Clean beauty products are hard to find, especially when it comes to eye products. Though most of us try to ignore it, our mascaras aren’t meant to last more than three months. No one likes pink eye, but replacing a single-use product four times a year can be taxing on the environment. This is part of the problem Izzy is setting out to solve. Izzy’s Zero Waste Mascara is an innovative product that ships mascara to consumers in reusable stainless steel packaging. After three months, a new container arrives at your house, along with a prepaid, reusable shipping container to return your used product to the retailer, free of charge. The product can be ordered online for an initial price of $35 and refill prices of $19 every 3 months or $85 a year. Izzy’s zero waste model is convenient for consumers and places the burden of sustainability on the company, rather than the purchaser. Overall, I rated Izzy at 1.8 out of 3 planets, because their innovative model is a huge step for the beauty community when it comes to minimizing waste and should be emulated by others if possible, but information regarding Izzy’s labor practices and supply chain was lacking.
Izzy Beauty’s mascara shines because of its sustainable and reusable product. Each mascara is delivered in a medical-grade stainless steel tube that is sterilized and refilled by the producer after use. A new tube is shipped to your house every three months with a prepaid reusable mailer to return your used tube for sterilization. No plastic is used in the tubes, the mailers are made from upcycled materials, the brushes are reground and recycled by the producer, and the tubes are meant to be reused 10,000 times.
While creating a zero waste beauty product is incredibly impressive, I was disappointed with the lack of information I found regarding where ingredients are sourced and how the product is manufactured. The full list of ingredients in the Izzy Beauty Zero Waste Mascara can be found at the first link below. The brand states that its supply chain is entirely US-based and all manufacturing takes place within a 400-mile radius, eliminating the intensive transportation that many beauty brands use. Izzy states that the mascara is cruelty-free, zero waste, gluten-free, recyclable, sourced ethically, has a small carbon footprint, comes from a sustainable business, and uses eco-friendly packaging. These certifications are impressive, but Izzy does not provide hyperlinks to explain what that means for them or who granted them. Izzy seems committed to sustainability, and in the future, I would be interested in seeing a full page on their site outlining where their ingredients come from and who is creating them.
Izzy’s mascara tubes are made from medical-grade stainless steel and filled at their facility and shipped to consumers. Refills are shipped in a reusable container that has postage included to return used tubes to the Izzy. All manufacturing takes place within a 400-mile radius, which eliminates some of the carbon footprint from transportation that other brands see. They also claim to reuse the water used for cleaning the containers, further eliminating waste in their process. Izzy is a newer indie brand and is vocal about how their products are sustainable; however, I was unable to find information on how exactly the products are manufactured. With no information about the supply chain besides “it’s local” and nothing about the company’s employees, Izzy does have room to grow when it comes to transparency. As I said before, Izzy does seem to be doing everything right but needs to update its website to provide more information consumers need.
Izzy’s founder, Shannon Goldberg, worked in the beauty industry for over 15 years before deciding to develop zero waste makeup out of concern for her daughter’s future. Izzy donates a portion of the profit from each purchase to three organizations: the National Forest Foundation, Her Justice, and Pencils of Promise. By donating to reforestation efforts in the United States, Izzy mitigates many of the harmful effects they might be having on the environment through the manufacturing and distribution of their products. Her Justice and Pencils of Promise are both social justice organizations. The former provides pro-bono attorneys to New York City women who cannot afford legal counsel, and the latter provides education funding to children in developing countries.
The company seems to be an overall positive one and is steps above many others in the industry when it comes to sustainability. However, I was not able to find any information about the company’s labor practices. We know that the product is manufactured domestically, but we have no information regarding conditions in their facilities, wages, or labor practices in any agricultural areas. For such a seemingly ethical brand, this should be easy information to add to the company website and I would be very interested in seeing that in the future.