How We Made Refinery29’s 2019 Beauty Innovator Awards Our Most Sustainable Yet

Having 57 Refinery29 editors collectively test 392 products for our annual Beauty Innovator Awards means we can wholeheartedly recommend the 102 we've determined to be the best of the best this year.
Admittedly, it also means we — like many beauty editors who swipe, swatch, and spritz for a living — are responsible for a shocking amount of waste. The majority of the estimated 120 billion units of cosmetics packaging created per year will ultimately end up in the ocean or landfills — and, as professional guinea pigs, we go through more of it than anyone.
So this year, as the beauty industry came to terms with its plastic problem, so did we — starting with a new partnership with TerraCycle. The waste-management company, which specializes in recycling hard-to-process beauty packaging like mascara tubes and shampoo bottle caps, collected our empty products at the end of our awards testing cycle — plus all the tubes, tubs, and jars our staff have gone through since then.
But making our rigorous testing process more environmentally conscious was just the beginning. We also wanted to highlight the brands leading the charge with a new category: The Sustainability Shop. In it, you'll find brands who are innovating with better and more conscious manufacturing methods, cleaner ingredients, and earth-friendly packaging — without compromising on efficacy or style. And moving forward, we are committed to highlighting more sustainable brands throughout our beauty coverage.
We tapped Sophia Berrios, marketing and e-commerce manager for TerraCycle and Zero Waste, to weigh in on her favorite products from our brand-new eco-friendly category. Click ahead to learn why these products are taking home the gold and the green this year.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission. Check out the rest of the 2019 Beauty Innovator Award winners.

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