“Plastic landfill is a problem that keeps us up at night, and one that can feel too big to solve,” Emily Perrett, co-founder of Flavedo & Albedo, tells RIISE. She saw people begin to cast a critical eye over takeaway coffee cups, plastic bags, straws and to an extent fast-fashion, but couldn’t understand why they seemed completely relaxed about having makeup bags full of unrecyclable plastic.
Together with her colleagues Aleks Allen and Toby Norris, Perrett launched Flavedo & Albedo to start addressing the problem of plastic in the cosmetics industry, releasing brightly coloured, fun, high performance and indeed plastic-free makeup.
“We wanted to make sure we were getting really high-performance formulations into sustainable packaging,” Perrett says. Flavedo & Albedo decided aluminium was the winning material for the majority of their packaging as “90 per cent of aluminium in Australia is recycled and the process is light on emissions”. Alongside aluminium they use Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper stock and glass and cork where the formulations require a variety of packaging solutions.
It’s that balance between aesthetic and environmental concern that makes Flavedo & Albedo unique. “We refuse to accept that sustainable has to mean boring,” Perrett tells us. For them, makeup isn’t about concealing and correcting our imperfections, rather a fun extension of personal style.
Flavedo & Albedo launched with a modest range, prioritising “the products that you (hopefully) reach for time and time again”. All of their 12 cosmetics are cruelty-free, palm-oil free and vegan, the only exception being their Velvet Eyeshadow in Sky which contains a small amount of carmine. The shades, formula and packaging are designed in Australia and manufactured in Italy.
Bar the “green” factor, the idea that Flavedo & Albedo products are multi-purpose makes my cosmetic bag squeal. It offers an end to scrounging around for far too long through an abundance of products that can be replaced by a few curated and highly practical items. Take my favourite, the Dew Tint in Grapefruit: it doubles as a lippy or blush. Or the High Glow Highlighter, which can be used alone for a day-to-day dewy glow or to add extra shazam on a night out.
The beauty industry has a long way to go before we can relinquish our reliance on all the extra products that take prime position in our cosmetics purse. Let’s face it, who doesn’t feel the need for a clean, dewy dermis? Indeed, even ingenious beauty brands like Flavedo & Albedo that help reduce plastic landfill have elements to improve. But it’s an ongoing process and Perrett says “the plan is to just take it one product at a time.”