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Convictions from the Super Humans we admire the most.
Mia Davis is a Corporate Social Responsibility strategist and ESG expert. Mia is the VP of Sustainability & Impact at Credo Beauty, the largest clean beauty retailer, where she created the Credo Clean Standard, including the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines-- retail's strongest "clean" formula and packaging standards. In 2021, Mia co-founded the nonprofit membership organization Pact Collective to start to make a dent in hard-to-recycle beauty waste, and to bring beauty stakeholders together to move toward circularity.
We use the phrase "think outside of the jar" rather than "think outside the box." What does this phrase mean to you?
I think outside of the jar almost all of the time! To me this means that we’re not using the same manner of thinking that creates the problems we’re trying to solve in the first place– usually sustainability and safety issues.
What is your most marked characteristic?
I’ve always wanted to go to see a pod of orcas in the wild.
What is your greatest extravagance? Clean wine.
What is it that you most dislike?
Lying–especially from people in positions of power.
What song would you want played as you enter every room for the rest of your life?
Oh wow, I love this question. You Can’t Always Get What You Want by The Rolling Stones seems like an odd choice given the choral opening, but man, I love that song.
Thriller or comedy? Comedy.
Describe your medicine cabinet (a verbal shelfie)
Mild cleanser, Micellar water and soft, reusable pads to remove makeup. A couple of serums and moisturizers, a lovely facial oil, tinted SPF serum (everyday!), eyeliner and mascara.
I am FULL OF passion; I am FREE OF bullshit.
Beauty and wellness packaging is very linear– “take, make, waste.” The vast majority of beauty packaging cannot be refilled or recycled in curbside bins. We need to do better.
Pact has two concurrent goals:
The result: smarter, more sustainable designs containing more recycled content, and which can be truly recycled. This will move us toward circularity.
Just how little stakeholders are talking w/ one another. For example, most packaging designers and suppliers are either not talking with recycling facilities, or they’re ignoring them!
It is not surprising, but, I’ve learned (and learned again!) that this is a complicated topic, and it is going to take some time and a lot of collaboration to move us in the right direction.
Ask brands you love or work for to JOIN Pact as members– we keep the dues affordable, and this is how we keep the lights on at our small nonprofit.
Personal care packaging contributes to 120B units of plastic packaging a year–What does a true breakthrough–as opposed to an incremental or a greenwashed interim solution–in sustainable packaging look like?
Beauty packaging breakthroughs can take a variety of forms, but one thing they all have in common is LESS material in the first place, especially less virgin plastic. We need to flip the script on luxe being more– heavier, taller packages with more materials, metalized, mirrors, colors. I would like to see a refill revolution and simple, smarter, sustainable design from the get-go.
That if there is a recycling symbol (the Mobius loop, or chasing arrows) it must be recyclable in a curbside bin. Unfortunately that is NOT the case.
Probably the same as the above! And that it is “hard” to put resin ID codes on packaging. We need to know what the thing we’re holding is made of when we’re done with it. That should be foundational, basic, not a special case.
In addition to Pact, you have been instrumental in defining and building relevance around the clean beauty movement.
I hope that in the future all beauty is “clean,” which to me means that the supply chain is held accountable for ingredient safety, sustainable sourcing, ethical practices (including but not limited to humane animal treatment and paying people fair wages), and greater transparency (no more hidden “fragrance” ingredients!). I’m glad to have been a part of the clean beauty movement from day one, starting at the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, and then as one of the first hires at Beautycounter, where I built and implemented the brand’s “better beauty” mission. At Credo, the clean beauty retailer, we’re doing this work by partnering with over 100 indie beauty brands, mostly women led, and >20% of which are BIPOC owned or led.
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