The Hut Group puts stamp on sustainability with new beauty recycling scheme

By Becky Bargh 28-Jan-2021

Matthew Moulding’s e-commerce giant is asking customers to return beauty empties to be recycled by the firm

The Hut Group puts stamp on sustainability with new beauty recycling scheme

Beauty owner The Hut Group (THG) is continuing its spree of new ventures into 2021 with the launch of its first-ever recycling initiative.

The new recycle:me scheme asks beauty shoppers to return their used products, from any brand – even if it’s not bought through the group’s beauty e-tailer, The Hut – to THG free of charge, to be recycled.

The returned products are melted down and repurposed in partnership with Storm Board, which turns plastic waste into weather-proof and recyclable materials for social projects, such as sustainable furniture and playground equipment.

Customers shopping for THG’s premium beauty brand ESPA already have access to its RecycleMe Scheme, whereby they can send back empty beauty products from the brand.

Meanwhile, pure-play beauty e-tailer Lookfantastic, also owned by Matthew Moulding’s e-commerce goliath, which registered a £4.5bn IPO on the London Stock Exchange in September, will launch recycle:me in Q1.

The rest of THG’s beauty brands, including Illamasqua and Perricone MD, will roll out the scheme later in 2021.

Some beauty products are notoriously hard to recycle, such as lipsticks, mascaras and eyeshadow palettes, meaning many end up in landfill.

“The recycle:me scheme is part of our ongoing pledge via THG (eco) to reduce our impact on the environment and create innovative new sustainability practices,” said Moulding.

“We have started with our THG Beauty division as we know that recycling processes are particularly complex for plastic beauty products, such as mascara, lipstick and skin care items with inbuilt pumps, which leads to many consumers simply disposing of their used goods in their household waste.”

He continued: “By spearheading an initiative that is as simple as possible for the consumer, we are hoping to reduce the amount of plastic that goes to landfill, not just on behalf of our own THG Beauty brands but for the industry as a whole.

“The added benefit is that the used plastic returned to us will be transformed for some fantastic projects, including storm shelters, playground equipment and refugee shelters.”

THG’s returning scheme is one method of recycling adopted by beauty brands.

Another popular choice has been in-store recycling drop off points, adopted by the likes of Boots, The Perfume Shop and L’Occitane.

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Meanwhile, many have teamed up with recycling group TerraCycle, which, like THG's system, allows consumers to return their used beauty products to be recycled.