Challenges That Ethical Cosmetics Packaging Proposes

Ingredient sourcing, eco-friendly packaging, and manufacturing efficiency – the skincare and cosmetics industry has been embracing sustainability practices and ethical cosmetics packaging more every year.

But there are many challenges a brand will face in their search for more sustainable cosmetics packaging. Check out our solutions to three of these challenges.

1. Matching functionality with eco-friendliness

Corkboard, bamboo, aluminum, and seaweed – there are many different sustainable types of materials that can become viable packaging solutions. 

But just because a material is sustainable, doesn’t mean that it is going to be practical or functional. 

If the product packaging is designed to be biodegradable, will it also be waterproof? If it is designed to be reusable, will it be durable?

Finding the perfect balance between functionality and eco-friendliness is essential in sustainable packaging design. 

How to Overcome This Challenge:

Ordering product samples is a great way to test the compatibility of the product with your merchandise. Test the functionality of the product – does it work well? Does your product weight and size fit well within it? Does it match your brand ethos and showcase your products in the best way. And most importantly, is it built to be durable? Try to replicate what might happen in a typical shipping to consumer journey. Can it be jostled and dropped without breaking or being damaged?

2. Sustainable packaging elements in every part of your design

Traditionally, one of the ways luxury brands have sought to communicate their value to the general public is through flashy packaging. Shipping boxes or bags, paired with styrofoam, tissue paper, and plastic wrapping – there are often many layers of unnecessary packaging when it comes to cosmetics. 

But when it comes to introducing ethical, sustainable measures into cosmetics packaging, you can’t have recyclable outer boxes only to wrap the product in plastic. 

Not only does every part of the product design need to be given care, but also the complete packaging process itself. 

How to Overcome This Challenge:

First, don’t change everything all at once. Finding the right materials takes time, consideration, and testing. Start to address the entire packaging process in your design, focusing on one or two supplies that can be replaced with greener alternatives. For example, if you want to include tissue paper, consider using a compostable material. Once you found one great sustainable alternative, move on to the next.

3. Other Ethical Packaging Considerations

Aside from cutting down on the carbon footprint of the cosmetics industry and moving towards a solution to plastic pollution, there are many other conscious, customer-driven concerns that brands should be aware of. 

Things to be aware of in your packaging are that they are:

  • Cruelty-free
  • Non-toxic
  • Low-waste

How to Overcome This Challenge:

Evaluate the manufacturer’s practices before moving forward with any large purchases. Are they transparent when it comes to their material sourcing? Do they have details readily available about the entire process? If any of these details are not clear, try to speak with someone at the company. If you cannot get a clear idea of how they create and source their packaging, it may be a red flag. Once you find a manufacturer that complies with ethical packaging practices, order in small volumes at first to begin the testing process. 

Cosmetics Packaging Design With Drawing From Memory

At Drawing From Memory, we know that sustainable packaging is the future for the cosmetics industry, not just for preserving our planet, but for preserving your brand image as the industry increasingly embraces greener initiatives. 

That’s why we make every stride to ensure that a brand’s packaging design will seamlessly match with their sustainable, eco-friendly, and progressive company ethos. 

Want to talk about how we can use design to enhance your sustainable beauty packaging? Schedule a chat!