Friday, 11 November 2016

Ethical campaigns that infringe on the beauty and fashion industry.

With reports of links between make up and illnesses including cancer, fashion brands using fur and the use of child labour in the fashion supply chain , can the make up and fashion industry have any more ethical campaigns? I think so.


'what are microbeads?'you may ask.Well they are tiny pieces of plastic that are added to everyday cosmetic products such as face wash and toothpaste. They are usually made out of polyethylene but they can be made out of other petrochemical plastics such as polypropylene and polystyrene. Microbeads are small enough to go down your drain and to even pass through water filtering systems and this is what the problem is.(Thorogood, 2016)

As microbeads are so small and I guess could be seen as harmless, you could be surprised to know that in certain products that around 100,000 microbeads are washed down the drain in a single application. And as they are too small to be passed through water filtering systems, this means that they end up in the sea and also in the food chain for example sealife. Scientific research is continuing to investigate and research the effects of microbeads in wildlife . A recent study had the outcome that 90% of birds have plastic in their stomachs. The most frightening thing is that humans have plastic in their bodies as well, such as from toothpaste and eating seafood that has ingested microplastics and the toxins that come with them.Have a look at figure one to see the flow chart of the use of microbeads. (Thorogood, 2016)

Canada and America are going to be banning the use of microbeads in all products and brands such as; L'Oreal, Boots, Avon and The body shop have pledged that they will not be using them.But brands such as ; Dermalogica , the Estée Lauder companies , Elizabeth Arden and L'Occitane still using microbeads in their products.(, n.d.)

I had never heard of the effects of microbeads until I saw on the news that America and Canada had banned the use of them, Scientists have no scientific proof what the effect of human consumption of  microbeads  is but I know one thing for sure that having plastic that can be toxic in your body isn't good. I have to question the beauty companies that are still allowing microbeads to be in their products especially when the alternatives such as rice, apricot seeds and walnut are safer and have better outcomes, if the beauty industry knows the effects that microbeads have on the environment why are they still choosing to use them, could it just be because of the customers knowing and loving the microbeads in their products or could to be that they have a product that sells and they are worried that changing the product could have an effect on sales.If you are as shocked as i am about this please sign the petition urging Thersea May to follow in Canada and Americas foot steps here :

Image result

                                      Figure One.(, 2015 A flow chart 
                                                        of the effect of the use of microbeads.)

Image result for microbeads
                                          Figure Two.(, 2016 , Lets 
                                          ban the bead , Australia will have banned the use of 
                                          microbeads as early as 2017)

Bibliography -
Thorogood, I. (2016). What are microbeads and why should we ban them? | Greenpeace UK. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Nov. 2016].

Thorogood, I. (2016). What are microbeads and why should we ban them? | Greenpeace UK. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Nov. 2016]. (n.d.). These products contain plastic microbeads.. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Nov. 2016].

Figure, (2015). The flow diagram of the use of microbeads in beauty products.. [image] Available at: [Accessed 10 Nov. 2016].

Figure, (2016). Ban the Bead "Microbeads shall be ditched in Australia as early as in 2017" photograph. [image] Available at: [Accessed 10 Nov. 2016].


  1. Love the use of a bibliography 🤓 As a pescatarian I am not contemplating not eating fish now after reading your article. Great use of info graphics.
    With regards to the fish/sea life eating the plastic.... excuse my ignorance.... does this apply to freshwater fish?? Are there any sources of sea life we consume that cannot or is not affected?

    Lovely informative piece x

    1. As the microbeads can pass water filtering systems therefore can get to any water source,I would say that it does include freshwater fish as well as livestock. After some more research I have managed to find a study about microbeads which states that they can attract a class of pollutants called "polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) " which can cause neurological problems, decreased immune function and even fertility problems! x