Podcast 143: The brand creating mascara tubes to last 2,500 years

Izzy Zero Waste

As indie beauty consumers, formulators and brand founders, we want to act responsibly when it comes to making, packaging, buying and disposing of our beauty products. Yet, for all our goodwill, it is incredibly difficult to know if the measures we are taking to reduce, reuse and recycle, plastic containers in particular, are making a difference. The biodegradability of plastics is a complex science, and even if something is recyclable, that doesn’t mean it can be or will be. As we have learned in past episodes of Green Beauty Conversations, convenience wins over wishes.

We’ve talked to pioneering indie beauty brands running some exceptional return and refill schemes, but our guest in this episode has flipped the idea on its head to create refillable packaging designed to last – not just one or two refills nor a few years, but in theory up to 2,500 years. Instead of worrying about the time it takes a plastic container to biodegrade (which can be up to 400 years), Izzy Zero Waste is an indie beauty company that designs permanence into its packaging. Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier talks to Shannon Goldberg, co-founder and Chief Zero Waste Officer at Izzy Zero Waste Beauty, the world’s first zero-waste beauty line, to ask if the brand has created the ultimate solution for sustainable beauty packaging.

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Beauty products in zero waste packaging that lasts thousands of years. Biodegradabiilty isn't the only answer @Formulabotanica podcast finds out from #izzyzerowaste. #zerowaste #sustainablebeauty # Click To Tweet

In this episode with Izzy Zero Waste, you will hear how:

  • Taking its cues from the medical and dental sectors, Izzy Zero Waste uses stainless steel for its mascara and lipcare tubes. Lasting up to 2,500 years, they can be cleansed to medical grade and refilled and reused up to 10k times.
  • Stainless steel is an expensive option, but its longevity and ability to provide a premium beauty product experience make it a winner for Izzy Zero Waste customers.
  • The start-up beauty company operates a direct-to-consumer subscription model. The convenience and cost-effectiveness of this, along with its prepaid, self-seal return envelopes for the containers, makes life very easy for its customers and a win-win for the company’s sustainability goals.
  • In addition to its sustainable cosmetic tubes, Izzy Zero Waste uses eco-friendly mascara wands and lip gloss sticks made of biobased, “ecopoxy” resin that can be melted down and remoulded time and again.

Key takouts include:

  • Izzy Zero Waste works with manufacturers all within a 400-mile radius of its base in order to reduce its environmental impact further. This seems hard to achieve, but as Shannon says, it is possible if you do the research and think laterally.
  • It is easier for indie and start-up beauty brands to deliver on a mission to manufacture more sustainably than big beauty conglomerates, which would need to challenge and change mindsets across numerous departments and, in all likelihood, disrupt long-established partnerships and manufacturing models to accommodate greater sustainability.
  • Success of a model like Izzy Zero Waste’s relies on keeping the range small and manageable and targeting a specific customer base. The company’s customers want convenience, but not at the expense of luxury and performance, and are minimalist, no-fuss consumers.
  • Izzy Zero Waste’s concept of packaging to “pass down to future generations” is not proprietary. Shannon says she would like to see others take the same approach as collectively small companies can foster change that will have a positive impact on the planet’s sustainability.

Meet our guest

Shannon Goldberg founder Izzy Zero WasteAfter nearly two decades in beauty marketing, innovation and product development, Shannon Goldberg founded Izzy with the goal of creating a premium, zero-waste beauty brand that checked all the boxes: clean and cruelty-free, performance-driven, planet-friendly, and easy for the on-the-go professional who craves sustainable luxury but doesn’t necessarily have the time to manage the logistics of reuse. Shannon created a brand that transcends waste reduction by eliminating waste altogether.

In addition to not using any outer packaging, Izzy challenges traditional notions about supply chains, product development and marketing by having the smallest carbon footprint of any beauty brand in the world. Izzy’s entire supply chain is located within a 400-mile radius, while every product offering is 100% refillable, reusable and recyclable. Shannon’s hope is that Izzy will challenge the beauty industry to try harder, work smarter and make sustainability a business imperative.

Find Shannon and Izzy Zero Waste:
Website: yourizzy
Instagram: @izzyzerowastebeauty

Izzy Zero Waste is offering a 20% discount on its beauty products to the wider Formula Botanica community including blog readers and podcast listeners. Just use code Izzyff20 at checkout on their online store.


Further listening on sustainability in beauty

There is a wealth of information in our past episodes and we encourage you to listen to them. Some of relevance to the topic here include:

Podcast 69 – in which Formula Botanica Education Manager Ana Green and Lorraine unpick the really complicated topic of biodegradable beauty in quite some detail.
Podcast 109, an interview Tara Pelletier, Founder of Meow Meow Tweet about their refilling scheme.
Podcast 126, in which Lorraine asks whether we are ready for refillable beauty.

Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed listening, please share, subscribe and review this episode on iTunes, Spotify or Youtube so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Lorraine Dallmeier

Lorraine Dallmeier is a Biologist, Chartered Environmentalist and the CEO of Formula Botanica, the award-winning online organic cosmetic science school. Read more about Lorraine and the Formula Botanica Team.

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