A luxury, organic and ethical range from Organic Apoteke has recently been released in the US, UK and Canada, adding to the developing trend for products aiming at 'ethical chic'.
Organic Apoteke's range is described as luxury and ethical, leading the founder Dr Nitasha Buldeo to coin the phrase 'luxurethical'.
The range includes fifteen products for the face and body such as the rejuvenating face cream retailing for £18.95 (€ 28.04) on the company's UK website, the Body Cream at £32 and the Rejuvinating eye cream at £49.95.
The products are, amongst other things, certified organic by Ecocert, paraben free, certified as Kosher, approved by the Vegetarian Society, whilst claiming to be ethical and fair traded.
In addition, the range is described on the company's website as cosmeceutical delivering 'herbal, vitamin and pentapeptide complexes to energise skin and keep it healthy, balanced and young looking.'
Buldeo claims that 'first do no harm', borrowed from the Hippocratic oath, is the basis of all the choices the company make and formulations they bring to the market. This, along with her belief in the 'interconnectedness' of all things, leads the company to engage and support the most sustainable ecological, agricultural and economic practices.
The company has created a programme called Cares, that involves the donation of 5 per cent of the profits from each fiscal year to two charitable organisation: the Earth Day Network that promotes environmental citizenship, and Nelson Mandela's Children's Fund Network.
This trend for ethical beauty products appears to be driven, at least in part, by consumer interests, with a recent Mintel survey in the US (Mintel US makeup report April 2007) finding that 30 per cent of consumers feel it is important that manufacturers give a portion of their products to charity.
It appears that, as yet, 'ethical' claims remain a largely untapped resource for marketers and manufacturers, with only 9 per cent of makeup products stating that they donated money to charity or were not tested on animals in their advertising campaigns, according to the Mintel study.
Another player in the Ethical Chic movement is Lancome who have partnered with Carbonfund.org in the US in order to help reduce and offset their carbon emissions; the company promised to plant one tree for each of the first 10 000 units sold of Primordiale Cell Defense Double Performance Cell Defence and Skin Perfecting Serum.
In addition, Shea Terra Organics, a US based company producing natural products from ethically source ingredients, are dedicated to supporting the economy and environment in Africa, with portions of their proceeds helping to sponsor orphans in Togo, and supporting the Ethiopian Goat Project and other charities.
This current trend for ethical products is likely to spread quickly into the mainstream, like the natural and organic movements have done before it, as more and more consumers rate ethical concerns as important and manufacturers realise the impressive marketing opportunities.