Make-up artist explains the challenges when creating a plastic-free premium beauty brand
Johanna Nomiey: ”We stand for a new paradigm of responsible luxury.”
12 May 2023

The Swedish LA-based makeup artist launched the zero-plastic beauty brand Submission together with Zenia Jaeger, Stine Rasmussen and Marc Palatucci in a mutual frustration over not being able to purchase sustainable products with a luxury feel.

— We stand for a new paradigm of responsible luxury. Even when products are plant-based, they are almost always still wrapped in plastic, which in our view defeats the purpose, she explains, continuing,

— We started by launching an editorial platform, where we highlight artists, activators, environmental articles, and more. Our community can also send in their submissions — following our guidelines to not showcase any fast fashion or plastic but rather sustainable designers and vintage or thrifted pieces. 

When launching the concept as a brand, it came with a range of plant-based glitters made of cellulose from eucalyptus that biodegrades in freshwater.

— Majority of brands start with the product in mind, while we focus on the packaging. As I said, there are a lot of plant-based brands out there, but it gets contradictory when the products are coming in a plastic container, wrapped in plastic, as plastic leaches toxins. It harms the environment and can be found in our air, soil, and water. It’s devastating. 

The current line consists of 6 shades of zero-plastic plant-based glitters made of eucalyptus cellulose. 

— It has earned TÜV OK’s biodegradable certification, which means that it biodegrades within 90 days in freshwater. It’s also FDA-approved to use on lips and eyes, which regular plastic glitter is not… Last year, we launched our second product, Balm Shiny, a multifunctional balm that can be used to highlight and nurture lips, cheeks, eyes and more. It also works as a setting agent for the glitter. 

The most challenging, Nomiey continues, was to find manufacturers to collaborate with. 

— A majority of manufacturers are using plastic as the main material and due to production costs, many are not even interested in exploring other materials besides plastic. Also, a lot of suppliers and manufacturers cannot easily explain exactly what their products consist of, or are even incentivized to misrepresent the material makeup of their products, which of course is frightening. So, the list of what we have learned is long. I have grown tremendously as a person during this journey. 

Johanna Nomiey was just awarded Beauty of the Year at the Swedish Elle Gala. At the end of this month, Submission is opening its very first store, in Los Feliz, LA. 

— Everything in the store is plastic free and all interior is bought second hand. This mid-summer we are launching our third offering, a multifunctional zero-plastic and plant-based makeup product. After the collaboration with Ganni last year, we really saw the force in combining communities so we are in the works on more collaborations, Nomiey says. She adds:

— Our mission is to change the beauty industry from within by showing that it’s possible to produce zero-plastic packaging and products with a minimal environmental impact. We want politicians, brands, and manufacturers to take environmental accountability towards a plastic-free and more sustainable future. 

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