We’re excited to welcome Grantas Cosmetics to The Sustainability Lab!
Grantas makes a sustainable, multipurpose lipstick that can be used as blush or even eyeshadow! The formula is buildable and blendable and we’re excited to carry these Lip+cheek sticks in Musk Cherry, Dusk Rose, and Coral Peach stains.
We’re really impressed with founder Lillian’s holistic approach to sustainability, from sourcing her ingredients responsibly (do your due diligence on mica in your other beauty products!) and insisting on everything going into that tube being all-natural, clean, vegan, and cruelty free. And the packaging is 100% biodegradable and compostable.
You may never have thought to use lipstick as blush, and why would you, when the cosmetics industry wants to sell as many different products as possible? We love the idea of cutting down on beauty products that share similar ingredients. We’re excited to see what comes next from Grantas!
Read more from Lillian about Grantas below in our exclusive interview:
TSL: Tell us what made you want to create this product — did something in your life serve as inspiration, or an experience you had?
I've always been concerned about the ecological impact of my purchases. In late 2018, I was looking to buy cosmetics with sustainable packaging, and I was surprised that I couldn't find any. So I decided to start designing.
TSL: What gaps in the market did you see, and how does your brand/design fulfill that need?
Clean beauty has been growing rapidly in the past few years, but sustainable packaging hasn't caught up. I think it's because people are, understandably, more concerned with what they put on their skin that what they put into the Earth. I wanted to create elegant and joyful packaging that will inspire people to make the sustainable choice.
TSL: How do you want customers to feel when using your product?
Grantas is all about celebrating the abundant beauty in ourselves and in nature. I wanted to create an elegant everyday object that can remind us of that beauty.
TSL: Tell us a story about your product development: What is something that happened along the way in your design/production process that we might not expect? What was the biggest roadblock you had to get through?
Finding mica (the mineral we use as a colorant in our shades) that was ethically sourced was quite difficult. Mica is used in so many cosmetics, and it's often from mines in the DRC and India that are tied to child labor and dangerous working conditions. We eventually found mica that was ethically sourced, but most cosmetics brands don't talk about where their mica comes from.
TSL: What is one misconception sustainable shoppers might have about your design/product, or the market space it’s in, that you want to address?
I think one misconception with the products we use is that they should last forever. Plastic has conditioned us to expect extreme durability – so extreme that it lasts in landfills for hundreds of thousands of years. Our products are biodegradable, so you can compost them or bury them when you're done using them.
TSL: How has developing your product changed your views on sustainability?
Small brands are very beholden to what's made available to them by manufacturers and suppliers. There's a lot we would want to do if we had complete control over our manufacturers and suppliers, but it's not possible when you're so small.
TSL: What do you think we need to do as a society to achieve sustainability? What structural change would help you sell more of your products?
We need to buy less. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but I hope that people only buy my product if they are really going to use it. Phasing out plastic would also be helpful. After the rough go that the oil industry has had in the past month, they are pushing hard towards making plastics. This is unacceptable – no more fossil fuels should come out of the ground.
In addition, we need more regulation in the US beauty industry. The EU has banned or restricted more that 1300 chemicals for cosmetics use, while in the US it's less than 30 chemicals. Many chemicals used in today's cosmetics in the US are known or suspected carcinogens. This needs to change.
TSL: What are you excited about next in sustainable design? What new materials, new processes are you looking to work with in the coming months/years?
I'd love to see more adoption of life cycle thinking in sustainable design. Often consumers focus too much on the end of life of a product (is a product recyclable? compostable?) in making a judgment about its sustainability. We also need to care about the energy it takes to source and make a product. There should be more transparency about the other steps in a product's lifecycle.