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Sustainable Scents: Ethical fragrance brands to take note of

Sustainability is the need of the hour. While NGOs, environmentalists and progressive governments understand that, it is indeed heartening to see lifestyle brands taking it seriously. And, among them there are some ethical fragrance brands which are taking the sustainability route too.

The fragrance industry is witnessing the rise in companies that use natural ingredients in their scents, and package their products in recycled material.

Ethical fragrance brands are ensuring that their products are cruelty-free and do not harm the environment as they too are concerned about the sustainable future of our world.

Lifestyle brands and sustainability

Not just perfumers, prominent fashion labels such as H&M and Zara have also embarked on the journey of sustainability with ways such as reducing pollution caused by unused clothes. Also, one can see a  rise in the popularity of vegan fashion labels, and demand for ethical jewellery by brands creating products from recycled materials and responsibly sourced gemstones.

In a nutshell, the fashion world’s move towards sustainability is in line with societies becoming increasingly aware of how to protect the planet, and taking steps to ensure we walk the talk. From what we eat to how we commute, there is a constant evolution in our lifestyle which is attuned to the needs of eco-friendly living.

So, if you are thinking about buying a new perfume while remaining true to the cause of a sustainable future, how about considering these options?

Henry Rose

Henry Rose
Image: Courtesy of Henry Rose/@henryrosefragrance/Facebook

Created by Hollywood actress Michelle Pfeiffer, the brand has been certified by the Environmental Working Group which approves products if they meet a strict criterion of safety and health standards among which is the non-inclusion of any ingredient mentioned in the group’s ‘Restricted’ and ‘Unacceptable’ lists. Similarly, the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute has given Henry Rose the Gold standard, an extremely high product sustainability rating granted when a brand meets several environmental parameters, including C2C emissions standards set by the institute.

Made in collaboration with perfumers Yves Cassar and Pascal Gaurin, the products are hypoallergenic, have no known or suspected carcinogens, and are free from formaldehyde, parabens and phthalates. With the first edition launched in 2019, the label has till now produced 10 unisex scents. Recyclable boxes and glass bottles are used for packaging, each of which carries complete information about the ingredients used.

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By/ Rosie Jane

ethical fragrance brands
Image: Courtesy of by rosie jane/@byrosiejane/Facebook

There are seven scents marketed under this brand founded by celebrity make-up artist Rosie Jane Johnston in 2010. The fragrances are certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny — a certification provided by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics, which comprises eight national animal protection groups. The products are packed in 100 percent eco-friendly recyclable material printed with vegetable-based ink. Botanical and safe synthetic ingredients are used in the scents, all of which are paraben and phthalate free. Hand-mixed in Los Angeles, each scent not only has an eau de parfum version, but also perfume oil, travel spray and body oil.

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Image: Courtesy of PHLUR/@Phlur/Facebook

Founded in 2016, the Texas-based company is certified by Leaping Bunny and recognised by 1% for the Planet — an international organisation whose members donate more than one percent of their annual revenue towards environmental causes. Phlur is also certified by the non-profit B Lab for meeting environmental standards, accountability and transparency. It has a policy of not using any plant listed as threatened in the Red List of International Union for the Conservation of Nature. All of its products are free of substances like phthalates, phenoxyethanol, parabens and BHT. The fragrances come in opaque bottles made of 20 percent recycled glass. Vegetable-based paints are used, and boxes are 100 percent recycled cardboard. Besides eight types of fragrances, the brand also produces body washes, lotions, deodorants, candles and hand sanitisers.

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Maison Louis Marie

ethical fragrance brands
Image: Courtesy of Maison Louis Marie/@MaisonLouisMarie/Facebook

Maison Louis Marie manufactures everything from eau de parfum to body oil and candles to deodorant in four broad categories — Earthy & Woody, Floral, Fresh and Warm & Spicy. There are more than 15 types of fragrances to choose from, each named either after a prominent member or a place associated with the family. The company is a member of 1% for the Planet, and its products are cruelty free. According to the brand, synthetic ingredients are used to protect against known natural allergens, ensure that endangered plants are not over-harvested, and to avoid animal products. For packaging, 100 percent recyclable boxes and FSC certified paper are used.

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ethical fragrance brands
Image: Courtesy of Skylar/@Skylar/Facebook

Founded in 2017 by Cat Chen, a former employee of actress Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company, Skylar products are non-toxic and hypoallergenic. The brand has PETA’s cruelty free and vegan bunny logo and is also certified by Leaping Bunny. It follows a “5-Free Scents” philosophy, meaning that its products don’t contain parabens, phthalates, synthetic dyes, SLS, and animal-derived ingredients. The packaging is also made of renewable and recyclable materials. Other than perfumes, the brand also sells body washes, body lotions, deodorants, hand creams and hand sanitizers.

(Hero image: Courtesy of Skylar/@Skylar/Facebook; Featured image: Courtesy of  by rosie jane/@byrosiejane/Facebook)

Manas Sen Gupta
Manas enjoys reading detective fiction and writing about anything that interests him. When not doing either of the two, he checks Instagram for the latest posts by travellers. Winter is his favourite season and he can happily eat a bowl of noodles any time of the day.
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