Glitter.  . .

Not Litter. 

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to add a little glitz and glam to your beauty look. But while  glitter has had a major comeback over the past couple of years, it left a lot of environmentally conscious consumers behind in its plastic wake. As much as we at submission wanted to celebrate with the rest of you, getting dolled up in plastic glitter wasn’t worth the price our planet would pay. We wanted to come up with a way to shine responsibly, so we came up with one ourselves! We’re leaving toxic plastics behind to bring you submission glitter— made with your body, and our planet, in mind.

PHOTOGRAPHY ALEXANDRA GIBBS @alexandradgibbs / SAM KWESKIN @samkweskin
TEXT BECK DIAZ @hypebeck / JESPER GUDBERGSEN @yessirjesper

Traditional glitter has been hiding behind its shine for far too long. What you’ve been using as a fun way to glitz up your look has actually been causing serious damage to the environment, and possibly your body as well. A quick dive into what constitutes traditional cosmetic glitter turns up an alarming amount of misinformation and contradictory statements. What we do know is that most glitter is made from acrylic or polyester, such as polyurethane terephthalate (PET), which is problem number one. Producing one 16oz PET bottle releases more than 100 times more toxic emissions into the air and waterways than producing a 16oz bottle made of glass. Plus, most virgin plastics are derived from crude oil and natural gas, which is just a way for the fossil fuel industry to sell us their byproducts.

As for the sparkle in traditional glitter, in most cases it comes from adding aluminum to the PET. The actual amount of aluminum is so small it might seem harmless, but the fine print tells another story. Even a cursory search reveals that the FDA doesn’t approve of using glitter whatsoever in sensitive areas like around the eyes, and multiple makeup blogs cite this vague FDA response to questions about glitter safety: “The FDA has not approved the use of glitter, or polyethylene terephthalate, as a color additive in cosmetics or any other FDA-regulated product… However, we are exercising enforcement discretion for a period of time.” Many makeup brands even go so far as to warn on their packaging to “Keep [glitter] entirely clear of eye area,” but it’s unclear how closely consumers are following that advice.

So with the FDA failing to actively regulate traditional cosmetic glitter, and beauty companies simultaneously selling it to the public while warning them of its potential health concerns—where do you turn?

Submission proposes we look to nature for the answer. Using Bioglitter™, made to enhance the best qualities of glitter while also preserving the health of your body and the environment. Instead of the plastic base used in standard glitter, our glitter is made with cellulose from eucalyptus trees. Whether you’re a rookie or an avid glitter user, you’ll instantly feel the difference, as harsh, sharp plastic edges are upgraded to the soft feel of plant-based material—40% softer than traditional plastic glitter, in fact. That’s a world of difference, especially if you’re applying it to ultra thin and sensitive areas on the skin! Submission glitter is bleed resistant and all shades, (yes, even the red!) are suitable for use around the eye. There’s no need to worry about sacrificing the quality of the shine—not only does this plant-based material create a unique iridescent effect without the use of toxic ingredients, it gives the product a more sophisticated aesthetic and a broader range of applications than plastic glitter could ever safely allow. Thanks to the product being completely free of aluminum, it is the first and only glitter that is FDA-approved for use on the lips, as well. 

“This glitter has received a TÜV ‘OK biodegradable WATER’ certification, the highest independent designation for freshwater biodegradability in the world….

…submission glitter extends beyond its look and feel on the body”

The benefits of submission glitter extend beyond its look and feel on the body—this glitter has received TÜV ‘OK biodegradable WATER’ certification, the highest independent designation for freshwater biodegradability in the world. Why does this matter? After glitter has served its purpose, it gets washed off our bodies and into our waterways. The micro- and nano-plastic particles from traditional glitter are so small, wastewater treatment facilities are unable to filter them from the water. Because of this, they end up in the ocean where they further break down into even smaller plastics that are eventually consumed by ocean wildlife and make their way up through the food chain, even making their way back into our diets. The TÜV certification confirms that submission glitter begins to biodegrade as soon as it comes in contact with naturally occurring microbes in freshwater systems. This way, you can be confident that when you rinse off after a day (or night) filled with submission glitter, you’re not washing any plastic waste or pollutants out to sea.

We actively love our planet, so we’ve taken the fight for sustainable beauty a couple steps beyond the makeup itself. When you place an order (or a couple!) for any submission product, we have ensured a sustainable process from beginning to end. We use 100% plastic-free packaging, which means no plastic can leach into the product, and thus into your body. Our shipping boxes and tissue wrapping paper are made from 100% recycled and recyclable material. The shipping labels contain no plastic coating, and can be recycled with the box. The tape features a renewable and biodegradable plant-derived adhesive and backing, and can also be recycled with the box. Similar to our shipping labels, our product labels are made of 100% recycled and recyclable paper, contain no plastic, and are printed with water-based inks. Since we have not yet achieved 100% local production, we have partnered with Flexport and the Carbonfund Foundation to offset the carbon footprint of our production abroad. Through this program, our transportation emissions are offset by donating “carbon credits,” fees that are paid to our partners and support third-party verified sustainability initiatives such as protecting the Amazon from deforestation, supporting wind energy infrastructure, and converting landfill gas to renewable energy in the US. And finally, our webshop customers are presented with an opt-out “CO₂ button” at checkout which adds a small percentage to your total that goes towards causes coordinated by Atmosfair and Fair Climate Fund, and is intended to offset the impact of your purchase on the environment.  

You know what that is? That’s future beauty.