Natural & organic brands urged to raise their game

Brands discussed challenges and new initiatives at the European Sustainable Cosmetics Summit

Natural and organic beauty brands need to raise their game in order to meet the challenges of the competitive landscape, according to Organic Monitor, speaking at the European edition of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit, challenges that include the growing competition from multinationals launching natural and organic lines.

British brand Bulldog also highlighted the need for third party accreditation to combat greenwashing.

Held in Paris on 21-23 November, the summit brought together around 150 senior executives from the beauty industry to discuss sustainability issues. The event was kicked off by Apivita founder Nikos Koutsianas who blamed the current crisis on consumer excess and encouraged cosmetic companies to use green formulations to enable consumers to connect with nature. “Everything in excess is opposed to nature,” he said, quoting Hippocrates.

A number of companies shared their experiences in implementing sustainability programmes. Inken Hollmann-Peters reported how Beiersdorf’s We Care initiative will help the company reduce its product carbon footprint by 30% by 2020 as well as providing education for children in developing countries.

Five years after introducing its Plan A strategy, Fiona Wheatley said Marks & Spencer had met 94 of its initial 100 goals and recorded net benefits of over €200m.

Other topics covered at the summit included the growing use of marine ingredients and developments in plant stem cell technology, as well as the impact of new technologies such as mobile devices, interactive kiosks in retail outlets, biomimicry and social media.

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