In just a few days, VIVANESS will open its digital doors. For me, this is a special time every year in the natural and organic cosmetics sector. This trade fair platform is the yardstick for the vitality and innovative strength of the sector, and it will be particularly interesting this year to see how the pandemic has affected their development. During my preparations I discovered a lot of new things. Stand by to be surprised! The natural and organic cosmetics segment has long since freed itself from the niche image of eco-friendly cosmetics and is now playing a major role in the cosmetics market. The sustained demand for natural and organic cosmetics is changing the entire cosmetics market because more and more consumers are turning away from conventional cosmetics and using natural and organic cosmetics instead. The cosmetics industry has responded to this development in different ways and has tried numerous approaches in recent years.
A current example of a new approach is L’Oréal’s “environmental and social impact labelling” system for all L’Oréal cosmetic brands. When the world’s largest cosmetics group responds to customer demands for more transparency it shows that consumers have achieved a great deal. Informed consumers are no longer content to be fobbed off with lip service and green washing arguments; they are looking behind the scenes. The natural and organic cosmetics sector has paved the way for this through its quality seals and has built the knowledge that consumers need to make purchasing decisions. Let's just hope that this isn't just another seal of approval in the jungle of eco-labelling schemes out there but that it will in fact provide comparative transparency. The only downside for me is that once again, it is a label coming from the industry itself, so the manufacturers get to decide what is environmentally and socially compatible, while the policymakers continue to stay silent on the issue.
Elfriede Dambacher, owner of the Naturkosmetik Konzepte consultancy, is an international cosmetics industry expert and author.