Clean & Ethical Beauty Video Series Episode 1: Why it matters

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Clean & Ethical Beauty why it matters Episode 1 CosmeticsDesign video series

Related tags clean & ethical beauty clean beauty ethical beauty Innovation Consumer trends Sustainability

Clean and ethical beauty has evolved significantly in recent years, fuelled by various environmental, societal and business factors, but why does this burgeoning category matter more today? Scroll down to watch Episode 1.

In the opening episode of our exclusive six-part Clean & Ethical Beauty video series, we dissect these driving factors and look at what today’s ‘why’ looks like for industry and consumers alike.

Chris Sherwin, director of reboot innovation – a sustainable design and innovation consultancy working with numerous CPG and beauty brands – kicks things off by setting the scene on how the environmental and business cases propping up the clean and ethical beauty movement have shifted in recent years.

Lia Neophytou, consumer analyst at GlobalData – a data analytics and consulting firm working with leading consumer brands, manufacturers and suppliers, including those in personal care and beauty – then provides exclusive consumer trend data showing what today’s shoppers really look for in products.

The ‘alluring’ clean & ethical business case

After 20+ years of sustainable design and development work with CPG brands, Sherwin believes the business case for clean and ethical is now stronger than ever and the environmental case urgent.

Speaking in the episode, he says the environmental and business ‘why’ behind the clean and ethical beauty category has “almost changed beyond recognition”​.

“…Historically, two decades ago, the business case for clean, green and ethical was a reputational and risk one (…) I think it evolved then into a cost and efficiency case where economy equals ecology and green could save you money; saving waste and being efficient. But I think in the last five years or so what we’ve seen is a really strong growth case come through. And I think that’s quite a new one and, of course, really alluring to brands,” ​Sherwin says.

Fitting into ‘holistic’ health and wellbeing

Neophytou’s extensive and ongoing analysis of consumer trends worldwide reveals important tendencies towards specific messaging shoppers are drawn to and what aspects of beauty products they are most concerned about.

Speaking in the episode, she says ‘why’ clean and ethical beauty matters for consumers has certainly changed in recent years because of evolving perceptions around health and wellbeing.

“Consumers do have this more holistic sense of their health and their wellbeing, and they do consider factors like sustainability and how ethical a product is really as contributing to their feeling of personal wellness. So, I think clean and ethical – the whole beauty movement – matters now to them more than ever because feeling healthy is no longer about simply the foods that they eat or the beverages they drink; they’re really concerned about the products that they’re putting on their skin as well and the broader environmental implications of these,” ​Neophytou says.

Clean & Ethical Beauty: The experts

Chris Sherwin piccie

Chris Sherwin PhD, director, reboot innovation

Chris is founder director of reboot innovation, a sustainable innovation and design consultancy on a mission to change what and how we innovate for the greater good. We partner with leading brands and innovators to get ideas and innovations that are fit-for-a-sustainable world.

Chris has worked at the cutting-edge of sustainability and innovation for 25 years, holding positions previously in creative consulting, with influential sustainability non-profit Forum for the Future, and with global corporates Philips Electronics and Electrolux.

He has helped design and development several world-first or worlds greenest products, including: the award-winning ethical smartphone, Fairphone 2; Winnow Vision – a revolutionary AI-based smart scales system professional kitchens slash waste food; and Dulux Evolve, a new mainstream recycled paint.

Chris has consulting experience with companies including: Unilever, ebay, sony ericsson, Mars, PepsiCo, Nestle, Sainsburys, BASF, Sony, Samsung, to name just a few. He is a recognised thought leader on sustainable design and innovation, regularly judging awards and competitions, and presenting on these issues at conferences. Chris holds a PhD in this area, titled ‘Innovative Ecodesign’, from Cranfield University.


Lia Neophytou, consumer analyst, GlobalData

Lia is an analyst at GlobalData responsible for analysing the trends and consumer behavior catalysing innovation across the FMCG space. Her particular area of interest lies in the development of beauty and personal care trends and their influence on global innovation.

Lia regularly presents at industry conferences including InCosmetics Global and her views on the beauty industry have been quoted in several industry publications including Forbes, Ad-Age, Cosmetics Business, and Cosmetics Design Europe.

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