No jokes, I might have just fallen in love with Face Theory’s cotton pads. The reusable cotton pads are advertised as thick, super soft and double-sided pads that allow consumers to cleanse and tone in 2 easy steps- a ‘great addition to your routine.’ While I can’t speak for the quality from experience, the reviews on the company’s website are very positive and show an overall satisfaction with the product. That being said, I was unable to give the cotton pads 3/3 planets because of the lack of transparency about the sourcing and manufacturing process. Even though the reusable pads are made out of organic and bleach-free cotton, I think the company needs to upgrade their communication game. Once they are more clear about where exactly they source their materials from (including the packaging), this product would definitely be worth 3 planets.
The reusable pads are made from 100% unbleached organic cotton and are completely plastic-free. It was definitely great to see that Face Theory doesn’t consider plastic as the way forward and instead makes an effort to manufacture this product with organic AND unbleached cotton. This really makes a big difference because bleaching processes involve harsh chemicals and risk damaging the environment. By excluding bleach, the pads not only become much more eco-friendly but also biodegradable, which means they can be composted once they reach the end of their life. Face Theory even claims that, unlike disposable cotton pads, these pads can be used for an entire year when cared for properly. If you use 2 cotton pads a day, this would save up to 730 disposable cotton pads! Now, before I get into the whole sourcing matter, I wanted to mention that the product is free-from animal ingredients and many other harmful chemicals such as coal tar dyes (an extensive list can be accessed on the product site). I really think the material choices and production process speaks for the company’s commitment to sustainability and shows that it isn’t just for PR.
When it comes to the sourcing, however, I was only able to find that the cotton ‘satisfies the social and environmental criteria of the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).’ The GOTS certification can be obtained when a product contains at least 95% organic fibre and isn’t treated with any bleach, formaldehyde or other toxic substances. It also requires that every step of the supply chain is monitored and certified to ensure that the cotton is organically farmed under fair pay conditions. Since the certification doesn’t have any scandals and even helps uncover unsustainable production processes, it’s safe to assume that Face Theory is sourcing organic cotton. However, I wish they would go into more detail about the cotton sourcing and manufacturing on their website to show more dedication to transparency.
Just like all the other products made by Face Theory, the cotton pads are produced under vegan and cruelty-free conditions. This means that no animal products or animal testing are used to make their products, which is a great stance for the company to have! Unfortunately there was no information about how the cotton pads are produced, but various Youtube videos helped me figure out how reusable pads are usually made. To be fair, the process is pretty simple, which might be why Face Theory didn’t feel the need to elaborate: 2 pieces of more durable cotton are sewn together to make one cotton pad. Nevertheless, I would’ve appreciated a sentence or two on their manufacturing process, since not every company follows exactly the same production steps. Luckily they are open about their manufacturing location, which is in Sheffield, UK. The company also states that, where possible, they try to source ingredients and components from UK suppliers. This limits CO2 emissions by decreasing transportation distance and gets them on the right path to climate neutrality.
In terms of packaging, the pads come in a drawstring bag that is transported in a recycled cardboard wrap and box. I think it’s great that the company doesn’t use plastic to wrap their products and opts for a more environmentally-friendly option; it would have been even better if Face Theory openly provided their suppliers. Overall, the manufacturing process seems fairly sustainable and the only thing I would like to see more of is information regarding their energy sources and CO2 emission goals for the future.
While the British company is pretty new to the game (founded in 2015 by Jamie Shuker) its skincare products have become known for their clean ingredients and stance against animal cruelty. It also doesn’t hurt that the company tries to avoid plastic as much as possible and only uses it for products where they haven’t found an alternative yet. The company’s mission is to help ‘everyone celebrate their individuality by redefining what beautiful means’ and encourage ‘everyone to feel beautiful in their own skin no matter age, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, cultural background...’ I really love this message and am glad to see such an inclusive mindset from Face Theory. Nevertheless, the company did lack a little bit in their social justice agenda, since there was no information on the treatment of their employees. In order for them to receive a higher rating, I would recommend publishing some sort of Code of Conduct or certification that proves their social justice dedication. This is important because without it, it’s hard to determine whether they are as sustainable as they claim. Additionally, it would do the company some good to create some sustainability goals and share with their customers how they are continuously trying to strive for better. I was unable to find any goals at all and expect more from a company that produces such great products! Obviously the goals I’d love to see is the company becoming plastic-free and using only clean energy sources by 2025. While I don’t know if the energy target is feasible I definitely think they can become plastic-free, considering the progress they already made. Overall, Face Theory appears to be a great company that offers extremely sustainable products, but is lacking in transparency and traceability.