Video: Clean Beauty: How To Choose The Most Sustainable Beauty Ingredients
The ingredient selection process is intense and lengthy, and Beautycounter takes the fourth step, responsible sourcing, very seriously. When a brand sets out to make safer, high-performance color cosmetics, they begin a complex journey to find responsibly sourced mica and we've learned a lot along the way. Why mica? Because in the beauty industry, it is widely used as a base for powder formulations and creates that brilliant shine we all know and love (highlighters, eyeshadows, pressed powders, we're looking at you). Simply put, if you want high-performance color cosmetics, you need mica. But the mica industry may come with some alarming and unethical practices, including forced labor and child labor. Obviously, we are not going to accept that, so we recently delved into our supply chain to confirm that, together with our suppliers, we are keeping the “responsible” part of our supply. It starts with the sourceMica is a world-sourced material, but the top preference is the supplier's national and sustainable source in Hartwell, Georgia. They work closely with this sourcing partner to ensure they are using leading practices for sustainable mining and processing. (Literally, people have gone to their mines to trace the mica to the manufacturing stages; when it comes to responsible sourcing. An association to be proud of.
If the name Kailash Satyarthi sounds familiar to you, it's because he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. He also appeared in a Participant Media documentary called The Price of Free (watch this ASAP, it's free on YouTube). Kailash is one of the most credible leaders working to eradicate child and forced labor by creating child friendly villages. We are proud to design a personalized program with KSCF to support children in the Jharkhand region of India (an entry point for international mica mining) while working with the local community to better understand the opportunities for change in the mica industry. Using technology to increase transparencyYou might think that most providers know where their mica comes from, but this is not necessarily the case. Therefore, there are also brands like Beautycounter that have partnered with Sourcemap, a technology platform founded at MIT that is helping to map the entire supply chain to give us greater visibility of where mica is sourced: mine by mine, day in and day out. day. The level of transparency we seek in this industry is unprecedented, and in a top-secret industry, this information is not easy to come by. With the help of Sourcemap and the participation of our suppliers, we hope to share a traceable mica supply chain with you in the future.
Fighting for an A + in AuditAll of this work is supported by our external audits of each and every mica provider we work with. We started with obtaining certificates from our mica providers, noting that child labor was not used, and this is where many companies start and end. But understanding the problems in the industry, we wanted to learn more. After all, a certificate is only the first step in the complicated history of where the beauty products of all our favorite products come from.
Create a toolkit for changeAs we learn more about responsible sourcing, we want to share our best practices with other leaders in the beauty industry. Early next year, we will launch our public toolkit for beauty companies (and beyond) seeking to validate their supply chains. What can we do? It is easy! Continue to continue supporting beauty brands that are doing their best to have a responsible and vetted mica supply chain. You make us want to make beauty, better everyone!