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The Green Report Part II

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: September 6, 2007

page 2 of 6

Greening not only concerns one single ingredient appearing on the label, it includes all the steps leading to the cosmetic products on the shelves of the stores. The idea is to consider the global ecological cycle of the product. Simple to understand, not so easy to set up as it challenges absolutely everything. It requires methods and faith.

Thierry Cruchon: 2006 and 2007 have been years of mergers and acquisitions. In the past years, cosmetic industry actors got involved in greening either by taking over some organic brands or by integrating natural active cosmetic branches in their R&D department. Natural and ethical pressure has become more and more obvious in (consumer) magazines and marketing material, and on beauty shelf space.

What has had the greater impact, thus far, regulation initiatives like REACH and California’s Prop 65, initiatives by retailers or consumer demand?
Alban Muller: I believe it is consumer demand on one side, but also an overall perception from the actors in the industry—global warming, alarming reports in the media, a new high-ranking government minister in France who has a right to evaluate all public spending from a sustainable development point of view, etc.

Thierry Cruchon: Undoubtedly, consumer pressure has had a great impact on the growing demand for natural and ethical products. The consumer, both concerned with his well-being and health and alarmed by the increasing cases of skin intolerance and allergies, has stood as a prescriber. Then, media outlets have taken over consumers’ voices, leading to the beauty industry’s awareness and to the implementation of regulation initiatives like REACH.

How has innovation in both sourcing and marketing been impacted? Is the “greening” a new opportunity or a hurdle to overcome?
Alban Muller: More factors are taken into account in sourcing; more questions are being asked to make sure the final product will be in line with the consumers’ expectations. What is happening is not an eco-fashion trend but a new business opportunity, providing consumers with better products that follow the 3P approach: people, planet and profit.