Why We Don’t Make Travel Size Beauty Products

Stylized product image of water elixer, water oil and water balm on colorful background

Let me tell you why we don't make travel size beauty products.

“Sonia, why doesn’t Sonia Roselli Beauty make travel sizes or give out samples?”

Every day I'm answering an email or Facebook post about this. So let me take you behind the scenes of my indie beauty line.

Water Elixir Skin Prep

Full Disclosure: I'm on my own personal journey of being more environmentally conscious. I don’t pretend to know everything. I mean, mamma mia, there are only 3 of us here at SRB, and while I try to read as much as I can, it’s really tough for small indie brands like ours.

However, I'm dedicated to becoming as educated as I can about the process and sharing our journey with you. Let’s get more informed together!

Here’s why we don’t do travel sizes or sample sizes:

Water balm close up stylized shot
Water Balm Skin Prep

1. There is a ton of packaging greenwashing going on and as a brand we’re still learning about this ourselves. Is offering bioplastic a better alternative?

Did you know only about 9% of plastics get recycled here in the US, even though we’ve all been led to believe it’s more?

Another reason we don't make travel size beauty products is I'm afraid plant-based plastics may be the hip new thing but I’m worried they are bullshit, too!

Why? Some go into the trash, some can be recycled, and some need to be heated at an industrial facility just to break down. They are just more plastic!

According to the EPA, the recycling rate for plastics overall was 9.1% in 2015. Certain products have higher rates, such as PET bottles and jars at 29.9%, and HDPE natural bottles at 30.3%. These rates are lower than certain other materials, like steel cans, that had an estimated recycling rate of 71.3% in 2015. *wikipedia

Machinery dumping trash in a landfill

2. It costs just as much to make travel size as full size. 

Another reason we don't make travel size beauty products is that manufacturers want to make full use of their production line. This means we’d need to make enough sample sizes to account for a full batch of product.

Think 5,000 full size sexApeels™ would be divided into 5ml sizes. That would be packaging for 300,000 mini units! Think of all that in a landfill. I hear Mother Earth crying as I type this.

Another reason this hurts small brands? Having slim margins ties up cash flow to create more products. So besides adding more trash to the landfill, we couldn’t come out with any new product for you if we also made travel sizes. You want new stuff, right?

Sample colors of makeup blushes

3. Small things get tossed more regularly and end up in landfills. This means all those minis, samples, and plastic travel sizes go in the trash and are not recycled more frequently than full sized products. 

Listen, I love clutch size products more than anything but we really need to be conscious of waste as pro makeup artists and as consumers.

4. One-third of that landfill waste is from the beauty industry. 

This is not shocking to me in the least. As I walked around in stores this past holiday, there was merchandise wall to wall, not even well curated. All I could think of was all the shit ending up in the landfill. Did you feel the same way? Did you notice?

So what does all of this mean for an indie brand like us? 

We need to find innovative ways to bring sustainable beauty to you.

Packaging is what I’m making my top priority this year. I’ve always been a fan of glass packaging, but glass comes with its own issues, too. Not only do I care what’s inside our products, I also care about the packaging itself.

How We’re Tackling This Issue As A Brand:

Our mission, as always, is to continue to educate ourselves and try to navigate these very complicated issues with our small, but mighty team. 

It’s my responsibility as a brand owner to learn about these things, even if I'm small and have limited resources than the big players.

In closing, not creating travel sizes wasn’t because we weren’t listening to you…We just care about how our biz affects the planet overall. Maybe no one cares, but I do. I hope you do too.

For me, I’m all about the long game and integrity, not the dollar. 

I hope this blog post educates you on packaging and you see some of our behind-the-scenes of running a beauty biz. Not as glamorous as one would think, huh? These things are tough and kick our asses, but hopefully we get better for it.

We’re rethinking our packaging for 2021 and beyond and hopefully we will come up with innovative new ways to be responsible to our mother earth while still enjoying our beauty products.

Are you being more conscious about your beauty consumption and how you use packaging? Leave a comment below!

Sonia Roselli Have it All
Complete Skin Prep from Sonia Roselli Beauty

1 comment

  • Dawn DiGangi

    You look FUCKING gawgeous in this email!! Hot damn Lady!!
    Go You!

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