The beauty industry is raising the bar.
As consumers look to reduce plastic and use more eco-friendly products, they are turning to classic bar soaps, as well as not-so-traditional bars of shampoos, conditioners, or moisturizers. These solid products last longer and allow consumers to skip the excess packaging.
But going the zero-waste route doesn’t mean giving up luxury, says Brandi Halls, Lush’s North American brand director
“Our bar soaps offer the same beautiful ingredients as liquid versions,” she says. “And they don’t just smell beautiful, they are effective.”
At Lush, naked products, or those sold without packaging, make up 50% of its product range, including soaps, hair care products, serums, facial oils, and bath bombs. The Lush line is also handmade, cruelty-free, and, in most cases, vegan.
The company offers 23 regular bar soap varieties, including best sellers like Sultana of Soap and Honey I Washed the Kids. It also has 13 kinds of shampoo bars, with each bar lasting up to 80 washes, the equivalent of three eight-ounce bottles, Halls says.
Over the last year, Lush has sold 1.8 million solid shampoo bars, according to the company. That means about 5.4 million plastic bottles were never made nor thrown away after their last wash.
That’s meaningful to many consumers, as statistics about the world’s plastic consumption stack up. More than 300 million tons of plastic is produced every year, according to Plastic Oceans International, a California-based nonprofit. About 90% of all plastic is not recycled, and at least eight million tons of it ends up in the ocean each year.
And as consciousness changes, companies selling solid beauty products are seeing a spike in sales.
Take Christophe Robin. The celebrity hair colorist included a bar shampoo in his high-end line of hair products. The Hydrating Shampoo Bar is made with 100% natural-origin ingredients and packaged in recyclable cardboard.