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Sustainable Kelowna beauty store gives mall shoppers alternative options

Portia-Ella: A New Way of Beauty opened its doors in November, 2019.
Image Credit: Portia Ella
January 22, 2020 - 5:00 AM

Julie Michaud doesn’t like using terms “zero waste” and “natural” to describe her beauty stores, but she is making a conscious effort to support Canadian brands and reduce waste at her cosmetics business.

Portia-Ella: The New Way of Beauty opened its doors in Orchard Park Shopping Centre in November, 2019 and features Canadian brands, reusable containers and soon-to-come refillable stations.

“To me, there’s no perfect solution yet but we’re always working to (lower our carbon footprint). You can bring all the containers back. It will be recycled and reused,” she said. 

While some cosmetics do come in plastic, the aim is to present consumers with a choice.

"For example, moving plastic from one town to another is more eco-friendly than moving glass. We provide choices and options and no matter what you choose, we'll (take it back and recycle it,)” Michaud said.

When Michaud opened her online store in 2014, and her first location in Winnipeg in 2017, no one cared about sustainable makeup packaging or using Canadian brands, she said. Now, everyone is talking about sustainable beauty products and supporting the Canadian economy.

Discussions around banning plastic bags and single-use plastics have sprung up around the Okanagan in the last few years. Last year, Farm Bound Zero Waste, a grocery store company that avoids plastic and uses local produce, opened two locations, one in Vernon and one in Kelowna. Salmon Arm is currently moving forward with a ban on plastic bags.

Plastic returned from the cosmetics are moulded in the Okanagan to create 3D displays, Michaud said.

Living life as sustainably as possible is at the core of who Michaud is.

“If there's any mark I can leave in the world, I want most people to be able to consume in a way that gives back in every single way possible to improving the earth,” she said.

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