B-Line has been highlighted as an example of best practice as pressure mounts to eradicate the use of microbeads by the beauty industry. In common usage for decades due to their abrasive yet gentle action on the skin, long-term environmental effects on the oceans has led to a global call to eliminate their use.
B-Line has been invited to attend a conference called by the International Union for Conservation of Nature... although unable to attend, here is a copy of a statement prepared jointly by founder Annette Foley-Craigen and development director Andy Juj BSc (Biochem), a member of the Society of Cosmetics Scientists.
As a small independent company B-Line is proud to be one of the first UK brands to respond to the growing environmental concerns about the use of solid microplastic ingredients in the beauty industry. Having become aware of the adverse long-term environmental effects it was important for us to come up with a viable alternative to microbeads as quickly as practicable to maintain our reputation for the highest ethical standards. We have invested heavily in time and resource to ensure we meet this challenge and play our part in preserving the oceans.
B-Line Body and Sole Exfoliant has therefore been re-formulated using natural bamboo powder to create the 'scrub' effect. Bamboo is our preferred alternative for a number of reasons including sustainability of supply, product and component compatibility, good results in stability tests and being a good fit with our plant-based philosophy.
The critical factor, of course, was positive user feedback. B-Line is primarily a professional brand providing products and treatments to the spa and salon sector where B-Line Body and Sole has been a long-time favourite. Communication was therefore vital to ensure no loss of confidence or future business. Testing showed users liked the texture, absence of residual odour (which can be a problem with jojoba, for example) and the natural health-enhancing qualities associated with bamboo.
While the challenge facing us was not as great as for some other brands - we have only ever used microbeads in one product - preparing for the transition has been a time-consuming process for our small team requiring new packaging, careful budgeting, day to day stock control and micro-management of the wider supply chain.
In this respect we have one big advantage as an independent brand... an in-house chemist with a dedicated and agile team enabling us to make decisions in a timely manner. From Board agreement to product launch took around 10 months.
We feel privileged to be part of this global campaign and would urge others to accelerate their plans in order to reduce and eventually eradicate the microbead pollution that is posing such a threat to marine wildlife.
FFI is a partner member of a global campaign known as Beat the Microbead and helped to fund a mobile app which can be used to scan a product to check its status