The future of beauty, powered by plant-based leftovers – Rethinking sustainability with upcycled ingredients, packaging and a circular mindset


Full Circle (Upcycled Beauty Ltd), Kent, United Kingdom


It is no secret that the overconsumption of the earth’s resources (along with the amount of waste produced) is having a harmful impact on our planet. In this article, sustainable beauty pioneers Full Circle explore the importance of transitioning towards a circular economy, including what the future of beauty should look like. Plant-based leftovers, specifically, present an interesting opportunity for beauty and personal care brands to reduce their footprint on the planet. By upcycling would-be waste, brands can create innovative products that make excellent use of the precious resources around us without compromising quality or efficacy.


Water, energy, land and natural vegetation are some of the natural resources that are essential to our everyday lives. Unfortunately, these resources are being consumed at a rate that is inherently unsustainable, but not only that - so much of it is wasted too. Take food waste for example; 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted every year across the world (1) and an estimated one-third of all the food produced globally ends up as rubbish before it even gets to the table (2). “When food is wasted, all the energy, resources, and money that went into producing, processing, packaging, and transporting it are wasted too,” explains Project Drawdown, the leader in quantifying climate change solutions. “The further down the supply chain the food gets before it is thrown out, the more resources are wasted to get it to that stage” (3). When food is sent to landfill, it rots and becomes a significant source of methane; a potent greenhouse gas with 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. According to Project Drawdown, eliminating food waste is the single-most effective act we can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (4).