“Ready-to-offer” boxes, jute bags, recycled (and recyclable) cardboard, vegetable inks, attention for the most destitute… if the boxes and other Advent calendars show an originality this year, it is by showing responsibility! A human, ecological, environmental “plus” that can make all the difference.
Christmas… this magical moment when young and old together, we hurry to tear off the paper to discover our presents… Long to make, fast to tear, they usually end up in the garbage.
While kraft paper, cardboard boxes and string or raffia ties are recyclable, this is not the case for ribbons, plastic gift wrap, glitter, metallized and other cellophane films that add to household waste.
In France there are more than 20,000 tons of gift wrap consumed, which doubles our packaging quantity to 2 kilos a day… That is 380,000 trees or 11,000 tons of CO² equivalent.
“For a truly CSR Christmas, ideally three imperatives should be met: zero waste, zero carbon footprint and zero toxic ingredients. A sustainable and responsible product must also be based on solidarity. This is often the case but not always. First of all, of course, you should use recycled and recyclable cardboard, which means vegetable inks (free of heavy metals) and ecological glues, as well as ready-to-use boxes that limit overwrapping. Another good idea is to offer a treatment in an eco-responsible spa,” says Sophie Pattier, CSR Consultant Cosmetics Linkup Factory.
A good alternative : the “ready to offer”
True to its commitment, Sanoflore celebrates Christmas with eco-responsible boxes, ready to offer (so no more need for gift wrap) made of 100% recycled and recyclable FSC labelled cardboard. “Ecological” not rhyming with “austerity”, they are dressed in bright and joyful colours (blue, pink, yellow), derived from vegetable inks.
Closed with a decorative cardboard ring, they are opening with a day cream, accompanied by a mask (15 ml) or a botanical aqua in nomadic 50 ml format (free and refillable). Each recipient will be able to discover the responsible path of their products, from the field to the store. There is a box set for each skin type.
In total, four certified organic beauty rituals for all budgets (from November): Magnifica box set (purifying ritual certified organic, €19.99); Rosa Fresca box set (refreshing ritual certified organic, €22.30); Queen box set (perfector ritual certified organic, €30.60); Marvelous box set (regenerating ritual certified organic, €28.80).
Reusable and/or recyclable Advent calendars
The first scourge being overwrapping and disposable, everything that can be reused and given a second life is to be favoured, such as the Jo Malone Advent Calendars, which consist of 24 cardboard drawers that can then be converted into a jewelry box (Advent Calendar, 350 €, from November at Sephora).
The same goes for the L’Occitane Dream Calendar (€99 but real value €106.50) and its 24 small cardboard boxes. Decorated with a banner “Provence is rich in an ecosystem of incredible variety, let’s protect it together”, it encourages its consumers to join the brand in its 24 resolutions to protect the biodiversity of the Mediterranean basin.
As for the calendar called “Le Conte Au pays des almandiers” (€49), it pays particular attention to the almond tree, reintroduced by the brand in Provence.
Yves Rocher also offers an eco-designed Advent Calendar whose cardboard boxes from sustainably managed forests are reusable and 100% recyclable (€39) in October.
Annemarie Börlind imagines her first Advent Calendar made of recyclable cardboard (€49 for a value of €125), which combines “full size” products (such as the lip stick, the Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream 20 ml or the Hand Balm 50 ml) and “travel sizes” to help you discover the brand.
The Body Shop has created several “Make Your Dreams Come True” Advent Calendars in recycled and recyclable cardboard (€50, €85 or €120), or offers four body treatments “full size” with the festive and gourmet scent of plum pie, in a jute pouch from Fair Trade India (Sweet Sweet Plum Surprises, €20, special edition).
On the side of the boxes
Melvita has put together its best-sellers in five recyclable cardboard gift boxes, available from 15 November: Ricin box to enhance hands (€19.90), Argan Organic Intense Flexibility (€26.50), Trio discovery The Essential of Organic Beauty (€14), Gold Bio Sublime Light (€19.90), or Relaxessence Divine Relaxation (€28.50).
Estime&sens unveils its PEFC-certified poplar wood box from sustainably managed French forests (€68 in institutes).
Very involved in the conservation of the oceans, Ren Clean Skincare offers gift boxes such as Atlantic Kelp Hand Care Duo (€35) with 100% recycled plastic packaging (20% of which comes from the oceans), mini boxes with ribbons made from recycled plastic bottles (Silent Nights Mini Set, €15), or recycled kraft bags that can be recycled up to their zip. For each “Festive Favorites Give & Green The Planet” box set (€20, at Sephora) Origins is committed to planting a tree in partnership with American Forests’ Global ReLeaf.
Love Beauty and Planet (distributed in supermarkets by Unilever) offers its recycled plastic bottles and biodegradable fabric masks in recycled cardboard boxes (Rosemary & Vetiver box containing one Shampoo and one Cascade Detox Shower Gel 400 ml each + one Fast Detox Cloth Mask, 21 ml & one headband made from recycled materials offered, €19.99, or muru muru & Rose Butter Box containing one Colour Blossoming Shampoo 400 ml + one Moisturising Rosy Shower Gel 400 ml + one Radiant Radiance Fabric Mask 21 ml & one headband offered, €19,99). Love Beauty and Planet (distributed in supermarkets by Unilever) offers its recycled plastic bottles and biodegradable fabric masks in recycled cardboard boxes (Rosemary & Vetiver box containing one Shampoo and one Cascade Detox Shower Gel 400 ml each + one Fast Detox Cloth Mask, 21 ml & one headband made from recycled materials offered, €19.99, or muru muru & Rose Butter Box containing one Colour Blossoming Shampoo 400 ml + one Moisturising Rosy Shower Gel 400 ml + one Radiant Radiance Fabric Mask 21 ml & one headband offered, €19,99).
Gifts with an extra soul
Kiehl’s is donating 100% of the profits from its limited Christmas editions (named Kiehl’sMas) to the LGBTQ association Le Refuge as of November 14 (Advent Calendar, €79 ; Midnight Recovery Concentrate, 50 ml, €66 ; Whipped Body Butter Body Cream, 226 g, €36 ; Calendula Toner Herbal-Extract Toner, 250 ml, €37.5 or 500ml, €49; Butterstick Ultra-Moisturizing Lip Balm, 4 g, €20; Rich Texture Body Cream, 250 ml, €19; 24h Ultra Facial Cream, 50 ml, €29.50; Coriander or Grapefruit Body Soaps, 140 g, €9).
Like the inverted calendars, the Care Calendar (€129) is a responsible and ethical Advent calendar, rechargeable, recyclable and reusable, offering not products but 24 solidarity actions and integrating a wellness coaching video and various attentions (we would have liked part of the profits to be given to the homeless but let’s not discourage goodwill, the brand promises to do it in 2020!).
Christmas will also be dedicated to sharing with Thalgo, who donates €1 each year from its Christmas boxes to the Association Petits Princes, which aims to make the dreams of sick children and teenagers come true. For Christmas, the brand offers 11 Beauty Boxes (from 59 to €199).
A committed and ethical make-up**
Offering a (very) beautiful lipstick is always an excellent gift idea, especially when it is 100% virtuous!
This is what Le Rouge Français offers with its three lipsticks (€35) certified organic and vegan, without titanium dioxide, mica or cochineal carmine. Their shades, derived from vegetable pigments (madder, roucou, tomato lycopene, hibiscus…), vary according to the color of the lips.
The plant infusion process allows to have a stick whose pigmentation is revealed on contact with the lips and offers a unique result according to each complexion.
The packaging, on the other hand, is both beautiful and… 100% recyclable! The collection of used boxes is free of charge (by simple postal dispatch) and organised directly by the brand. Winner of the Cosm’ethic 2019 Cosmébio competition, the young French company is even more innovative with its lipsticks dressed in bright red apple skin (around €43, from November). And this is only the beginning…