What is Blue Beauty?
The current state of planet Earth’s environment has been an important topic for debate for many years now. Our oceans are littered with plastics that have no place to be there, affecting marine life and the fragile ecosystems in which they live.
As more of us become aware of the importance of protecting our oceans and living sustainably, it is now up to everyone, including brands big and small, to start making positive changes that aim to have a long-lasting impact on restoring the health of our oceans.
In 2018, Jeannie Jarnot (CEO of Beauty Heroes) founded a movement called ‘Blue Beauty’. She wanted to celebrate products that are safe for the environment, which includes “being ocean safe as well as sustainably sourced, minimising carbon footprint – but are also looking at ways (brands) practices are contributing back to and having a net positive effect on the environment.”.
Blue Beauty is about removing chemicals from products, limiting plastics wastage and using packaging that is suitable for recycling, or even better, purchasing from companies that offer a refilling option (something that we’re working on at ishga). It is about limiting the effect we have on the planet and promoting healthier, more sustainable ways of shopping.
Want to shop blue? Here’s what to look out for
For a brand to be blue, there are many different steps in a product's life cycle that must be considered. These are key areas to look out for when shopping ‘blue’.
It is important to choose ingredients that won’t pollute the natural environment, disrupting how it functions.
Say yes to non-GMO and organic ingredients
Organic farming does not use synthetic, chemical fertilisers. These harmful chemicals can have a negative impact on the soil and water, and eventually on our health. Organic skincare products are of benefit to the environment and your skin. Here at ishga we are proud to use organic, natural ingredients in all of our products and our seaweed is harvested on a rotational basis so that it can regenerate naturally. You can shop with peace of mind knowing that our range has been certified COSMOS organic by the Soil Assocation.
Say no to microplastics
Microbeads are a form of small microplastic which can be found in some skincare and make-up products. In 2018, the UK Government recognised the dangers posed by these harmful particles and banned retailers in England and Scotland from selling rinse-off microbead cosmetics and personal care products. We have never used microbeads in our products and it's reassuring to know that the UK government has taken some steps towards creating healthier oceans.
Say no to silicones
Silicones can be found in many beauty and skincare products. They can take a very long time to break down (sometimes not at all), so the waste product continues building up in our oceans. We don't use silicones across our range, each product is toxin and silicone free, using only rhe highest-quality natural ingredients that suit all skin types.
Say yes to less water usage
The production of some ingredients can require large quantities of water, which can be extremely wasteful. At ishga, we do not use tap water to make our products, we use Hebridean seawater or water from a local Hebridean healing spring well, found on a remote location on our island. We use only what we need; approximately 100L of spring water and 50L of seawater in production each week. Using our locally sourced water means that there are no harsh chemicals like you may find in treated water such as chlorine.
In many parts of the world, large manufacturing facilities contribute to increased levels of soil, air and water pollution. Some are situated in areas with little to no environmental regulations in place. Our carbon footprint is reduced as our main ingredients of seaweed and water are sourced around our island, with product manufacture and shipping taking place at our Stornoway facility. The production life cycle is no longer than it needs to be before it reaches your bathroom shelf.
It has been predicted that by 2050 the oceans will contain more plastic than fish – an alarming reality that no one wants to see. At ishga, we are phasing out the use of plastic packaging and using recyclable containers, such as glass bottles for the majority of our products. We use minimal outer packaging, dispatching our orders in recyclable cardboard boxes and uncoated tissue papers. In the future, we hope to offer a refill service on some of our products, creating an even more sustainable way to purchase from ishga.
To be blue, it is important to limit the distance the products have to travel. By producing our products on site, we have significantly lowered our CO2 emissions. Using distribution agents throughout the world, orders placed from outside the UK can be dispatched to the customer somewhere closer to home, reducing the product transport distance.
It’s vital for brands to recognise the importance of giving back, offsetting operational and production activities with positive steps to balance the scales. During the Black Friday period and through December 2021, we were proud to make a contribution from every order to two very important organisations. Firstly, The Marine Conservation Society which works tirelessly to restore the health of the oceans. Working with communities, companies and the government, they want to make the oceans a better place, for everyone to enjoy. And secondly, to give back to our local community on land; The Bethesda Hospice, based in Stornoway, which provides nursing and palliative care for the Western Isles.
ishga is delighted to be supporting The Marine Conservation Society throughout 2022. We are committed to working together to ensure our range is as sustainable as possible whilst creating cleaner, healthier oceans for future generations. We’re currently making plans to raise awareness and funds for the charity throughout 2022 and look forward to sharing more details of our partnership soon.
We hope that as a whole society, we can embrace the Blue Beauty movement, and combined with other environmental efforts, make positive changes within our oceans.