The global beauty industry is an infamous polluter, generating over 120 billion units of packaging waste a year. But it’s also one where changes toward sustainability are happening relatively more quickly than in other industries, beginning with the move to eliminate animal testing (“cruelty-free”) and toxins (“clean” beauty), followed by recyclable and reusable packaging. Maybe it’s the fact that the beauty industry caters to and is heavily driven by women, who are often more empathic and traditionally “caring.” In any case, it’s clear that the industry is taking note of the consumer demand for products that not just make us beautiful, but also keeps the planet beautiful. There are so many more eco-friendly and even zero-waste beauty brands and options available now, even compared to just a few years ago. The latest in the game is Ace of Air, co-founded by none other than supermodel, vegan advocate, environmentalist, and humanitarian Petra Nemcova.
Ace of Air comprises topical skincare products and nutritional supplements that are entirely vegan, cruelty-free, and sourced ethically. This translates to a brightening Sunrise Serum charged with peptides, moringa oil (filled with 92 micro- and macronutrients and 46 antioxidants), and collagen-boosting kakadu plum extract, and anti-aging Bounce Back Moisturizer with Amazonian cacay oil for deep hydration and wrinkle-smoothing.
As anyone who follows Nemcova’s Instagram can attest (ahem), the model is devoted to feeding her body right with vegan nutrients for her inner-outer radiance. But you don’t have to have an A-list budget and a private chef to copy her beauty-food regimen: Ace of Air supplements, such as the Vegan Omega Biomix and the enticingly named Time Capsule, ensure you get the essential nutrients—especially as a plant eater.
But wait! That’s not all. The most impressive part of Ace of Air is their zero-waste, circular beauty practice. Here’s how it works: the customers “rent” the containers for a nominal fee, and when they return them to the brand via UPS, the containers will be sanitized and reused up to 100 times. “We did a life cycle analysis to understand the environmental impact of the product, and we found that 70% comes from the packaging, 5% comes from the shipping, and 25% comes from the product,” Stephanie Stahl, the Ace of Air co-founder, says. “So we felt like there was a big opportunity for change and positive improvement.” The number of times the packaging has been reused will be marked on the container, so you can check and feel good about doing your part. The brand will also donate 3% of its profits to nonprofit partners such as the Ocean Conservancy.
The brand offers a few, powerful and simplified products instead of multiple, hyper-specialized products that have become de rigueur of the late. “If you have a long beauty regime, you will have a bigger environmental impact, and we’ll be paying for that at the end of the day,” Nemcova says. There has never been a better role model for anyone who wants to do no harm yet still look great—even supermodel great.
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Photo: Petra Nemcova via Instagram, Ace of Air