10 Sustainable British Beauty Brands To Discover Now

British (eco)beauty picks for your shopping list

It’s estimated that the global cosmetics industry produces 120 billion units of packaging each year – most of which are not recyclable. It’s also an alarming contributor to the climate crisis (a study showed that 70 percent of CO2 emissions from the beauty industry could be reduced by just using reusable bottles) and has a history of unfair practices that have only been rectified in recent years. Thankfully, there are a number of brands speaking out against harmful practices and setting an example with carbon neutral manufacturing, plastic-free packaging and community-focused social action. Want to know who to have on your radar? These are the sustainable British beauty brands making a difference. 

The Country & Town House Responsible Buyers’ Guide

Sustainable British Beauty Brands To Discover Now

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Skincare products lined up on white platform

1. Neal’s Yard Remedies

London-based beauty brand Neal’s Yard Remedies has an impressive track record when it comes to walking the walk with sustainability: it’s the first high street retailer to be certified carbon neutral, almost all of its ingredients are COSMOS standard organic, products are certified by the Soil Association, and there are plans to switch to entirely recycled plastic bottles by 2025 (although this could be a reality much sooner). The brand’s range of skincare, bath and aromatherapy products are made in its ‘eco factory’ in Dorset, which runs completely on renewable energy and recycles over 20 percent of its water used in the manufacturing process. Neal’s Yard Remedies is also on a mission to save the bees with its Bee Lovely campaign, which has helped secured an EU-wide ban on neonicotinoid insecticides and raised £165,000 for bee friendly causes since 2011. Find out more about the work the brand does here.

EXPLORE: nealsyardremedies.com

Read our Clean Beauty Guide with Neal’s Yard Remedies

Boxes of colour balm lined up in a row

2. Seeds of Colour

For makeup that is cruelty-free, vegan and derived from natural ingredients, look no further than Seeds of Colour. The brand, which recently achieved B Corp status, creates richly pigmented colour balms using surplus organic British produce (which would otherwise go to waste). Every balm is made here in the UK and, with every order, Seeds of Colour plants a tree through SeaTrees to help restore our coastal ecosystems.

EXPLORE: seedsofcolour.com

3. Lush

A favourite on the British high street, Lush is known for its gorgeous-smelling bath products and beauty treats – but it’s also committed to openly talking about its ongoing sustainability journey. Lush handmakes its products, ensuring they are made with without animal testing and using vegetarian ingredients bought ethically. It is also on a mission to eliminate packaging, offering package-less soap and hair bars, and reusable alternatives such as locally sourced vintage scarves (which you can wrap around your products like a little bundle) in its stores.

EXPLORE: lush.com

Blue tubs and bottle on white wooden table

4. Beauty Kitchen

One of the highest ranking B Corp beauty brands in the world, Beauty Kitchen sets an exemplary standard when it comes to creating its products sustainably while also giving back to community projects. The brand’s founder, Jo, kicked things off in 2014 after she struggled to find effective (and, most importantly, sustainable) beauty products. Products range from skincare and body creams to vitamins and haircare, avoiding the use of synthetic ingredients, microplastics and animal testing. Beauty Kitchen also encourages its customers to send back their bottles once they’ve finished, so that they can be cleaned, refilled and used again.

EXPLORE: beautykitchen.co.uk

Tub of skin cream with a spreading stick on top

5. Balance Me

Balance Me takes a holistic approach when it comes to the ways skincare and wellness intertwine, believing that just five minutes of self-care can improve your overall wellbeing. The brand, which is awaiting the result of its B Corp application, makes its products in the UK and focuses on being ‘honestly natural‘ when it comes to skincare. By ‘natural’, the brand means it uses sustainable, renewable ingredients that are kind to your skin and the planet – chemical-free (Balance Me uses essential oils rather than artificial fragrances), cruelty-free and bio-active. It’s also worth noting that 92 percent of Balance Me’s packaging is recyclable, renewable, contains recycled materials, and/or is reusable. The brand also actively donates to charities like Beauty Banks to help provide hygiene products to peopl living under the poverty line. Read more about Balance Me’s sustainability goals here.

EXPLORE: balanceme.com

Black bar of soap

6. UpCircle

Although only launched in 2016, award-winning skincare brand UpCircle has quickly become a favourite among eco-conscious beauty enthusiasts (and even bagged its B Corp certification in late 2022). The brand works around an ethos to keep resources circular where possible, and so repurposes would-be waste ingredients from the food and drink industry into new products that are vegan, natural and cruelty-free – think coffee grounds from cafes, flower petals from florists and wedding venues, blueberries from juicing companies, and date seeds from farms. Find out more about the work UpCircle does here.

EXPLORE: upcirclebeauty.com

Hands holding bottle around net bag on green background

7. The Body Shop

One of the more well-known names on this list, The Body Shop is a global beauty giant that has been on our high streets since the 1970s. The brand has always been driven by the desire to make wellness products that are both effective and ethically sourced (and smell good, to boot) but, in recent years, it has gone above and beyond to help change the way we shop. And, in 2019, The Body Shop’s efforts were rewarded with the B Corp stamp of approval.

The Body Shop offers a refill scheme in hundreds of its stores (the goal is to reach 500 by the end of 2022), launched a Community Fair Trade recycled plastic programme in 2019 (where it buys plastic at a fair price from marginalised waste pickers in India), and is committed to eliminating virgin plastic from its packaging. It also hopes to become a fully vegan beauty brand, certified by The Vegan Society, by the end of 2023. Check out about the brand’s Sustainable Development Goals here.

EXPLORE: thebodyshop.com

8. BYBI Beauty

Describing itself as ‘pro-planet from seed to shelf’, BYBI Beauty is committed to creating vegan and cruelty-free skincare with the lowest possible environmental footprint. Co-founded by friends Elsie and Dominika in 2017, the brand is famous for pioneering the world’s first carbon negative skincare product, the Glowcurrant Booster, which is made using low-carbon ingredients and actively sequesters carbon throughout its supply chain (meaning it doesn’t rely on carbon offsetting). BYBI produces its products in the UK using upcycled ingredients, and packages everything in recyclable materials. The brand also recently announced it was B Corp certified. Read BYBI’s Climate Commitment here.

EXPLORE: bybi.com

Medik8 PRESS & GLOW Daily Exfoliating PHA Tonic with Enzyme Activator

9. Medik8

Medik8 combines biochemistry with the natural movement (in particular the values of fair trade, sustainability and using natural ingredients) to ‘create results-driven products with proven science’. Many of the processes behind the brand’s products use ‘green chemistry’ (energy-efficient processes that are completely renewable), which avoid excessive use of heat and energy. Medik8 also has a long list of planet-friendly goals it aims to achieve over the next few years, including zero direct carbon emissions and waste to landfill by 2025, reusable or recyclable packaging by 2026, and a completely traceable supply chain of natural raw materials by 2030.

EXPLORE: medik8.com

10. KanKan

On a mission to make refillables mainstream, KanKan makes everyday personal care products that are biodegradable, plant-based, vegan, cruelty-free and grey water safe – using circular ingredients sourced from waste materials. The brand has made all of its packaging plastic-free and, as it works to keep materials in use rather than let them end up in landfill, and instead sells all of its products in aluminium cans (a highly recyclable container) that can be reused over and over again. You can use the cans to fill up the glass ‘forever bottles’ that come in the brand’s starter sets (KanKan sell these individually on their website, too), and then simply pop the can in recycling. Find out about KanKan’s process here and here.

EXPLORE: kankan.london

Featured image: Neal’s Yard Remedies at Country & Town House’s Journey to Zero 2022 Event