Move over, Cargo PlantLove! Urban Decay's newest palette, the Sustainable Shadow Box, contains ten eyeshadows that sit in recycled paper and a cruelty-free brush to apply them, while the cover is made out of eco-friendly bamboo. I think the use of this material is pretty ingenious. I've seen clothing made out of bamboo before, but not cosmetics. According to Cosmetics and Personal Care Packaging, the palette is the first in the industry to make use of bamboo.
(photo from urbandecay.com)
Urban Decay says the designs on the palette's cover are supposed to be "reminiscent of your high school notebook". But a not-so-environmentally friendly silk-screen and lacquering process was used for the designs. "'We tried to use greener decorating options, but unfortunately, they didn't work very well,' says Nick Gardner, vice president of sales, HCT Packaging USA (Los Angeles). The decision was made to with the best option that looked best, aesthetically." Thus it seems that there still lies a conflict between green packaging and aesthetics - the technology hasn't come quite full circle yet in terms of hip, modern design. (The use of corn-based plastic - the kind used to package Cargo's PlantLove line - may have offered more eco-friendly design options, but still required the use of oil in its manufacturing.) While Urban Decay acknowledges the palette isn't as green as it possibly could be, I think that the company, along with Cargo, has done an excellent job in leading the way towards greener packaging without sacrificing design. I'm hoping more cosmetics companies follow their lead. They strive to stay on top of the latest trends in product ingredients or even products in general (case in point: nearly all makeup lines now have at least one or two mineral makeup items in their lineup after Bare Escentuals products became best-sellers) so they should compete to see who can come up with the greenest, chicest packaging.