When the Juni team first started to develop our debut lipstick collection, one of our first tasks was sourcing the packaging. We knew that we wanted our lipstick bullets to be luxurious and beautiful, and that we didn’t want to use plastic.
Plastic is one of the biggest epidemics we face today. It negatively effects our health and our planet. Did you know that of the 6.3 billion tonnes of plastic waste produced since the 1950s, only 9% has ever been recycled? Recycling simply delays the plastic’s journey to the bin and then to the incinerator, landfill or to our oceans, unlike metal, glass, paper and card that are infinitely recyclable.
As a brand, it’s not about purchasing one or two small items for ourselves to use, but being responsible for thousands of them being made. How would all that plastic look in landfill or in our oceans?
So as the team researched what was currently available on the market, we found that the vast majority were made of – you’ve guessed it – single-use plastic. We looked at all sorts of solutions, but even wood and bamboo cases contained elements of plastic and so-called ‘eco-friendly’ plastic has its own problems.
It became our mission to be 100% plastic free and as sustainable as possible, and we weren’t willing to compromise.
I have always been interested in vintage makeup and have a small collection of treasures. My parents bought me a beautiful solid-silver lipstick bullet from the 1930s as a birthday present and it was a lightbulb moment. We were instantly inspired by the craftsmanship, the fact that it was plastic free and how it was still in perfect condition, all these years later.
Our search changed from mass-market suppliers to product designers who would be able to develop a bespoke bullet inspired by my vintage one. We spoke to lots of people, from university researchers to recycling experts, and found that aluminium would be a great material to use. Aluminium is infinitely recyclable and is known as the “green metal”.
We found a small, innovative product design company who took on our challenge of designing a lipstick in aluminium that worked like my silver vintage bullet, but with a modern update. As a team we came up with about 20 amazing designs that were all beyond our expectations. It was a difficult choice and took many months of prototyping, but we are thrilled with our octagonal shape that is now iconic to Juni. It feels heavy in your hand and very tactile, like a piece of jewellery.
Our cartons, labels and mailing boxes are all plastic free too. Even this was not as straight-forward as it might first appear. Our suppliers know and understand our ethics and are happy to support us.
We have collaborated with a wonderful organisation called A Plastic Planet, headed by campaigner Sian Sutherland. A Plastic Planet certifies plastic free consumer gods by using a very visible and recognisable logo. Our lipsticks have been thoroughly inspected by Sian and her team and you will find their ‘Plastic Free’ logo on our lipstick cartons.