It's that most wonderful time of year: when brands flood your inbox and feed with Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. From Glossier to Sephora, there are discounts everywhere! So who gets your money?
While those bigger beauty and fashion labels may offer the more eye-catching deals, there are hidden, non-financial costs. It's no secret that wasteful packaging and the use of plastic continues to be a jarring issue in the beauty industry, and this time of year is particularly stressful for warehouse workers.
Sadly, despite slow but steady awareness of these issues, not every brand cares. It's worth researching which independent beauty companies are making conscious efforts to not only minimize environmental damage but also make inclusivity and diversity an integral part of the conversation.
Here are our picks of the best Independent beauty labels to shop while you're avoiding relatives this weekend.
LA-based independent fragrance brand Sigil prioritizes identity and inclusivity above all, weaving acceptance of all bodies and genders into its company foundation. For this season, founder Patrick Kelly aims to "incite passion" and "echo magical moments with each spray" of his 100 percent natural set of scents. Staying true to its core message, not only is the brand donating 10 percent of its profits to organizations helping homeless LGBTQIA+ youth, but it has also dropped a holiday campaign casting a range of emerging queer talent.
The brand will be offering an discount code for Black Friday and Cyber Monday exclusively for PAPER readers. Just add PAPER20 at checkout for $20 off any full-sized bottles.
LA-based queer-owned candle and intimate apparel label Boy Smells positions itself as a brand "conceived beyond the gender binary." The minimalist, accessible products are crafted in the founders' homes using natural oils, all natural coconut wax, and beeswax. The candles are then hand-poured in a reusable glass vessel and put in pretty pink packaging. Additionally, for the holidays, the brand has also launched a limited edition collection in addition to offering 10 to 20 percent off all products across both categories for Black Friday.
The wellness space is constantly expanding with each new brand offering a different take. New label Kinship offers a bit of everything: combining wellness with "science-led skincare" the company prides itself in providing "accessible, clean, high-performance" products that are consciously packaged and cruelty free. Using the microbiome technology that comes from a plant-based probiotic, the products are designed to support the skin's natural barrier. Throughout Christmas, the brand is offering some curated holiday gift sets that true to its message, at accessible prices with cute boxes!
Founded by former Goop executives Ashley Lewis and Meredith Schroeder, Fleur Marche may not be on your radar given the endless amount of CBD brands out there. But the women-led ecommerce website sets itself apart in one critical way: its strict vetting practices. Both Lewis and Schroeder come from a wealth of cannabis knowledge and remain determined to educate. For Black Friday, Fleur Marche is currently offering a number of deals across its body serums, oils, and balms.
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