Is There A Beauty Industry Equivalent To Refashioning?


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Regular readers will be aware that refashioning is a passion of this blog. The art of taking your old clothes and reworking them to be worn again differently is so important. It allows you to keep using and wearing the same pieces over and over again, solving many of the problems with fast fashion. You no longer go out and purchase new clothing all the time, reducing the resources used to manufacture clothes. If everyone refashioned - and clothes companies made items that could be worn for a long time - the ecological impact of the fashion industry would be much smaller than it is. 

Of course, the fashion industry isn’t the only place where there are problems. You can look at the beauty industry as another example of where this “fast” lifestyle is taking over. Fast beauty is when there are countless new and trending beauty products made all the time and pumped out. There’s always something new and exciting you have to get, prompting you to consume more and more. Needless to say, this has a negative impact on the environment because of all the resources used within the industry. 

That brings us to today’s topic: 

Is there a beauty equivalent to refashioning? 

Well…there is and there isn’t. Unlike clothes, you can’t take makeup and turn it into something new to use. Makeup also has a shelf-life, so it goes bad when it hasn’t been used for a long time. You also wouldn’t be able to take lipstick and refashion it as eyeliner, much like you could take a dress and refashion it as a small top and skirt. 

However, you can upcycle in the beauty industry, though mainly from a packaging perspective. Old bottles and tubs can be upcycled and turned into storage containers or small plant pots. So, there is an element of refashioning, but it’s only regarding the beauty product’s packaging. 

What can be done to combat fast beauty? 

Aside from upcycling your makeup packaging, there are a few other things you can do to combat fast beauty. One idea is to look for products that are built to last. When online shopping, pick products from trusted brands that work well for you. Don’t get cheap items that will only last for a few weeks before needing to be replaced. Also, don’t get cheap things that simply won’t do as expected. A cheap moisturizer is unlikely to provide the benefits of an expensive one because it won’t have the active ingredients. So, you’d end up buying loads of other products to try and get the same effect, which uses way more resources than if you invested in the expensive product, to begin with. 

Another new idea is to find brands that use upcycled cosmetic ingredients. Effectively, they take things that would usually be put to waste but use them to make products. It’s a far more sustainable method than most beauty brands are currently using. 

Furthermore, choosing brands that cut down on packaging can also be useful. There is simply too much packaging waste in the beauty industry, and this needs to change. Thankfully, many top brands are changing, realizing that the fate of the planet is more important than brand image and marketing! 

Lastly, the main thing you can do is attempt to not get sucked into trends. It is hard when you see countless influencers using the latest products, claiming they’re God’s gift to mankind. You want to buy them, try them out, and see how they look. But, you quickly get sucked into the whole ethos of fast beauty - you keep on buying new products whenever they come out. Instead, make a list of products you actually need. In most cases, all you need for a skincare routine is as follows: 

  • Cleanser

  • Moisturizer

  • Serum

  • Exfoliator

That’s it; anything else is overkill! For makeup, you only really need: 

  • Primer

  • Foundation

  • Eyeshadow 

  • Eyeliner

  • Concealer 

You could add other things to the list for days when you want to go all out, but this is basically all that’s required. What’s more, you only need one of each product. I think THAT is the main problem with fast beauty. People will have three foundations, four different cleansers, and an exfoliator for each day of the week - it’s madness. 

Refashioning is the solution to fast fashion, but the main solution to fast beauty is to just be more aware of what you’re buying. Purchase things that last for a long time and won’t need to be re-bought again and again. Stop following trends all the time and select a handful of things that you will use every day. 

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