Noyah is a cosmetics company that was founded in 2013 with a goal of creating natural and clean lip products. The company’s prices range from $4 lip balms to $18 lipsticks. The company has grown steadily over its years in business and has recently caught some public attention within the realms of natural beauty and sustainability. Overall, Noyah seems to run a fairly sustainable business, avoiding many harmful ingredients, incorporating sustainable packaging, sourcing their beeswax carefully, and becoming involved in social impact efforts. However, what stood out to me the most about this company was not that they have reached unprecedented circularity or sustainability, but that they are very candid about where they currently stand in terms of sustainability and their efforts to improve. This is the kind of company from which I gain a sense of assurance that sustainability is a true value to them, rather than a means of appealing to their customers.
Overall, Noyah’s products contain fairly sustainable ingredients and packaging. Their products are free of palm oil, gluten, parabens, sulfate, and preservatives. They are all organic, and the only non-vegan ingredient they use is beeswax. The brand makes a point to experiment with formulas in order to make their products more clean over time. They even have a line of lip products that are made of 100% edible products. Additionally, Noyah ensures that the titanium dioxide they use is non-micronized to avoid their products being carcinogenic.
In terms of packaging, Noyah is also rather sustainable and demonstrates continued efforts towards improvement. Though their packaging does incorporate plastic, most of it is post-consumer recycled (PCR). Noyah also curbs their plastic usage by incorporating bamboo, paper, and sugarcane into their packaging. Though Noyah’s packaging is not perfectly sustainable, their heavy use of PCR makes it some of the most sustainable cosmetic packaging on the market, and they continue to add in more recycled and natural materials.
Overall, I wish Noyah had provided more transparency in terms of their production process. They have not disclosed information on the amount of waste their processes create, their water usage, nor their emissions. However, they did disclose some characteristics of their production process that are rather sustainable. For one, their products are made in the USA, which likely reduces energy consumption and emissions from transportation.
Noyah does not test on animals and they take precautions to ensure their beeswax is sourced sustainably and ethically: They often source from multi-generational family farms that constantly monitor the health of their hives and keep them fed and protected during off-seasons. Many of the farmers from whom they source their bees are also involved in scholarly research on how to better foster the types of settings where bees are able to thrive.
Noyah has worked to level with their manufacturers to increase the proportion of their plastic usage that is post-consumer recycled (PCR) and is currently up to 88% PCR within their lip balm lines, which is remarkably high. Though this figure would ideally be 100% PCR or zero plastic at all, Noyah’s efforts to achieve packaging with this level of sustainability is commendable. Additionally, Noyah displays a desire to continue to improve the sustainability of their packaging, as they continue to run experiments to learn how to incorporate more renewable and compostable materials.
While I felt compelled to lower Noyah’s score in this section due to a lack of available information regarding the energy, water, and material consumption of their processes, I was relieved to see that the founder of Noyah has stated that they are working towards achieving greater transparency. As a small business, it can be difficult to even receive certain information from manufacturers. I look forward to seeing Noyah develop in this front as they gain greater traction as a business.
Noyah is a very small company, with only 6 employees listed on LinkedIn. In terms of their supply chain, I struggled to find information about partnerships with suppliers and manufacturers. Disclosing this information would have been a huge step up for Noyah in terms of transparency.
On the flip side, the answers that Noyah’s founder, Joshua Gordon, provided in an interview with Thrive Global were very refreshing on the whole, revealing an involved attitude towards sustainability within the company’s upper management. Gordon answered that some of the things that most excite him about the modern beauty industry are an increased weight on striving for sustainability and inclusivity. He also stated that some of the most important goals the beauty industry should work towards are an avoidance of greenwashing and an increase in transparency. He concedes that his company is not perfect but that his goals are oriented towards increasing transparency, not appearing to be perfect when they’re not.
Noyah also demonstrates an intent to create a positive social impact through homeless aid. The company works with the National Health Care for the Homeless Council (NHCHC) to donate a product to an unhoused individual for every Noyah product purchased online.
Overall, I was impressed by Noyah’s vision and efforts, considering they are still a small company. I would like to see more information become available in the future on their supply chain and manufacturing partners to more clearly determine whether their products are made with ethical labor practices. All in all, Noyah seems like it is on a genuine path towards increased sustainability.