Future of Ethical Labels in the Beauty Industry?

By Amarjit Sahota

Sustainability has become an integral part of the beauty industry. One of the manifestations of this trend is the growing number of ethical labels in the industry. Ten years ago, natural and organic were the main such labels on cosmetics & personal care products.

Things have changed considerably in the last few years, with a growing number of companies brandishing green labels and logos on their products. Some like Nordic Swan, EU Eco-Flower and Green Tag represent products with lower environmental impact. Others, like Allergen Certified give assurance that no common allergens are present. EWG and Made Safe are two labelling schemes for products that do not contain contentious ingredients.

Some labels, such as Vegan Society, Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade have crossed over from the food industry. The growing number of vegan consumers in Europe and North America is leading established brands to launch certified lines. Just this month, Coty announced it will be launching a vegan and sustainable professional hair care range under the Wedo banner. Avon UK has also introduced a new line of vegan skincare products under the Distillery brand.

Halal has possibly the largest potential in Asia, since this is where most of the 1.8 billion Muslim population resides. A few months ago, the Indonesian government announced it would introduce mandatory halal labelling of cosmetics & personal care products. This is important as it would force companies to take the certification route. Ethical labelling have generally been voluntary schemes.

A wider issue is the repercussions of the growing number of ethical labels. Even for natural & organic, there are now over 30 different standards and labelling schemes. It is common for some natural / organic brands to have several such labels on their products. If the products are fair trade, Vegan, Halal, then you will see various labels on product packs.

The question is how will this trend continue? How many labels does a green / ethical product need? Should these labels be brandished like medals on beauty products? What labels are emerging? Such questions will be addressed at our upcoming seminar…

Want to hear about the update of the rowing plethora of ethical labels in the cosmetics industry? Sign up now for the inspiring seminar Ethical Labels in the Cosmetics Industry at Cosmotalks at Cosmoprof Asia 2019. Register now to secure your entry to the fair.


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