'What is Eco-Beauty and Can It Save the Planet?' with Givaudan
CEW & Givaudan discuss why sustainability is so important in the beauty industry and why brands are choosing to opt in CEW and Givaudan joined forces to host a mentoring breakfast to discuss sustainability in the beauty industry; why the sector is booming and how brands can make a difference. Speakers were Amarjit Sahota, Editor of Sustainability: Greening of Cosmetics Industry Book, Organiser of Sustainability Summits and one of the judges of the CEW Eco Beauty Award, and Lucila Zambrano, Global Communications Director, Personal Care, Unilever PLC, 2015 winner of the CEW Eco Beauty Award.
An expert on eco-beauty, Amarjit made the point that a lot of world news today is indirectly related to sustainability. With 25% of the world living in poverty, climate change and deforestation major issues and migration in flux, it’s imperative that brands contribute to environmental and social issues. As more and more beauty brands move toward lower environmental footprints and carbon neutrality. Beauty products with fair trade ingredients are also on the rise with niche brands dominating the sector.
Posing an important argument, Amarjit questioned whether going green is for everyone. While it’s generally assumed that smaller brands dominate the market, it’s worth noting that some larger corporations are following suit. Aveda is one such larger brand that is setting an example for others and is mission led. L’Oréal, P&G and others are similarly creating products and processes to reduce the carbon footprint and general waste.
Recent developments has been promising, including the ban of microbeads in the UK, restrictions on animal testing, growing use of natural ingredients and growing pressure from NGOs and media. Across the industry, brands are realising that business as usual is no longer an option. Lucila from Unilever argues that consumers themselves are more educated and interested in sustainability than ever before. The gap between attitude and action is closing and people are buying products that make a difference in the world but don’t compromise on quality or efficacy.
Brands with purpose are nothing new. The East India Company produced ethical sugar, causing the general public to boycott companies that exploited slavery in the 19th Century. There has clearly long been a desire for customers to buy products with a clean conscience but Lucila notes that the move towards sustainability has not always been met with open arms by large corporations.
For Unilever, sustainability has to make business sense. With moves towards greener packaging, they have successfully struck a balance between the two. The 2015 CEW Eco Beauty Award went to Unilever for their compressed deodorant range which cuts down on aluminium and co2 emissions and still offers a great customer experience. Unilever have found its sustainable living brands are more profitable, have 2 x rate of growth and make up 80% of Unilever’s overall growth.
While in some respects sustainable beauty is a new phenomenon, it’s a booming business that deserves recognition and qualification. The CEW Eco Beauty Award sponsored by Givaudan aims to encourage steps towards greater sustainability within the beauty industry. The CEW Eco Beauty Award supports products that are seeking to reduce and ultimately aim to eliminate their contribution to each problem and by doing so become more sustainable. Entries are open now. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for an entry form.
CEW’s Mentoring Series - where leading executives offer insights into beauty industry issues and inspiration for professional growth.