The beauty industry creates more than 120 billion packaging units every year, creating a third of all waste on Earth. It uses an obscene amount of water in the formulations and manufacturing of products. Although it's disheartening, a few brands out there have developed their products with these statistics in mind.
Āthr Beauty (pronounced ay-there) is a genuinely responsible makeup brand that has innovated its entire product line to formulate 100% safe, vegan, cruelty-free, ethical, sustainably sourced, AND zero-waste products. Yep, zero-waste. More on that in a little bit.
Who is Athr Beauty?
Tiila Abbitt, the creative and compassionate founder of Āthr Beauty, completed her BFA in sculpture and MFA in fashion design. She worked for five years in fashion and then pivoted into the beauty industry, where she worked for over seven years as a product developer at Sephora. Tiila is a passionate and inventive individual who has always found an interest in sustainability and the environment.
While working with Sephora, her obsession with sustainability led her to become the lead R+D for sustainable materials while also being on the sustainability leadership council for the retailer. Go girl.
Tilla got to experience firsthand the sheer disregard for the environment from beauty brands and retailers, and it became impossible for Tiila to accept that conventional beauty methods were the "best" methods out there. She felt that more needed to be done, brands needed to take more responsibility for the consequences of their actions, and they needed to care more about the environment.
Tiila began to research the "clean beauty" space, where she learned that the products that these clean beauty brands formulated lacked efficacy. Realizing that there was a gap in the market, she decided to develop products that could compete with conventional makeup products but do so ethically and sustainably.
A Goddess Is Born
In 2018, during the Summer Solstice, Āthr Beauty launched.
Āthr comes from the Greek word aether, which means the air that Gods breathe. Aristotle also considered aether the fifth element to Earth, air, fire, and water. In keeping with the concept of cosmic inspiration, Tiila infused crystals into her products because of their spiritual connection and skincare benefits - and because, well, sparkles.
Skincare Benefits of Crystals
Crystals have been used for health and medicinal purposes throughout history. Ancient Sumerians (4th millennium BC) included crystals in magic formulas, while crystals were (and are) also used for healing in traditional Chinese Medicine, which dates back to at least 5000 years.
Crystals are known to have some pretty remarkable properties when it comes to our skin health and wellness. Here are the crystals Tiila has meticulously selected for her product lines and why she chose them:
Rose quartz is known to help boost collagen, smoothing out wrinkles and improving the skin's elasticity. Using rose quartz on the skin will also give your complexion a luminous glow.
Diamonds are more than just a girl's best friend. They create a blur effect on the skin. They even out skin tone and improve the complexion, boost collagen formation, and aid in preventing sagging skin. They can bind easily with water molecules to retain moisture and can penetrate deep inside the skin pores while locking in the natural moisture to give a hydrated, soft, and supple feel.
Amethyst boosts blood circulation. In addition, it creates a luminous glow, curbs inflammation, and oxygenates the skin.
Tourmaline is known for its healing properties when met with friction. Using tourmaline on the skin causes energization, giving a more radiant and youthful glow.
Ruby is said to strengthen and nourish the skin, provide anti-aging and moisturizing properties, and restore hydration levels.
Amber is a powerful antioxidant. It reduces the appearance of rough patches, brightens complexion, and reduces the look of dark spots and circles.
Topaz contains natural healing properties. It helps with inflammation and regulates the nervous system, releasing tension from the face.
Sapphire is known to reduce inflammation. It can also calm and rejuvenate the skin.
Tiila formulated a robust makeup product line that connects the body to soul by combining crystals and highly efficacious organic and lab-made ingredients. These ingredients pack a powerful punch.
Highest of Standards
Āthr Beauty is a B Corp.
Taken from Āthr Beauty's website:
Benefit Corporations are businesses that are committed to higher standards of purpose, accountability, and transparency. Where traditional corporations use profit as the primary factor in decision-making, Benefit Corps consider their impact on the environment, society, workers, and the community in addition to profit. They are built to balance profit and purpose.
European laws have banned over 1300 color chemicals in the beauty industry. At the same time, the US has banned only 11. Tiila found this statistic alarming, as she realized the US standards were not high enough.
Āthr Beauty has banned over 2700 ingredients in their product lines - 1300 banned in Europe, plus every potential carcinogen, endocrine, and hormone disruptor, or allergen and irritant included in California Prop 65.
They use rigorous scientific research to find the most effective, sustainable, and safe ingredients for their product lines. Only the best will do, so if Tiila's team finds that an ingredient does not meet all of their standards, they keep searching for one that does. Nothing gets released until it is 100% vetted by Tiila's team of experts. This means that you can always trust that Āthr Beauty has the consumer and the environment in their best interest, which so many brands fail to do.
Āthr Beauty stands against workers' exploitation and unethical practices and knows their suppliers personally. They source from the US, Canada, or Europe, in regions and facilities where they can ensure the ethical treatment of workers and the quality & consistency of their products. They buy fair trade where it's available and donate a portion of sales to environmental charities. They promise that all of their products - from top to toe - are 100% ethically sourced and formulated.
Āthr Beauty products also contain absolutely ZERO animal byproducts and are 100% certified vegan. You can see a complete list of banned ingredients on their website here.
Āthr Beauty has made careful considerations when it comes to the packaging pollution problem we are all facing. To create products as low-waste as possible, Āthr Beauty has designed their eyeshadow and blush palettes without magnets - as these are toxic to the environment during manufacturing stages and are not recyclable, making them 100% unsustainable.
They use FSC certified recycled paper and aluminum trays and printed with non-toxic soy-based inks instead, which is an industry first. Once you have finished using up all of the product in the palette, you can pop the trays out and recycle both the trays and the casing with ease, creating zero waste.
The bottles they use for their Desert Oils come in glass. The only piece of their packaging is the dropper bottle lids. To recycle these, you can send them to Terracycle® where they recycle for you. Or find participating retailers with drop-off points that accept all beauty brands' packaging. The three that I know of are Deciem, L’Occitane en Provence®, and Garnier®. Call your closest store to check if they are a drop-off point for Terracycle®.
Products That Actually Sparkle.
Perhaps one of the most unique things about Āthr Beauty is their product formulations. All of the products, including the palettes and oils, are made up of a very specific composition of ingredients that include the crystal crushed into a powder form, and a variety of other organic and lab-made ingredients that have been sourced and formulated sustainably.
The products are designed to "sparkle" on your skin, giving you a cosmic glow. Tiila also says to place your palettes outside in the sun to supercharge the efficacy of the crystals in your eyeshadows, blushes, and highlighters.
These are most of the products you'll find from Āthr Beauty:
Single Eye Shadows: Rose Gold and Topaz
4-Tray Palette Eye Shadows: Ametrine Crystal Quad and Topaz Crystal Quad
12-Tray Palette Eye Shadows: Summer Solstice, Rose Quartz and Joshua Tree
Highlighters: Supernova Crushed Pink Diamond, Supernova Crushed Pure Diamond, and Limited Editions Supernova Crushed Yellow Diamond.
Illuminating Oils: Desert Moon and Desert Sun
More on Their The Ingredients.
As stated previously, Āthr Beauty is 100% certified vegan and cruelty-free and sources its ingredients sustainably. There are ingredients that skincare brands use often, but the process in which they are grown is known to be detrimental to nature.
Palm oil is a big one. You'll find it in almost everything, even pre-packaged foods. But to grow palm oil, growers burn down entire forests for the plantations, which destroys animal habitats, causes excessive pollution, destroys native people's forests, and is a workplace more inclined to exploit their workers.
Āthr Beauty uses palm oil-derived ingredients in some of its products. The vast difference is that Āthr Beauty ensures that they get it from certified sustainably sourced plantations - with absolutely no exceptions. They receive an RSPO certificate to validate that no deforestation, land burning, or exploitation of workers or local communities were involved in the sourcing.
Mica is another ingredient regularly found in skincare and often mined by child laborers in India. Āthr Beauty uses synthetic mica and US-sourced organic mica to ensure child labor is not involved in any of the processes.
Many brands are still using unethical and unsustainable palm oil and mica - among other ingredients - because it is the cheaper option. Therein lies the problem: Profit first—planet second, which is not sustainable anymore.
Āthr Beauty takes responsibility for everything that they do. They are transparent in their policies, ingredients, packaging - everything. Not only that, but they put the planet first, which is what we need all brands to start doing.
We know it isn't the easy route to take, being more sustainable and more ethical. It takes time, patience, grit, compassion, and finances. But the rate at which brands are wasting resources and polluting our environment, we won't have a planet to live on and do business on for much longer.
Āthr Beauty is an innovative, compassionate, creative, and thoughtful company that is a sparkly beacon of light in an industry that needs them so.
Check out their range of products here.
All of the brands Fait avec Coeur promotes are cruelty-free, sustainably and ethically sourced and made, anduse low-waste or plastic-free packaging.
Emma Jade has been a trained esthetician for over 15 years. She is a sustainable skincare writer, educating and building awareness around proper skin health that doesn't cost the Earth.
Some of the products promoted in our blog are from our online store. Many others are brands we have researched and found to be great examples of sustainable, ethical, and innovative brands in their field, and we don't make any profit from mentioning them in our blog. #CollaborationOverCompetition