Izzy, the US-based cosmetics brand now offers products in a refillable stainless-steel tube that can be returned, cleaned, and reused.
Izzy’s portfolio features two products, Zero Waste Mascara BLK, and Zero Waste Glossy Lip Butter. Founded with the intent to offer consumers zero waste and carbon neutral beauty products, these are certified as carbon neutral in accordance with The CarbonNeutral Protocol and designed specifically with the refill model in mind.
“Our medical-grade, stainless-steel tubes are designed to be cleaned and refilled over 10,000 times, so you literally never have to throw them away,” explained Shannon Goldberg, founder of Izzy in an interview with Packaging Europe.
All purchase options come with a 90-day supply of mascara, which comes in a Zero Waste Reusable Shipper with no outer packaging, with consumers expected to use it to return their empty mascara tube to the company for cleaning. While some of the product packaging does use plastic, this is apparently reground and recycled at Izzy’s processing facility.
“Approximately 90 days after your purchase, we’ll email you a reminder to send your empty Izzy back in your reusable shipper,” Goldberg adds. “Members receive a sterilized and refilled mascara every 90 days.” Izzy’s Glossy Lip Butter follows the same purchase and refill processes.
“Izzy’s holistic approach to product development is rooted in our closed loop supply chain, carbon neutrality, clean performance-driven ingredients and material reduction. All of our manufacturing takes place within a 400-mile radius, which means that our carbon emissions from transportation alone are exponentially lower”.
Some have suggested that the cleaning process, which can be water and energy intensive, and involve detergents that could have harmful environmental impacts. However, Goldberg notes that “the water from our patent-pending antibacterial cleansing process is reused, rather than dumped into the ocean”.
Overall, Goldberg states that Izzy’s mascara “has a 78% smaller carbon footprint after 25 refills. The more our mascaras are reused, the smaller our relative carbon footprint becomes over time.
“All they have to do is enjoy their product and send it back 90 days later. Izzy is automated to help save time based on a process our customers can trust.”
To incentivise consumers to engage with the refill model, a subscription is cheaper over time than a one-off purchase. A $30 restocking fee is also applied to dissuade consumers from discarding empty mascara tubes or the reusable shipper.
When addressing future portfolio expansions, Goldberg said: “our caps will ultimately fit on all cosmetic tubes for future launches, but the tubes themselves will change in diameter and length. Currently, we have 3 tube shapes that can satisfy multiple product types.”
“Ultimately, our plan is to create a super pared-down minimalistic line of beauty essentials that people feel good subscribing to,” Goldberg concludes.