What Is Green Chemistry?

Green Chemistry calls for the design of products and processes that decrease, or completely eliminate, the use and generation of substances that are harmful to human health and the environment. The United States Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, applies Green Chemistry to “…the life-cycle of a product, including its design, manufacture, and use” [1]. For the cosmetics world, companies that adapt this philosophy create products that are environmentally friendly and safe for human health during all stages of their production.

Bee Naturals and Green Chemistry 

Bee Naturals values Green Chemistry as a philosophy and applies its principles to the manufacturing process of all its products, from start to finish. Application of this philosophy is found in Bee Naturals product ingredients, sustainable product packaging, and the safe outputs each product has on human health and the environment.

Product Ingredients:

Bee Naturals founder, Barbara Chappuis, has never been one to take short cuts or cut corners. The world of cosmetics is cutthroat, and consumers want to make sure that what they are putting on their bodies is safe and natural. It is hard to find a company that places honesty above making a quick buck. They take advantage of consumer trends and market themselves to fit the mold, but a closer look often reveals the ugly truth. Chappuis has given her company a transparency rarely seen in the cosmetics industry. Involved in every aspect of her business, she truly cares about what goes into each product.

A chemist at heart, Chappuis is a real innovator, reformulating products with safe ingredients that deliver the results that customers expect. In order to keep her company natural, the founder has chosen to obtain ingredients from sources that shun the use of pesticides.   This elimination of pesticides from Bee Naturals products is a prime example of Green Chemistry, as it decreases the use of a substance that is harmful to our health and the environment.

Sustainable Packaging:

All Bee Naturals product packages are fully recyclable, and their codes are proudly displayed on the bottom. Even the paper materials are 100 percent compostable, including the product labels. The company recycles all containers and boxes. Chappuis proudly boasts of her company’s sustainability:  “Bee Naturals produces almost no trash. In fact, 85 percent of everything that comes in the door is either recycled or reused.” Checking out at one of the brand’s retail locations requires no paper at all, using an iPad, you are given the option of having your receipt emailed to you. This is the sort of “process” that Green Chemistry urges companies to design.

Safe Outputs: 

As previously mentioned, Green Chemistry must be applied to the life cycle of a product, from start to finish, from design to use. The safe outputs of Bee Naturals products prove the philosophy being upheld to the very end. The Natural Insect Repellent for instance, does not harm the person or the environment during its use. Commercial brand bug sprays on the other hand, rely on hazardous chemicals that are harmful not only to our health, but also to our sensitive ecosystems [2]. When you use one of these commercial products, the synthetic pesticides are often carried through the air to different pieces of land after they are sprayed. Scientists have linked reproductive issues of certain animals to the spread of synthetic pesticides that occurs from human use. Bee Naturals insect repellent simply repels pests.

 

References:

  1. https://www2.epa.gov/green-chemistry (Accessed July 3, 2015)
  1. https://www.nature.com/scitable/blog/green-science/the_dangers_of_pesticides (Accessed July 2, 2015)

 

Legislation Concerning Your Skin Care Products

Last week a bill was introduced to the United States Senate, one that stands to negatively impact small business owners around the nation. If passed, the bill will require owners of small and mid-sized cosmetic companies to take on some costly new expenses—such as annual fees and registration fees required to file ingredient reports with the FDA for each and every ingredient they use.

What Is The Point?

Locally owned handmade and cosmetic soap companies usually turn to food-grade ingredients, which are most often purchased in their local grocery or health food stores. This includes, but is not limited to ingredients such as: olive oil, coconut oil, fresh herbs, and essential oils. The question that comes to mind for many is what’s the point? If the ingredients are already deemed safe for sale and consumption, why is it necessary to register the ingredients for topical use—when none of the ingredients are man-made? On top of that, most of these artisan business owners proudly add their full list of natural ingredients to their label, as they act as a selling point because they are void of chemicals found in the overwhelming majority of cosmetic and beauty products sold by major brands and retailers.

Even if their ingredients cannot all be source from a local grocer, or the quantity of ingredients required leaves an artisan turning to a nationally recognized wholesalers—the wholesaler already adheres to FDA regulations.

For the midsized companies whose demand has outgrown home production, the impending regulations for licensing and labeling stands to significantly drive up the production costs.

How This Bill Will Punish Small Business Owners, As Well As The Local Communities They Serve

On average, handmade cosmetic companies currently employ 1 to 3 local residents. With approximately 300,000 such companies facing the increased expenses if this bill passes, thousands of jobs around the nation could be lost. In fact, some companies may not be able to afford these fees, subsequently causing them to close altogether. Even the number of startups in this field are likely to decline.

Those who do survive, even if the new expenses are a strain, will be less likely to test new product lines—and even launch new products. This is because the expense for each new ingredient may prove to be too high. In other words, this bill could stunt their growth potential.

Supporting A Fair Market Place

Those who oppose the bill are not only in support of a fair marketplace within the cosmetic and skincare industry, but a fair marketplace for small business owners in general. Also, we must not forget that small business owners are still a cornerstone of this country.

Congress stood by farmers who make food products like jams, cheese, and honey, as well as other locally owned artisan food producers by allowing exemptions to similar requirements under the Food Modernization and Safety Act. The hope is that similar accommodations will be made for handmade cosmetic companies who generate less than 2 million dollars in annual revenues.

The Surprising Supporters Of This Bill

Another interesting point is who is backing this bill—namely larger cosmetic and skincare companies. While the internet certainly allows small and midsized cosmetic companies to sell their products both locally and globally, are they truly a threat to major brands? Every major cosmetic and skincare brand began as part of the cottage industry, and did not have to navigate costly regulations during their formative years. While the demand for natural ingredients has led many major brands to use more natural ingredients, most have yet to make the move to completely natural ingredients. Does this make it fair that they are using their roomy budgets to turn to lobbyists whose work results in a bill to protect them from small to midsized business owners who provide the products consumers are asking for?

Last but certainly not least, if passed this bill not only causes financial strain for handmade cosmetic business owners—but begs the question of whether it also implies that natural ingredients are an equal safety concern as the man-made chemicals found in even the most common household and beauty products.

Legislation to End Cosmetics Testing on Animals

Support Legislation to End Cosmetics Testing on Animals

Animals in the U.S. are still enduring painful and often deadly experiments to test cosmetics like lipstick, deodorant and cologne. The Humane Cosmetics Act (H.R. 2858), sponsored by U.S. Reps. Martha McSally (R-AZ), Don Beyer (D-VA), Joe Heck (R-NV) and Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), will make this a thing of the past by prohibiting animal testing for all cosmetic products manufactured or sold in the U.S.

Alternatives to animal testing already exist: Humane and safe cosmetics can be made using thousands of existing ingredients, and several non-animal safety tests are already available for new ingredients. These non-animal alternatives are often cheaper, faster, and more relevant to humans, and therefore more reliable predictors of safety.

Help end testing cosmetics on animals in the U.S. — just like in more than 30 countries where this outdated practice has been phased out, including Norway, Israel, India and every country in the European Union.

 

Handmade Cosmetic Alliance

“Supporting Over 300,000 Handmade Cosmetic Microbusinesses and the Communities They Serve.”

The Handmade Cosmetic Alliance is an alliance of artisans, business owners, cosmetic and soap makers from across the country that are passionate about preserving the freedom for small businesses to produce and sell handmade soap & cosmetics in the USA.