Europe: Major Take-Aways from
Sustainable Cosmetics Summit
The European edition of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit drew to a
successful close at the end of October, bringing together 140 delegates
from the beauty industry. Discussions over the 3-day summit centred on
sustainability metrics, ethical labels, green materials and digital
Bruce Lourie, a leading Canadian environmentalist and author, kicked off
the summit with a keynote on safe cosmetics. He called for a clean-up of
personal care formulations, stating the possible health risks of
contentious chemicals. Subsequent speakers looked at the practical use
of metrics for sustainability. Claude Fromageot stated metrics have
improved the environmental and social footprint of all Yves Rocher
products. The company’s sustainability activities include growing
organic ingredients, ethical sourcing, eco-design of packaging, and
Stephane Lecoutiere from BASF gave details of its new Sustainable
Solution Steering approach. It categorises cosmetic ingredients
according to their sustainability credentials, with accelerators
providing highest value. Neal’s Yard Remedies shared its experiences in
becoming the first carbon neutral retailer in the UK. With over half its
carbon footprint from its premises, the company has built an eco-factory
to minimise energy use. Martin Clemesha from Braskem showed how cosmetic
brands can reduce their packaging impacts by using green polyethylene
made from sugar cane.
Novel sources of active ingredients were featured in the Green Materials
session. Chris Kilham, Sustainability Ambassador of Naturex, showed how
trees can become a source of new actives. Quillaja and Dragon’s Blood
were given as examples of two actives with green credentials. Marinova
outlined the opportunities provided by marine extracts; the Australian
company is producing actives from hand-harvested organic wild seaweed.
Active Concepts highlighted the use of plant cell technology, whilst JRS
showed how cellulose is a viable green alternative to polyethylene beads
A keynote from Peter Brändle, Regional Director of Western Europe of
Weleda, started the Ethical Labels session. With a proliferation in the
number of labelling schemes, Brändle said it was more important for
cosmetic brands to have a green ethos than adopt multiple logos.
Urtekram highlighted the issues involved in adopting various standards;
the Danish company has adopted the Ecocert / Cosmos, Nordic Swan, Vegan
Society, Fairtrade and Asthma Allergy Certified labels. According to
their R&D manager Tom Hornshøj-Møller, multiple standards create too
many restrictions with little overlap between certification criteria.
Amarjit Sahota, President of Organic Monitor, called for some
harmonisation of existing standards otherwise proliferation could dampen
consumer demand. Citing Organic Monitor research, logos & symbols were
no guarantee of success in the increasing competitive natural cosmetics
The Digital Marketing session explored the opportunities provided by
social media. With over 70% of European consumers now internet users,
David Dewilde from Disko Paris believes cosmetic brands can’t risk
lagging behind the digital revolution. He stated a common mistake for
brands is to focus on the product (and not the people) in digital
marketing activities. Richard Stacy echoed this sentiment, stating
social media enables brands to undertake individualised marketing. He
believes algorithms could make marketing redundant in the future.
LoveLula shared its experiences in online retailing for natural and
organic cosmetics; the company has added traditional bricks ‘n’ mortar
retailing to complement its online business.
The summit shed light on some of the sustainability shortcomings in the
cosmetics industry. With the highest environmental impact of many
products at use phase, what can be done to encourage responsible
consumption of cosmetics? How can consumers be encouraged to undertake
sustainable purchases? How can greater traceability be provided in
ingredient supply chains? What can be done to reduce the packaging
footprint of cosmetic products? How can the technical issues of using
natural ingredients be overcome? What green alternatives are emerging to
replace contentious synthetic materials? Such questions will be
addressed in the 2016 editions of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit…
North American edition: 12-14 May, New York
Latin American edition:
14-16 September, São Paulo
Asia-Pacific edition: 14-15 November, Hong Kong
European edition: 24-26
More details are on the
See the European summit pictures
Source: News Release
Healthy Growth in Organic Meats & Fairtrade
Friland, the largest organic meat company in Scandinavia, reported a 7
percent rise in sales to
DKK 710 million (USD 101 million) in 2015.
Friland's record-high sales has given an additional fee of DKK 17.23 per
kilogramme of delivered meat to organic pork producers who are
shareholders in Friland. Organic beef producers have received additional
DKK 5.85 per kilogramme.
Henrik Biilmann, CEO at Friland, says the company cannot meet strong
demand for organic meat this year. He says a number of measures
have been introduced to acquire more organic meat. He expects the
company will also have to turn down customers in 2016, since it takes
time to raise organic meat production. Friland is a subsidiary of Danish
Fairtrade product sales are also growing at a healthy rate in Denmark.
According to Fairtrade Mærket, sales increased by 12 percent to DKK 681
million (USD 104 million) in 2014. Sales are expected to continue to
grow, with 96 new Fairtrade products launched in the latter half of 2014.
Organic and Fairtrade products are very popular in Scandinavia, partly
because of the high level of ethical consumerism in the region. In the
personal care and cleaning product industries, the Nordic Swan and EU
Eco-label are highly established. Indeed, Scandinavians are some of the
highest spenders on green products in the world.
Source: Dansk Handelsblad / Jyllands-Posten /
Russia: Natural Cosmetic Stores
A number of stores specialising in natural & organic cosmetics are
opening in Russia.
The Organic Shop retail chain, which specialises in organic
cosmetics, has launched a new outlet in Moscow. The store has an
extensive range of natural and organic cosmetics; brands include Natura
Siberica, Dr. Haushka, Lavera, Melvita, Skin Blossom, Bema Cosmetic, etc.
The leading Italian natural cosmetics company L'Erbolario has opened a
concept store in Moscow. The outlet is in the Afimall City shopping
centre, and is operated by the Erbarus company. Another store is
scheduled to open in the Europolis shopping centre in St. Petersburg.
Six more store openings are planned in 2016.
Erborian, the Korean-French brand of natural cosmetics, also opened a
store in Moscow in October. The outlet is in the Afimall City shopping
and entertainment centre.
Organic Monitor sees these new store openings reflecting the wider trend
in the global market. Concept stores specialising in natural & organic
cosmetics are mushrooming in almost every region, set up by established
brands, investors and start-ups. The challenge is differentiation: how
can retailers differentiate their cosmetic ranges from conventional as
well as natural brands?
Source: Shop and Mall / OM