The brand’s Amazonian Clay 12-hour full coverage foundation incorporates a bamboo cap.
Green Strategies: Tarte Balances Glamour and Green

Tarte is on a mission to help consumers reduce, reuse and recycle their cosmetics packaging.

At Tarte, our packaging reflects our style, technique and brand voice. Today, more efficient and effective sustainable materials exist for packaging options, and color cosmetics companies now have the opportunity to work with them. Having these available materials has transformed how several brands do business and position themselves in a convoluted market. Previously, companies weren’t looking to post-consumer and other waste materials as potential packaging materials. Now, however, with increasing consumer demand, more corporations are opting for it as a way to both engage customers and act socially responsible. Fundamentally, here at Tarte, we wanted to strike a balance between fashion-forward style, user-friendly components and sustainable materials. Over the past few years, we’ve dedicated much research and development to the latter by attending trade shows, visiting fabric markets and meeting with manufacturers to find the latest and greatest eco-friendly materials and techniques in the industry.

We already have several sustainable business practices incorporated into our overall corporate strategy. From Tarte’s inception, the chic product packaging was reused and recycled in one form or another after use. For instance, lipglosses were packaged in cases that consumers could use later as business card holders, travel-jewelry boxes and runway-inspired clutches. The brand, as exemplified by the packaging, can’t just be utilitarian and eco-conscious; it also has to be visually appealing. One of the challenges that we faced this spring was with our brand-new Amazonian Clay 12-hour full coverage foundation with broad spectrum SPF 15. Instead of using a plastic cap for the foundation, we really wanted to incorporate bamboo as it’s a sustainable source, yet bamboo has an extremely low tolerance level due to the shrinkage rate of the material. We insisted on maintaining these extra testing steps because bamboo is not only better for the environment (as it doesn’t cause environmental waste by using unnecessary energy to produce), it is more visually appealing as well.

Tarte’s Maracuja Blush & Glow brightening luminizer and cheek tint are packaged together in a clear box made with APET, a more sustainable PET containing up to 50% post-consumer recycled plastic.
Another example of our sustainable business practice features the spring launch of our Maracuja Blush & Glow brightening luminizer and cheek tint. When creating our new maracuja blush & glow, we thought a lot about the secondary packaging. It was a challenge to showcase both components with outer packaging, as it’s a cheek stain and luminizer in one. So we packaged both in a clear box made with APET, a more sustainable PET containing up to 50% post-consumer recycled plastic. The composition has crystal-clear clarity so customers can see the products without a blurred image. In fact, everything at Tarte that comes in a clear plastic box is made with APET. Not only is this a more eco-conscious choice, but it looks better. Also, we decided to combine the products within the same packaging. By combining them, you have less waste and more portability, which equals more convenience for the consumer.

Beyond this, customers can continue to look at Tarte’s website to find information on what the product componentry is made of and how it can be recycled. Tarte is on a mission to help consumers reduce, reuse and recycle and therefore has developed eco-symbols defining recyclable and sustainable materials, as well as a continued customer recycling incentive program.

Focusing on primary packaging is definitely an important aspect of a green identity, but the secondary packaging materials are just as significant to the brand. All of Tarte’s box packaging is made of recycled paper and the information that appears on it is written in soy ink, which contains non-toxic soybean oil and is low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Soy ink is safe and sustainable since it’s made from a renewable resource and thus more easily stripped from paper during the de-inking and recycling process. Rarely does Tarte develop print materials like instruction cards and catalogs, but when our organization does, we ensure that we’re acting in as eco-friendly a way as possible by working with vendors that understand our green strategy. For example, a Tarte catalog created for QVC customers was printed on Rolland Enviro100 Print, which contains 100% post-consumer fiber, is Environmental Choice, Processed Chlorine Free and FSC Recycled certified and manufactured in Quebec by Cascades using biogas energy. The streamlined secondary packaging approach combined with Tarte’s eco-friendly printing practices helped solidify our company’s commitment to its sustainable business practices.

In essence, being a green company can be interpreted in many ways: naturally derived products; environmentally sound packaging and processes; and socially responsible incentives and programs. Working in beauty, Tarte understands color, and green is beautiful. Tarte prides itself as being the leader in earth-engineered beauty with high-performance naturals and eco-friendly, sustainable packaging. Our company is always looking to strike a balance between glamour and green. This message resonates with consumers who understand the importance of repurposed, recycled and PCR materials and how their usage helps reduce environmental waste, consequently helping to minimize carbon footprints.