eco+amour - The "Bulk Barn" for Cosmetics
Relevant, necessary, green, eco+amour is a sustainable beauty shop, located in the Greater Toronto area, which focuses on promoting the concept of green beauty by selling refillable soaps and other sustainable goodies. With the majority of people using cosmetics filled with toxic chemicals, it is necessary for the voice of those who support clean beauty to be heard. In this first article on the Pitch It Green blog, which will focus on putting the spotlight on few local zero waste businesses in Toronto, Sarah, one of the founders of eco + amour, will tell us more about her store as well as the importance of natural beauty products in society.
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How did you come up with your company’s name?
“eco+amour, which of course translates to “eco + love,” was really more of a feeling that resonated with us early on.”
What inspired you to launch eco+amour?
“We had already been refilling product for our friends and family for years at the Lines of Elan production facility, launched in 2015, so the idea for eco+amour was born very organically.”
What motivates you to keep doing what you are currently accomplishing?
“Our goal is to encourage our community and beyond to shop everyday essentials in a more sustainable way – from packaging, to product – minimizing waste should be top of mind for everyone. We’re giving them an easy way to accomplish this incredibly important household goal.”
What is your vision on the sustainable way of doing business?
“We look at each facet of every business process to ensure that we are doing the best we can – this continues to evolve as we find new ways to reduce, reuse and partner with more sustainable businesses.”
How natural a product has to be in order for it to be on your store’s shelves?
“eco+amour follows strict European guidelines for natural products. We continue to learn
about different ingredients, and pivot and adjust when needed.”
What is your opinion on “Green Beauty?”
“Green Beauty is such an important, albeit vague category, with greenwashing being so prevalent. However, truly green beauty brands are doing a better job at conveying their benefits, and we see many amazing brands emerge that function as well as their synthetic (toxic) counterparts without any of the toxic ingredients.”
What are your thoughts on “Greenwashing,” when a product claims to be more natural than it actually is?
“It’s a shame that greenwashing is so prevalent and that a term like “natural” really doesn’t mean all that much as a product descriptor in today’s marketplace. However, consumers are quick to catch on, and a quick google search can easily help identify questionable ingredients.”
Why do you think people tend to go buy non-eco friendly beauty products that are filled with toxic chemicals over natural, eco friendly beauty products?
“I think the price is a big driver of these purchases. But as better, greener alternatives become more readily available, people increasingly see the value in healthier, earth friendly alternatives – and are more willing to pay a little bit more for these products.”
Are there any limits to how natural a product can be?
“Limits, no. We carry an unrefined, organic + fair trade shea butter straight from Guana that is the epitome of pure gold for the skin. If you’re looking to stay as pure to nature as possible, find a product that has a simple composition of butters and oils.”
How can you distinguish a real green product from a greenwashed product?
“The best advice we can give here is to just be informed – read labels and understand ingredients. Not all synthetic ingredients are bad, and not every natural ingredient is good. If it seems too good to be true, for example, 100% natural + organic product that it priced much lower than one would expect from a really green product, it’s likely not that great for you, or the earth.”
What tips would you give to someone who wants to be a more conscious customer?
“Go for it – just start! Don’t wait for the magic zero-waste fairy to leave instructions, just start making more conscious decisions every time you can. It gets easier the more you do it – we promise!”
Thank you, Sarah, once again, for sharing your story and knowledge with Pitch It Green. If you want your skin to be poppin’ while being environmentally friendly, be sure to go check out eco+amour in-store. If learning more about sustainable businesses is your cup of tea, be sure to stay tuned as we’ll be writing more articles featuring them in the future!