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Sephora expands cosmetics sustainability program

Sephora is increasing its product sustainability efforts.

Sephora is increasing its efforts to reduce waste associated with beauty products.

In an email to Chain Store Age, the beauty giant, a subsidiary of global retail conglomerate LVMH, said it is expanding a refillable beauty products program that is designed to complement its existing empties collection initiative.

Sephora is releasing an assortment of refillable beauty items from more than 45 brands including Glow Recipe, Fenty Beauty, OUAI, Maison Margiela, and Josie Maran. Combined with its empties take back program, “Beauty (Re)Purposed,” Sephora says this initiative offers a "start-to-finish solution for a more sustainable beauty routine that avoids landfills."

To participate in the Beauty (Re)Purposed program, Sephora shoppers can:

  • Take eligible products at home and make sure the packaging is clean, unbagged and free of liquid or product.
  • Visit any Sephora store and drop their empties of any brand in the dedicated collection bin.
  • Instead of being thrown away, beauty empties may be repurposed into carpet, pallets, asphalt and new packaging.

To date, Sephora says the Beauty (Re)Purposed program has collected more than 10,860 pounds of hard-to-recycle material, which it says this is the equivalent of approximately 217,220 lipstick tubes. Beauty (Re)Purposed is not available at Sephora in-store shops located inside Kohl’s stores.

The retailer is running Beauty (Re)Purposed in partnership with packaging waste solution provider Pact, a non-profit beauty collective founded by cosmetic brand MOB Beauty and clean beauty retailer Credo that now has more than 150 members from the beauty and wellness industries.

One of Sephora’s chief beauty rivals, Ulta Beauty, is also teaming with Pact in an effort to reduce cosmetics. Ulta is providing collection bins from Pact’s The Beauty Dropoff recycling program at all of its 1,350-plus U.S. stores. 

Ulta customers can discard clean, empty, unbagged small cosmetics containers in the bins for recycling. Eligible items include plastic bottles and jars smaller than a fist, as well as pumps and dispensers, droppers and applicators, and pouches.

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