‘Recycling is your last-ditch effort’: Why beauty industry focus should be on reusing and reducing

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

‘Recycling is your last-ditch effort’: Why beauty industry focus should be on reusing and reducing

Related tags indie pioneers podcast Australia Sustainability circular beauty

The beauty industry and consumers alike should place more emphasis on reducing and reusing resources, instead of prioritising recycling, claims an Australian start-up that has pioneered using unwanted sheep’s milk in its products.

Nicole Gilliver is the founder and director of Ewecare, a beauty brand from Tasmania, Australia, that uses unwanted sheep’s milk as the star ingredient of its skin care products. With Ewecare, the company hopes to encourage people to participate in the circular economy.

“Everyone has been sold the notion of reduce, reuse and recycle but everyone only hears the last R, which is recycle… So, if we're not reducing, or reusing, recycling is your last-ditch effort,” ​said Gilliver.

She highlighted that the recycling system itself was fundamentally flawed, which issues such as contamination and manpower shortages that nullify any recycling efforts.

“The reality is there's no education at the consumer end about how to recycle those products​,” said Gilliver.

Ewecare is the latest addition to the family’s operations, which already includes a sheep cheesery and distillery that makes sheep whey-based spirits.

It conceived of Ewecare to utilise milk that was unfit to be made into cheese that would otherwise have been disposed of. Despite not being fit to use to make cheese, the sheep’s milk is rich in vitamins like A, C, D and E.

To minimise single-use plastic waste, Ewecare’s day and night creams can be purchased in 100% home compostable sachets which can be emptied out into the customers’ own upcycled jar.

They can also purchase the brand’s artisanal ceramic jars that are emblazoned with markings made by burning waste wool.

Gilliver told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​ that the firm’s experience in agriculture shaped the creation of Ewecare.

“First and foremost, we are farmers. Given the nature of who we are, we like to solve problems rather than create costs around problems.”

To learn more about Ewecare and Nicole, check out our podcast above or on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts and more.

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