemicals that harm the environment and our bodies. As the largest organ of our body, the skin quickly absorbs everything that is applied to it. And so, the chemicals in the traditional cosmetics and beauty products find their way into our bodies.
Since 2009, cosmetics manufacturers have reported using 88 different chemicals, in more than 73,000 products that have been linked to cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm². From known carcinogens such as sulfates, parabens (shampoos, body wash) and phthalates (nail polish, hair sprays) to triclosan (hand sanitizers), Oxybenzone (sunscreen, fragrance) and Siloxanes (moisturizers) that attack our endocrine (hormones) and reproductive systems.
But the chemicals in the beauty products are not only a daily attack on our health and wellbeing. We believe that they are equally harmful for the environment. The production of these beauty products ingredients is often very pollutive. On top of that, many end-up as waste products in nature. Whether you wash the product away or discard the used-up bottles and jars, the pollutive chemical ingredients harm the environment. Yet, all these toxic chemicals continue to be used in most beauty products because no category of consumer products has less government oversight than cosmetics and personal care.²
The industry response
Some beauty companies have responded to consumer calls to clean up the industry, substituting chemicals such as formaldehyde and using recycled or biodegradable plastic bottles. But replacing one chemical with another only lessens the harm to our bodies. And recycled plastic bottles still ends up as waste in landfills or oceans or gets burned in an incinerator. Biodegradable plastic bottles are still made from petrochemicals plastics and don't always break down into harmless substances.³
How is Esas different?
At Esas, we believe that beauty products should above all promote the beauty and health of our planet and our bodies. Achieving this goal required us to make a fundamental overhaul in the product development and production.
At Esas, every step of the process and each ingredient must serve our primary goal; it should be healthy for us and it should be sustainable - no impact on the environment. We develop our products with strictly natural, and almost exclusively organic ingredients. Not one chemical enters our products. While our products are for external use only, our exclusive use of natural ingredients makes them completely edible.
Our production processes pursue net-zero emissions and every facet of our packaging and transport is meticulously selected to be as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible. We source almost every product ingredient and packaging component domestically, and preferably locally. This to minimize the carbon footprint from transportation. The exception to our local sourcing is the glass bottle, which is made in China.
An example of our holistic approach to making a fully sustainable beauty products; every step of the process to make our hand-cleanser is 100% environmentally friendly. No short-cuts, no hidden chemicals or wasteful packaging.