Last year, we started a recycling program to keep cosmetics empties from going into landfills. It’s one of our favorite initiatives for a few reasons: it helps the earth, it rewards our community (with loyalty points for recycling), and the concept came from Gina Tarallo, who has been with bareMinerals for 13 years. When she’s not pitching innovative, earth-saving programs to our executive team, Gina’s the manager of our Palm Desert boutique. Located in California’s Coachella Valley, the city of Palm Desert is sunny and warm with a small-town feel, though she’s had the opportunity to develop relationships with an extraordinary variety of people over the years. Gina calls her clients her “teachers,” and sees her role as caring for people — with bareMinerals beauty as the connecting tool.
It was about 10 years ago, when volunteering at her son’s school, that Gina learned about a way to recycle household items that weren’t uniformly accepted by city sanitation programs — including cosmetics packaging. As a clean beauty professional (and personal fan), it got her thinking, but wasn’t until a company-wide innovation challenge in 2018 that Gina had the perfect opportunity to pitch a large-scale bareMinerals recycling program to senior executives.
“At every phase of the competition I was shocked it to make it,” Gina said of her participation in the innovation challenge, where people from all different departments, from our headquarters to our boutiques, came together to pitch innovative business ideas and solutions to our leadership team. Her idea was simple: to collect and recycle cosmetics packaging from any brand in our boutiques — but it felt so in line with the ethos of bareMinerals, that after rounds of presentations, it landed her the top prize. “As far as winning, you will have to ask someone else because I think I blacked out when they said my name!” Gina recalls. “I was numb! I truly could not believe it! When I was watching the [finalist] presentations, I was thinking that I was proud of myself for making it this far.” Within 6 months of Gina’s triumph, we launched our Give Back, Get Back Recycling Program, and with your help, we have already diverted over 29,000 pounds worth of cosmetics empties from landfill (that’s the equivalent weight of 97 giant pandas, in case you were wondering)!
We are so grateful to Gina for leading the conversation, and to everyone who has brought in even one empty skincare or makeup package to be recycled in a boutique. But, as Gina says, “In life, there is so much that needs to be done. So much that needs to be improved — it is overwhelming. I tell myself to do what I can, when I can, to the very best of my ability. I am not perfect, but I am sure trying to be better than I was yesterday.” We look forward to recycling more with you soon — and together being a little better than we were yesterday.
Gina isn’t just a recycling enthusiast — her experiences are also an incredible testament to the power of clean beauty in connecting people. You can read here about what Gina calls “the best wrong number I ever answered.”