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Style How the beauty industry is going sustainable, from ditching microbeads to going glitter-free

The arrival of green beauty products in the mainstream market has ushered in mass awareness about potentially harmful ingredients. Now, for sustainability focused consumers, choosing beauty products is no longer just about the “what” but also the “where from,” the “how” and the “what’s next.” As consumers increasingly demand transparency in all aspects of their shopping, beauty brands are rethinking their supply chains.

It’s an ethical movement that has some ingredients making headlines, such as microbeads, which have been banned in Canada. Now, there are calls from global environmental experts to do the same with glitter, another form of microplastic. Palm oil, used in products such as soap, is under examination because of environmental and human-rights issues, as is mica, a mineral that adds shimmer to powders such as eye shadow that has been linked to child-labour mining in India.

Beauty companies large and small are making moves, not just away from using unsustainable ingredients, but also toward practices that leave a positive impact. One example is Garnier, a hair and skin-care brand owned by L’Oréal, which produces some 300 products using 21 natural ingredients that have been sourced in a sustainable way. The argan oil they source in Morocco, for example, supports more than 500 women with a fair, stable income while protecting the world’s only endemic forest of argan trees.

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Garnier Whole Blends Almond and Argan Riches Deeply Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner, from $5.99 each at drugstores and mass market retailers (garnier.ca).

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