Sustainable sourcing for beauty: what’s the outlook?

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sustainable cosmetics summit

Sustainable sourcing for beauty: what’s the outlook?
Companies looking to develop and maintain a sustainable profile need to ensure the visibility and transparency of their sourcing: one upcoming industry event is set to consider this hot topic.

When considering how to best promote a brand’s sustainable credentials, questions such as whether to adopt third party standards or develop in-house schemes arise.

In its upcoming trade event, the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit,​ Ecovia Intelligence is set to bring industry attention to these issues.

Recent developments suggest the pendulum is swinging towards in-house sustainable sourcing schemes,​” it notes.

Looking to food

Ecovia Intetlligence suggests that looking to developments in the food industry can explain and illustrate a wider shift in consumer goods product development and retail towards self-accreditation regarding sustainable sourcing.

“Green & Black’s, the iconic ethical chocolate brand, has launched a new Velvet Edition bar this month in the UK. It is its first product that is not certified organic and / or fairtrade.

“The brand decided to source cocoa beans from the Dominican Republic according to its parent company’s Cocoa Life sustainability programme. Mondelēz Foods has already dropped fairtrade certification for its Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate. By 2019, all Cadbury’s chocolates in the UK and Ireland will carry the Cocoa Life logo.​”

The company also highlights the move of major UK supermarket retailer Sainsbury’s to drop external certification on its private label tea.

“The second leading supermarket chain decided to work directly with African tea groups and co-operatives to develop its own ‘Fairly Traded’ scheme,”​ the market research company explains.

“Sainsbury’s is one of the largest retailers of fairtrade products in Europe, generating about EUR 200 million sales. There are concerns that its ‘fairly traded’ scheme will also be extended to its private label coffee, bananas, and other products.”

Into beauty

Similar developments are taking root in the cosmetic & personal care industry, Ecovia Intelligence asserts.

“L’Oreal received the Sustainable Beauty Award last year for its ethically sourced quinoa husk extract; the ingredient is a by-product of quinoa that is sustainably farmed by Bolivian farmers."

It also looks to Lush, a leader in the field of ethical beauty brand profiles, as a key example.

“The cosmetics brand Lush sources raw materials according to its own ethical charter. Although many of its ingredients are fairtrade and / or organic, it prefers not to adopt third party standards​.”

The market research provider’s upcoming trade event in Paris​ is set to explore these developments, the company says, and consider the future for sustainable sourcing more broadly.

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