“Organic,” “vegan,” and “natural,” are currently some of the beauty industry’s hottest buzzwords. We want to examine the discussion around the word “sustainability,” and how this word is applied to beauty markets. “Sustainable is the synonym of GREEN which refers to manufacturing processing as opposed to Natural and Organic ingredients that are categorized by agriculture, originating source or the lack of synthetic ingredients, (source).” The global demand for organic personal care products is rapidly growing and has given way to conversations about individual beauty products origins and impact on the environment. “Labels such as “100% Natural,” “Organic” and “Environment-Friendly” are no longer enough to convince consumers of a beauty product’s sustainability, (source).”
Greenwashing: The growing demand for sustainable beauty products has led to some beauty brands and marketers resorting to something called “greenwashing.” Green washing is the false advertisement of a product to be “green,” or “sustainable,” when in reality the ingredients don’t reflect that.
Consumers must be aware of what makes a beauty product truly sustainable in order to make informed purchasing decisions. “Green washing is when a company, government or other group promotes green-based environmental initiatives or images but actually operates in a way that is damaging to the environment or in an opposite manner to the goal of the announced initiatives, (source).”
Terminologies: This is one of the most important sections we want to emphasize. Do your homework when it comes to terminology used on and in personal care products. Just because a company labels themselves as “green,” “organic,” or “sustainable,” this may not be entirely true. “A manufacturer, for instance, may label its shampoo as “Made from 100% Natural Ingredients” without presenting evidence that it is, in fact, made entirely from natural substances, (source).”
Sustainable Products + Formulating: The ingredients are the basis for what makes a product truly sustainable. When looking for sustainable beauty pay close attention to the toxicity level of the product. Parabens and Sulfates are the two biggest offenders that are commonly found in a variety of products even “green,” ones. Parabens are listed as methyl paraben, ethylparaben and isobutyl paraben, which are proven carcinogens. Sulfates ont eh other hand are commonly listed as sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate which are both known allergens. Another important aspect to sustainable products is their formulation.
“Cold process formulations save time and energy, (source).” One of the best ways that companies can produce sustainable products is formulating powdered products that require customer’s to simply add water. “This saves on shipping costs since water and carriers are heavy, use more energy to store, and do not have as long of a shelf life as freeze dried or powdered materials, (source).”
We strongly encourage consumers to investigate the brands that they are using on their bodies and also ask important questions about the origins of their ingredients. The deeper more probing questions that should be asked after that are is the product’s packaging sustainable? Were the ingredients responsibly sourced? Is the product tested on animals? Was the product created under safe working conditions? “Sustainability aims to address environmental issues as well as social and governance issues, (source).” Davines is one of the leaders of the sustainable beauty movement and hopes to inspire other companies to take the leap and go truly green as well. More questions about sustainable beauty? Email us at kurtis