Sustainability, responsibility, and transparency have been our core values from the time the very first Kiehl's store opened back in 1851. Though we've long since expanded beyond that small East Village apothecary, our ethos has remained the same. From the farms that grow our plant ingredients to the stores that sell our finished products, we strive to give back to the community and promote social responsibility. One of our most important goals is to remain as sustainable and environmentally-friendly as we can. We use recycled materials whenever possible and encourage our customers to do all they can to reduce their carbon footprints.
Of course, sustainability doesn't end with us: You can do your part, too. Ahead, we've put together seven simple tips you can implement in your day-to-day life to make your beauty routine more sustainable. Plus, you'll learn about some of our environmental initiatives and discover effortless swaps you can make for a greener routine. Read on to learn how to be more sustainable with Kiehl's.
Invest In Refillables
In the past 60 years, plastic consumption has increased dramatically: Research shows that the United States produces about 120% more plastic packaging now than in the 1960s.II Of that, less than 10% is recycled or reused—the rest ends up in landfills. Unfortunately, the beauty industry is responsible for a lot of this plastic waste, as the vast majority of haircare, body care, and skincare products are stored in single-use plastic containers.
One way we can cut down on how much plastic is produced (and therefore, trashed) each year is to start using refillable beauty products whenever possible. This year at Kiehl's, we've launched refillable packaging for several of our most popular products, including our cult-classic Creme de Corps body cream and Amino Acid Shampoo and Amino Acid Conditioner. When you finish a bottle of one of our refillable products, head to your local Kiehl's to buy refills and then top up your container at home. With this small adjustment, you can reduce your carbon footprint and help us cut down on how much plastic packaging we need to produce.
Go For Glass (Packaging, That Is)
As we highlighted, if you're looking to start a more sustainable beauty routine, one of the best places to begin is with the products you use and the packaging they come in. Besides using refillables, when possible, opt for products packaged in glass containers. While many packaging materials are recyclable, glass is the only material that can be broken down and repurposed indefinitely.I When you recycle a glass container, it goes to a recycling plant where it is melted down into raw material. It can then be re-made into a different product, resulting in very little (if any) waste produced.
Our best-selling Midnight Recovery Concentrate Face Oil is packaged in a small glass bottle that can be recycled or reused (we love turning glass skincare bottles into small vases) once you've used up all of the radiance-boosting goodness inside. This helps cut down on your personal waste, making your routine that much more eco-friendly.
Take Advantage Of In-Store Recycling
Where you can't reduce or reuse, recycle. Our in-store Recycle & Be Rewarded program allows you to bring in empty Kiehl's containers and have them recycled. You'll receive points for every item you recycle, which can then be used toward rewards like travel-sized skincare products or a reusable Kiehl's tote. Since implementing our in-store recycling program in 2009, our customers have helped us recycle more than 11 million empty jars. When you bring your empties into Kiehl's stores, you'll also notice we no longer use paper bags. Instead, if you're picking up new products and repurchasing old favorites, you can purchase a reusable tote for $1.
Limit Your Water Usage
Water is a finite resource. What this means is that there's only so much clean water on Earth to go around. Once it's used up (or rendered unsafe for human use thanks to pollution), that's it—we can't make more. Unfortunately, access to clean water is also something most of us take for granted: The United States alone uses more than 250 billion gallons of water every day.
Besides environmentally-friendly practices like taking shorter showers, adopting a more sustainable skincare routine can help cut down on your overall water usage. To start, look for products that don't require rinsing, like our Centella Sensitive Facial Cleanser. This mild liquid cleanser for sensitive skin is a great water-free option for when you need to clean your face but don't want to turn on the faucet. It's a staple in our sinkless skincare routine and can be used daily for clean, comfortable skin.
Switch To Bar Soap
Another simple way to green-ify your beauty routine is to use solid bar soaps. In addition to offering portability and easy storage, bar soap is almost completely waste-free and works just as well as liquid soap.
Try Grooming Solutions Exfoliating Body Soap, our best-selling men's bar soap formulated with hydrating glycerin and a blend of fragrant essential oils. The efficient formula thoroughly cleanses away dirt and oil while helping exfoliate rough areas for softer, smoother-feeling skin. It's packaged in paper wrapping that you can recycle for a zero-waste start to your sustainable grooming routine.
DIY To Minimize Waste
A good toner, like our cult-classic Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner, is a staple product in any effective skincare routine. However, toner is usually applied with disposable cotton rounds, which generates waste. Here's the fix: Instead of buying single-use cotton rounds, try making your own out of scrap fabric.
First, find an old, clean T-shirt that you no longer wear (we recommend using cotton for this project, but any soft, fine-weave natural fabric will work). Fold it up and use sharp scissors to cut out several squares that are roughly the size of your palm. After washing your face, dispense a generous squirt of toner onto a clean square and use it to swipe the formula over your face and neck. Throw your DIY cotton squares in the washing machine or hand-wash them after each use for a steady supply of clean, reusable cotton wipes.
Pay Attention To Ingredients
One last tip for making an environmental impact is to look for products responsibly formulated with naturally-derived ingredients, like our Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Herbal Cleanser (made with 96% naturally-derived ingredients) and our Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Herbal Concentrate Face Oil (stored in a reusable glass bottle and made with 100% naturally-derived ingredients).
*We consider ingredients to be naturally-derived if they retain more than 50% of their molecular structure after being processed from a natural source.