Over-recycling is taking over the beauty world to reduce our waste. We interviewed the creator of the Rose Pirate brand, a fine example (to follow) of upcycling in cosmetics.
Recycling cosmetic waste, choosing paper packaging from a responsible forest or recycled plastic tubes and jars… Green and eco-responsible beauty has developed enormously in recent years. More recently, some beauty brands are embarking on upcycling, a trend until then rather reserved for fashion. The principle:upcycling – Where over-recycling in French – is a new phenomenon that is taking over the world of cosmetics. It is not so much about giving a second life to the waste from our beauty products as about revalue these to make a product of greater value. This is why we also speak of “top recycling” to describe this trend which is currently taking off in cosmetics. In beauty, upcycling can take several forms: valorize hitherto unused co-products from the food or pharmaceutical industry (seeds, almonds, etc.) and which are very rich in active ingredients, use fabric scraps to make kits, use wood chips to make pots…
While 7 out of 10 French people have already changed their routine* so that their beauty ritual becomes more green, upcycling initiatives are multiplying among beauty brands. The proof, even perfumery is upcycling! To better understand what it’s all about, we interviewed Audrey Ducardonnet, founder of Pink Piratewho revealed all the secrets of her eco-responsible approach to lipstick.
When red becomes balm…
If there is one beauty product that all women have in their purse, it is the lipstick. In Europe, an average of 300 million tubes are sold each year, or nearly ten lipsticks every second.* This is why Audrey chose this personal object “often loaded with a lot of emotions” for him give a second life. “Instead of throwing them away (because they are finished or expired or because the color does not please you…), I propose to prolong the use of your object” she explains. It is more precisely the cases of our lipsticks that Rose Pirate upgrades. “You send me your lipstick tube, I clean it, sterilize it and refill it with my lip balm formula” she adds, revealing the steps of her upcycling technique. As of this writing, the brand has already upcycled more than 500 tubes this year, saving on average “12.5 kg of packaging”.
Thanks to this approach, an empty tube of lipstick becomes a lip balm, “a universal product” that everyone can need, but also a Proust madeleine of cosmetics as revealed by the founder of Rose Pirate: “I wanted to launch as a first reference a texture as soft as a memory that we like to remember or a comforting fetish object. Thus, the lip balm fell under the sense because its texture is for me the most evocative of tenderness”. Far from just filling our old lipsticks with just any nourishing lip formula, Audrey has made a point of offering a lip balm “100% of natural origin, vegan and which contains certain materials from by-products such as apricot kernel oil or cherry kernel oil” to push its eco-responsible approach even further.
A process that takes time
If Rose Pirate is one of those few avant-garde cosmetics brands that take the side of upcycling beauty products, it is because organizing an over-recycling takes more time than creating a new product from A to Z. “What is most frustrating for me is to ask 15 days to perform this service” says Audrey who would like to be able to reduce her order processing time. The main difficulties she faces in her process of upcycling lipstick tubes? Its service requires a lot of manual operations – “each lipstick being unique, I treat it with as much care as if it were mine” she assures – and her current equipment is not necessarily suitable for all tubes since her approach is innovative. “Certain more “original” shapes (square, very thin, etc.) are difficult to achieve” she says before conceding: “but I’ve only had the case once in 9 months!”.
Upcycle with Rose Pirate!
If you like the process or if you want to make a small gesture for the planet without necessarily wanting to treat yourself to a natural lip balm from the brand, know that Rose Pirate has the good idea of also recovering the tubes of lipsticks. empty lips that you no longer want to use. “Some women write to me because they don’t have nice cases and would like to test my lip balm formula, and at the same time, I have several women who spontaneously send me their lipsticks so that I can give them a second life, instead of letting them end their lives with all kinds of waste” specifies Audrey, who then sells these upcycled lipstick cases on her e-commerce site. And don’t worry if you just want to buy the lip care without sending an empty tube first: the so-called “second hand” case does not cost more than the lip balm, it is sold for €15, as if it were was your own upcycled lipstick. With Rose Pirate, it is therefore possible to engage in an upcycling process in several ways, each in its own way.
As you will have understood, upcycling is the future of recycling in style. And if it’s a safe bet that the process will be complicated to install on a large scale, at Rose Pirate, Audrey is already thinking of diversifying its offer to allow you to switch to upcycling in a different way. “I won’t go for small bottles (mascara, gloss, etc.) because the concern for the applicator “which soaks” is a real obstacle for me, it seems too difficult for me. On the other hand, I worked on other products that I could put in this pretty tube of lipstick…” she confides to us.
And you, are you ready to upcycle your beauty products?
*Number of lipsticks sold in Europe, https://www.planetoscope.com.
Passionate about writing and beauty, Elodie swaps her lipstick for her laptop to find you the best makeup, hair and skincare trends, and pro tips…