Solar Powered
Lipsticks

It was Molly’s lengthy and unique experience that led her to launch HIGHR Collective, a brand that offers ‘radical transparency into our products, processes, and raw materials.’

Hart began her career in the beauty industry at the age of 18, when she worked part-time as a make-up artist at a MAC counter. After, she would work at Estée Lauder’s corporate headquarters based in New York City, as part of the company’s first digital marketing division. Part of her role in the newly established team was to community manage the Facebook pages of several prestigious beauty brands. 

“No one ever had to answer questions from customers…at a corporate level before. I was the only person working with this brand at a particular time who would answer these questions, and this started my personal research into clean beauty back then..”

‘I got to see the exchange happening behind the scenes from customers and then trying to get an answer from colleagues in PR or product development. I got to see that the industry, especially in the US, is largely unregulated. Clean beauty has really come from the FDA’s failure to regulate in the states.’

What we spoke about

Lipstick is the most invasive beauty product out there. Whereas some products can be absorbed into your skin, with lipstick – which could be reapplied throughout the day, you’ll undoubtedly and unconsciously ingest it into your body. 

When conceptualising the brand, Hart decided that sustainability needed to be a focal point from start to finish, which she would do by creating a clean product and monitoring the supply chain. 

She tracks everything, including air travel and accommodation. In doing so, she is able to tell her customers exactly how much one lipstick saves in terms of CO2. In regards to the manufacturing, even the chemists formulating the cosmetics work in a 100% solar-powered factory based in LA.

Overcoming Challenges In The Beauty Industry 

In traditional lipsticks, polyethylene – a liquid-like plastic, is used to make the texture smooth. However, by working with suppliers and chemists who shared the same perspectives, Hart was able to create a collection with an impressively smooth texture and rich pigment. Though the founder admits this was achieved by trial and error and was by far, the most challenging part of the process. 

Packaging waste is something the whole of the beauty industry is faced with tackling. Hart explains that this is timely and costly, as it can often concern custom tooling and the testing of new materials. However, she has managed to upcycle her packaging from a shoe company based in Italy and made it completely compostable. 

The only thing that isn’t sustainable is the lipstick tubes, which are made from aluminum. Though the brand is looking into a refilling system, for now, HIGHR Collective’s lipsticks feature a small mirror inside the cap, with the appeal of it becoming a keepsake for customers.  

What does the future hold for HIGHR Collective?

The brand aims to stick to lipsticks for the next future years, but branch out into new shades, lip care, and more!

Molly’s advice for a more sustainable future

Look for transparency (in brands), across websites – if they’re happy to share what’s in their products and how it’s made, why certain ingredients are there. 

Check out the EWG website – they rank products in the market and give you transparency through a point system.

In terms of sustainability, look for hard facts – beyond packaging. 

Why Mined Diamonds Are Not Forever

WHAT WE TALKED ABOUT

Neuhaus and Wares grew up together in Antwerp, also known as the diamond capital of the world and with family members working in the trade too. In London, they became conscious of their purchases and were frustrated by the lack of sustainability.

Kimai was born in 2018 after the two saw scope to create a brand with a transparent supply chain and ethically sourced diamonds – this they believed, would appeal to a younger shopper that had previously been overlooked by the industry. 


Mined vs. Lab-grown diamonds 

Diamonds are entirely made up of carbon in a high pressure and temperature environment. Traditionally, they are mined from the ground where they’ve formed over centuries. Thanks to today’s technology, lab-grown methods provide identical results, and without the negative impacts. 

We dug deep (pun not intended) and discussed the negative social and detrimental themes concerning mining, “There are many different issues…the first one would be the social impact of mining. There are a lot of children working in mines, and a lot of them (companies) that sponsor wars in Africa too. We need to dig deeper and deeper in order to get better diamonds which means we’re leaving huge holes on earth. This also means entire communities have had to relocate that live around those mines as well.’

Plus, a diamond often exchanges hands 20 times after being mined, with so many middlemen, it’s usually impossible to trace where exactly it came from and under what conditions it was pulled from the earth. 

Kimai was founded in 2018 as a modern jewellery brand channelling the founder’s heritage while also delivering on true traceability. Using lab diamonds, which are physically and chemically identical and recycled gold, Kimai cut out mines and the middlemen for a sustainable process from design to delivery. 

Did you know? 

Kimai means sustainability in Hebrew. 

Advice for a more sustainable future

The founders suggest when wearing a particular item of clothing, you should make a tick or mark on the care label to show that you’re re-using the piece again and again. 

Netflix documentary to watch

Watch the Explained episode on diamonds here.