This $22 eyebrow pencil was launched with a deliberate exclusion of any ingredients that pose potential harm to humans or the environment. The product is made by Jones Road, a recently-launched company that emphasizes sustainability and minimalism. Given the information available, the company’s practices seem largely sustainable, but I found a lack of transparency that made it difficult for me to verify this.
It is important to demand proof and details of a company’s environmental impact, especially from those like Jones Road that seem to proclaim sustainability as a fundamental pillar in their operations. Given what I could find, Jones Road seems like it could serve as an example for other beauty companies in terms of using clean ingredients and reducing waste, so I hope to see Jones Road open up more comprehensively about their carbon footprint, ingredient usage, and labor practices in the future.
On the Jones Road website, it is stated that the beauty line as a whole avoids the use of over 2,700 ingredients found to have potentially harmful effects for the environment and/or the consumer, including phthalates, parabens, sulfates, EDTA, petrolatum, cyclic silicones, PEGs, and BPA. The brand claims that these ingredient guidelines that they follow are “even more stringent than those of the E.U.”
While I was impressed by this information, I was a bit confused when I checked out the actual ingredients for the brow pencil and saw that the full list only included two substances: castor seed oil and shea butter. Though I’m not knowledgeable in the field of formulating beauty products, I have to presume that an eyebrow pencil uses more than these two ingredients. For other makeup products sold by Jones Road, I could find tens of ingredients listed, with separate cataloging for each shade. But under The Brow Pencil, there was not even a mention of any dyes/pigments used. This seems especially questionable when considering that the pencil is offered in five different shades, and it leaves me wondering whether this could be simply a mistake in the website display or whether it is a deliberate lack of transparency intended to go unnoticed.
In terms of packaging, I was impressed by the brand’s methods. Although most of their packaging is recyclable, the company does not cling to recyclability in order to reduce their waste... They also go about this by simply lowering their material consumption, using very light packaging and completely avoiding bubble wrap/plastic. This method seems to show a greater understanding of sustainability than most large makeup brands have and lends itself much more effectively towards truly reducing waste.
Overall, the make-up of Jones Road products and packaging seems impressively sustainable, but the lack if clarity on the ingredients for this brow pencil made it difficult for me to give a very high score for this section.
Though it seems like extensive thought and preparation have gone into enabling the brand’s vision of clean beauty to come to fruition, I struggled to find much information that provided raw proof of this cleanliness/sustainability. For guidelines on sustainability and consumer safety, Jones Road looks to Credo Beauty, a clean beauty company that has created a set of standards for brands and companies to follow. In addition to the avoidance of over thousands of potentially harmful ingredients, the company also states that they require their partners to be “cruelty-free”, “obtain documentation on their ingredients; composition, purity and sourcing information” and “back up product and ingredient claims.” However, I came up empty-handed when I searched for public information on Jones Road supply chains, ingredient sourcing, or any details of their emissions and water usage.
Overall, I was disappointed in the lack of accessible information from Jones Road regarding their production process, especially for a company that has always branded itself as sustainable. It is difficult to credit Jones Road for their sustainability without the hard proof that should be easily accessible to the public.
The company was launched by Bobbi Brown, a makeup artist and the previous owner of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. Brown created Jones Road with the goal of creating clean, high-quality, minimalistic makeup that is also affordable. This is a commendable and much-needed goal for companies that strive for sustainability, as the economy will not reduce its footprint if sustainable products are only accessible to the upper class.
Bobbi Brown has demonstrated candidness regarding sustainability in some sectors of Jones Road’s production: The owner admits that despite their outer packaging being minimalistic and 100% recyclable, their manufacturers still have progress to make towards their stock packaging being more recyclable. Open concessions like this from companies are admirable and convey an alignment towards honest progress rather than greenwashing.
When it came to labor practices and compensation, I again came across a disappointing lack of information from Jones Road. And without an easily accessible disclosure of their supply chain, this information was not discoverable elsewhere.
Overall, it seems Jones Road has a sustainable vision that they intend on following through with, but far more transparency is necessary regarding nearly all facets of their company, from the life cycles of their products to the nature of their workforce.