Popular cosmetic company MAC is highlighting more than just facial features — they’ve been making sustainable efforts and demonstrating social responsibility in the retail sector.

More than long lasting, quality makeup, MAC runs a Back to MAC recycling program that reduces their waste and encourages consumers to bring back their empty containers in exchange for new products.

With social and environmental initiatives they’ve created, this brand of makeup has made attempts to find a better shade of green in an industry where beauty produces an excessive amount of waste.

A brief colourful history

Back in 1984, MAC (Makeup Artists Cosmetics) was founded in Toronto by Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo and catered to professional makeup artists.  The founders started off by creating stage makeup that would show through the bright lights of the stage and photo shoots — targeting the fashion and beauty industry.

In 1991 the Canadian makeup line made it south of the border opening its first store there in New York. While their cosmetic products were originally designed for professionals in the makeup world — soon, MAC was available to mainstream consumers worldwide.

Later, MAC was acquired by the Estée Lauder family — who took full control of the company in 1998.  Estee Lauder currently owns 27 brands including MAC, Aveda, Clinique and more.

MAC makes an effort

While the beauty industry is notorious for its waste, MAC has come up with a creative solution when it comes to recycling.

“The dozens of bottles and tubs adorning our bathroom shelves are made of increasingly scarce resources, and despite our best intentions, many of them are destined for landfills,” reports UK’s Resource.

With MAC’s Back to MAC recycling program, consumers are offered the opportunity to bring back six empties in exchange for new makeup.

“Because we share your commitment to the environment, MAC accepts returns of its primary packaging through the Back to MAC program,” says MAC’s website.

MAC’s parent, Estée Lauder, is also paying attention to the packaging issue. They have started to make greener efforts.

“Including standardizing the post-consumer recycled content of its shipping packaging to 90 per cent, reducing the size of Clinique’s promotional cartons by 15 per cent and using 80 per cent recycled content in all its matte and satin anodized aluminum parts,” according to Resource.

Some of their stores opt for environmentally clean and energy efficient LED lighting and they’re also known for taking on certain social responsibilities like their HIV/AIDS campaign. With celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Cyndi Lauper, Nicki Minaj, RuPaul and Christina Aguilera endorsing their Viva Glam products — they’ve made sure that 100 per cent of the purchase price of that line goes to the MAC Aids Fund.

But there is some controversy

While MAC makes lists for their green efforts and though some of their products are even vegan friendly — their MAC Cruelty-Free Beauty is no longer guaranteed. Unfortunately, PETA has listed them in the “tests on animals” category in their ‘Beauty Without Bunnies’ section.

MAC’s parent company, Estée Lauder has received several boycotts due to some of their political practices.


Image credit: andrilla1