How are companies greenwashing?


Some examples of greenwashing in the beauty industry include:

  • “Natural” claims: Many companies use the term “natural” to describe their products, implying that “natural” is inherently environmentally friendly. Just because an ingredient is sourced from nature, it doesn’t always make it more ethical. Often, natural resources are depleted in the process and workers are paid less than minimum wage while working in poor conditions.
  • “Eco-friendly” packaging: Some companies claim to use “eco-friendly” packaging, such as biodegradable or recyclable materials. But the product itself mightn’t be sustainable, or it might have a high environmental impact. In addition, some consumers don’t know how and where to properly recycle their products, or that many of our “eco-friendly” ‘empties’ end up in landfill because of existing waste infrastructure.
  • “Cruelty-free” labelling: A company may claim their products aren’t tested on animals, but they may still use animal-derived ingredients where their treatment is unknown, or known to be cruel.
  • “Organic” labelling: Some companies may use the term “organic” to describe their ingredients or products, even though part or all of it doesn’t meet the standards required for organic certification.
  • “Carbon neutral” or “carbon offset” claims: Some companies claim to be carbon neutral or offset their carbon emissions, but they mightn’t disclose the full extent of their carbon emissions, or the methods they use to offset them mightn’t be effective in reducing emissions.
  • “Safe” or “clean” claims: “Clean” is frequently conflated with “green”, which is something many brands take advantage of. Brands claiming to be “clean” are usually more focused on the potential health issues caused by certain ingredients – which are often unsubstantiated or inaccurate – rather than their environmental impact. “Safe” or “clean” claims generally come with a restrictive list of speculatively harmful ingredients. But clean beauty “evidence” can be quite misleading. Many scientific claims in clean beauty are based on non-human clinical trials, which don’t necessarily reflect how an ingredient actually interacts with a human. And that’s if there’s any “evidence” at all.


It’s important to note that although it’s not always intentional, greenwashing is a problem. It can mislead consumers and undermine the efforts of companies that are genuinely committed to sustainability. Consumers should be critical and discerning when it comes to environmental claims made by companies. We recommend seeking out independent and credible sources of information about the environmental and ethical impact of products. When something seems too good to be true, it usually is.


Why are art and photography powerful tools for bringing about environmental change?


Art and photography, integral tools of expression, have played pivotal roles throughout history in inspiring change and serving as forms of rebellion. Today, their transformative power is harnessed to champion positive environmental change. Through raising awareness, educating the public, documenting environmental impacts, and inspiring individuals and organizations to take action, artists and photographers contribute to a visual language that resonates with hearts and minds alike. This synergy reflects a longstanding tradition where creative endeavors have been agents of transformation and catalysts for rebellion against the status quo.


→ Raising Awareness:

Artists and photographers utilize their creative expressions to spotlight pressing environmental issues, such as climate change, pollution, and deforestation. Through visual storytelling, they establish emotional connections with audiences, making complex topics more relatable and understandable. This heightened awareness fosters increased public concern and interest in environmental matters.


→ Education:

Serving as potent educational tools, art and photography simplify the intricacies of environmental issues, shedding light on the impact of human activities on the planet. By visually representing these concerns, artists and photographers make information accessible and compelling. This not only inspires individuals to take action but also contributes to the integration of environmental education in schools and communities.


→ Documenting:

Photography, in particular, serves as a dynamic medium for capturing environmental changes and impacts, as well as celebrating the inherent beauty of nature. It becomes a visual record of climate change effects, pollution consequences, and other environmental challenges. This documentation extends to showcasing the efforts of conservation organizations, scientists, and activists, rendering abstract concepts tangible.


→ Inspiration:

Artists and photographers possess the ability to inspire both individuals and organizations to actively protect the environment. Through their creations, they instill a sense of urgency, motivating people to make positive changes in their personal lives and communities. This inspiration can catalyze more sustainable actions within organizations and empower individuals to advocate for impactful environmental policy changes.


Who founded Gorgeous Nothings?


We, the team behind Gorgeous Nothings, are thrilled to announce the official launch of our project. Founded by Avigon Paphitis in 2021 under the name Ethical Cosmetics, we initiated this venture to assess the interest in a platform dedicated to ethical beauty. Following two years of strategic planning, a successful trademark application, and fundraising from family and friends, Gorgeous Nothings has come to life.

As the founder, Avigon is particularly focused on the captivating stories and voices of activists, artists, writers, and photographers, as well as the issues themselves. She is committed to remaining behind the scenes, collaborating with the brightest minds, and growing our community of change-makers. For consulting inquiries, please feel free to reach out to Avigon through her advisory at We, along with Avigon, look forward to connecting with you and building a platform that promotes positive change in the cosmetics industry.


Who funds Gorgeous Nothings?


We are an independent and privately-funded organisation.


Does Gorgeous Nothings sell products?


No, we do not.


What are some examples of regulations the European Union (EU) has in place to protect consumers?


The EU has several regulations in place to ensure companies are transparent and honest about the environmental impact of their products. It helps consumers make informed decisions about the products they use.


  1. The EU Cosmetics Regulation: This regulation requires companies to provide detailed information about the ingredients used in their products, including information about the environmental impact of these ingredients. The regulation also requires companies to provide information about the environmental impact of the manufacturing and packaging of their products.
  2. The EU Eco-Label: This label is awarded to products that meet certain environmental criteria such as energy efficiency, reduced pollution, and sustainable sourcing of materials. The label helps consumers identify products that have a lower environmental impact.
  3. The EU Eco-Label for Cosmetics: This label is exclusively for cosmetics and personal care products that meet strict environmental criteria such as reduced water and energy consumption, reduced waste and pollution, sustainable sourcing of ingredients, and the use of biodegradable or recyclable packaging.
  4. The EU Organic Label: This label is awarded to products made with at least 95% organic ingredients. This label helps consumers identify products formulated with sustainable, organically-grown ingredients.
  5. The EU Restrictions on Hazardous Substances: This regulation bans the use of certain hazardous substances in cosmetics products. This helps to protect the environment and human health.


These EU regulations aim to create a transparent and sustainable beauty industry, by ensuring companies don’t make false or misleading environmental claims. It gives power back to consumers, so they have the information they need to make informed decisions about the products they use. Companies that comply with these regulations are required to disclose information regarding their environmental impact and their products’ certification, if they claim to meet certain environmental standards.


How common is slave labour in the beauty industry?


Slave labour is unfortunately a common practice in the beauty industry, particularly in the supply chain where many raw materials used in cosmetics, such as palm oil, are sourced. Many people around the world, including children, are forced to work in conditions that are exploitative, hazardous, and inhumane, often for little or no pay.


Numerous studies have revealed that slave labour is used in the production of raw materials for the cosmetics industry, such as mica, palm oil, and cocoa. In India, for example, it’s estimated that around 90% of the mica used in cosmetics is mined using child labour. Similarly, in West Africa, child labour is often used in the production of cocoa, which is used in many beauty products.


In addition, forced labour and human trafficking are also common in the supply chains of the beauty industry. Many workers, particularly in developing countries, are forced to work in poor conditions, with little or no pay, and with no way to escape. They’re often subject to physical and psychological abuse and denied their basic human rights.


Cosmetic companies must take responsibility for their supply chains and ensure they’re not complicit in the exploitation of workers. Consumers also have a role to play by supporting companies that demonstrate ethical and sustainable practices, and avoiding products that are known to be produced using slave labour.


How does raising awareness create environmental change?


Raising awareness can create environmental change in several ways.


  1. Public pressure: When people are made aware of environmental issues, they may pressure governments and corporations to take action. This can lead to the implementation of new laws and policies, and the development of new technologies to reduce environmental impacts.
  2. Consumer choices: When people are aware of the environmental impact of their consumption choices, they may choose to buy products that are more environmentally friendly. This can encourage companies to change their production methods and invest in more sustainable practices.
  3. Community action: Raising awareness can inspire individuals and communities to take action to protect the environment. This can include community clean-ups, tree-planting projects, and other initiatives that help reduce pollution and conserve natural resources.
  4. Education: Raising awareness about environmental issues can also serve as a form of education. When people understand the causes and effects of environmental problems, they’re better equipped to make informed decisions and take action to protect the environment.
  5. Innovation: Raising awareness can also inspire innovation and technological advancements to help reduce environmental impacts. For example, awareness campaigns about the dangers of plastic pollution have led to the development of more sustainable packaging materials.
  6. Personal responsibility: Raising awareness can lead to a sense of personal responsibility towards the environment. This sense of responsibility inspires individuals to reduce their environmental footprint and make more sustainable choices in their everyday life.


We truly believe raising awareness about environmental issues can create tangible and lasting change. It’s made possible by encouraging individuals, communities, corporations, and governments to take action.




We are dedicated to expanding our community of industry insiders who advocate for the environment in crucial meetings, including retailer merchant meetings and marketing campaign brainstorms. We firmly believe in the influence of our insider community. If you share our commitment and wish to actively contribute to Gorgeous Nothings, please reach out to us via email.


Furthermore, we are excited to announce the upcoming launch of our ‘Truth Talks’ series, featuring leaders and influencers in the industry. If you would like to suggest yourself or someone you know for a talk, we welcome your recommendations. Please connect with us through email, and let’s work together to amplify voices for positive change.


Join our community of insiders disillusioned by the state of our industry.