Latinos have a special connection with nature. Maybe it's the vibrant natural bounty of Latin America, or the rich and varied indigenous heritage from ancestors that served as caretakers of their land. This strong sense of environmental conservation is prevalent in many Latino-led ventures, and beauty products are no exception.
As our global community comes together to respond to environmental issues like global warming, climate change, carbon emissions, and clean energy, we felt it was important to recognize the leadership of Latino innovators, business owners and socially conscious companies that have made an eco friendly difference in the world. Check out these 10 sustainable brands owned by Latinos - many of them founded in the United States - that have minimized their environmental impact without sacrificing quality or service, all for the love of Madre Tierra.
The Honest Company
Maternity inspired Mexican-American actress Jessica Alba to launch The Honest Company in 2012 as a way to provide consumers with baby products made with organic cotton and without ingredients such as petrochemicals and synthetic fragrances. Today, the company has expanded its collection of eco friendly products to include skin care, beauty products and household cleaners, while steering clear of more than 2,500 chemicals/materials. It's become one of the most well-known green brands in the world.
LatinUs Beauty (LU)
If we can humble brag for a minute, all of us at Lu have worked to be a market leader in green and clean beauty. Being a sustainable and eco-friendly brand is in our DNA. Headed by three industry trailblazers in CEO Carol Teter, CMO Capela Barros, and Chief Research Officer Millie Carrasquillo, Lu's innovative line of hair care products is inspired by Latino natural remedies passed down through generations and fueled by science, innovation, years of in-depth research, and data. Our patented Impossible Keratin™ mimics hair's keratin by blending vegan ingredients to meet the same proportions of amino acids naturally occurring in hair keratin. Lu uses 18 different vegan amino acids sourced from wheat and soy and from vegetable fermentation, which are in turn blended with vegan collagen and silk amino acids to produce game-changing hair care products that are cruelty free, kind to the environment, and made with love.
Designers Kristen Gonzalez and Sam Romero launched fashion brand Selva Negra in 2016. One of the most sustainable companies in the industry, they source fabrics locally and ethically, and mail-order their products in zero-waste packaging. Selva Negra's offerings include airy dresses, jumpsuits, trousers, reusable face masks, and more. Understanding that clothing can be a huge source of waste, Selva Negra adopted an innovative and eco-friendly marketing strategy of repurposing their excess textiles from older seasons to create a line of upcycled accessories and styles. Any scrap of fabric that is not be used in manner is sent to a fabric recycling partner to be turned into yarn, creating a truly zero waste solution. Finally, Selva Negra ships all customer orders using certified B corporation compostable packaging.
All for Ramon
Founded in Los Angeles by two Latina sisters on a mission to create modern effortless fashion essentials, All for Ramon is out to break barriers in the fashion industry by focusing on eco-minded craftsmanship, ethical manufacturing, conservation of natural resources, and employee wellness. Every garment made by this sustainable brand is hand-dyed using low-impact dyes, which are free of toxic chemicals and gentle on your skin as well as the planet. Because these dyes have a higher absorption rate, they also reduce water use and energy consumption, resulting in a lower environmental footprint. All orders are shipped using 100 percent recyclable mailers and vegetable ink printed hang tags, with no polybag. The brand also contributes to the Calvin Preston Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps underprivileged families with children battling cancer, and has partnered with One Tree Planted to combat deforestation. At checkout, consumers even have the option to plant a tree.
Founded by Puerto Rican designer Valeria del Rey, La Gotta is known for their UVA-safe swimwear made with recycled plastic bottles and dyed with non-toxic dyes. The sustainable brand recently expanded their business to include a line of nanoparticle-free and reef-safe vegan products that are formulated without oils and fragrance. With our oceans and coral reefs posing an unprecedented environmental challenge, La Gotta offers a good reason to champion green initiatives while looking fabulous at the beach. Their swimwear is produced in small quantities and not available in retail stores, which helps them prevent excess waste and offer a certain exclusivity for its consumers.
Actress Gina Rodriguez partnered with CEO Catalina Girald to launch Naja, a line of underwear, bras, swimwear, and activewear. Naja's nude bras come in a variety of sizes and shades, representing the spectrum of skin colors, and feature fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles. Their green branding also includes a zero-waste collection of garments made from recycled remnant fabrics. Want another reason to love Naja? You get to wear sustainable products that are manufactured primarily by single mothers and other women who are heads of their households. Naja values their relationships with their producers. The company pays above market wages, provides health benefits, and offers stipends for child education. That means that every piece of clothing you buy from Naja supports your fellow women.
Inspired by feminine beauty, Dominican entrepreneur Edwin Jimenez Casanova founded natural beauty line Cuerpa. They strive for a fairer world, from an ethical, environmental, and social perspective. All their products are free from synthetic ingredients, parabens, phthalate, fillers, chemicals, animal testing, mineral oils, petroleum, and sodium laurel sulfate. Cuerpa's collection of face oils, face mists, lip balms, and other products is made with active ingredients like natural herbs, clay, and vegan oils. Their sustainability strategy includes sourcing raw, natural ingredients from partners that sustainably hand-harvest the necessary plants and minerals from local communities where they naturally appear. This helps minimize ecosystem damage and water use due to excessive irrigation. Cuerpa is a PETA-certified business that uses humane testing methods to guarantee quality.
Designed for "Grls who give a F*ck," Latina-owned lifestyle brand GRL Collective is all about environmental sustainability. They design and manufacture goods like jewelry, handbags, and stationery in ethical and fair-trade practices, shunning sweatshops and using eco-friendly packaging. Want more good news? These GRLs donate 20 percent of their profits to fund girls' education in India. Now that's a sustainable business with a mission we can all support!
Built on the premise that clean, sustainable skincare products are equally good for the planet and your skin, Puerto Rican beauty expert Jessica Perez launched Lo.Yo Body in 2015. The company's offerings - which include clean beauty cleansers, soaps, serums, and other natural products for bath and body - are made with minimal, raw ingredients. To help create more plastic waste awareness, their eco-friendly glass jars can even be returned to be recycled. It's one of the more creative approaches to tackling single-use plastic pollution, and is based on the understanding that there is high consumer demand for clean luxury beauty products, but few ways for customers to purchase these products and recycle or refill them at the same time. The result is that the personal care industry often contributes to the negative impact on the environment.
Lights LacquerFounded in 2019 by Cuban-American vlogger and influencer Kathleen Fuentes, Lights Lacquer is a vegan and cruelty-free nail polish company. What makes Lights Lacquer's polishes unique is the "12-free formula;" that is, free of toxins like formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, camphor, formaldehyde resin, and xylene, as well as free of parabens, fragrances, phthalates, animal ingredients, ethyl tosylamide, and triphenyl phosphate. Plus, we love their pillars of Artistry, Nostalgia, Heritage, and Unique Color curation!
From day one, we designed Lu to be one of the most environmentally friendly brands in beauty. We are proud to be cruelty-free and kind to your hair as well as Mother Earth. And we salute these fellow Latino owned brands who inspire us all to be better, choose kindness, and leave a positive impact on the world.
What’s your favorite eco-friendly beauty brand? Let us know in the comments!