reusable face pads: which brand is most sustainable?


Lauren Stiles

This or That

August 25, 2021

Regular face pads for applying skincare products create waste every day. Luckily, options for reusable face pads are available. So, let’s compare Face Theory’s and Garnier’s.

Face Theory has much better ingredients. Their face pads are made from organic and bleach free cotton without any plastics. Organic cotton is best because it requires less water and causes less pollution and threats to human health. Face Theory’s cotton is certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). Garnier’s on the other hand are made from polyester, which cannot biodegrade and is not recyclable. Ugh, Garnier, why?

This means that by using Garnier’s, you might be able to divert single use pads from the landfill but will ultimately have to add these pads to it. Additionally, consider the impact of creating the polyester, which takes double the energy of conventional cotton to produce.

Face Theory aims to source their ingredients locally in the UK, while Garnier does not say anything about where they get their ingredients. Both companies need more transparency in this regard.

When it comes to sustainability goals, Garnier is surprisingly ahead of Face Theory which does not elaborate on plans for greater renewable energy usage or anything like that. In Garnier’s case, up to 61% of energy from industrial sites comes from renewable resources and 49% of production sites are carbon neutral. By 2025, they plan on using 100% renewable energy and have all production sites carbon neutral. By 2025 they also want to switch to 100% post consumer plastic and sustainable/biobased sources as well. These goals do not align with using polyester in their face pads.

Overall, Face Theory’s product itself is much more sustainable. Garnier may have lots of sustainable goals, but their choice to use polyester is quite frustrating. 

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