It’s an idea that’s very difficult to put into practice: giving Christmas gifts that result in less waste – preferably, that don’t produce any waste at all – instead of adding to the mountain of rubbish. It’s the busiest time of the year for cosmetics and natural and organic cosmetics, and the shelves are packed full. I had a look around, because a lot of products are dressed up for Christmas. But do I benefit in some way? No such luck – products like that are hard to find. Let’s be honest: With all the rampant consumerism and climate change, who hasn’t at some point wanted to consume less instead of more? More to the point, who hasn’t wanted to produce less waste instead of more? When that’s your goal, finding sensible Christmas gifts requires some creativity. Sure, there are some excellent natural and organic cosmetics products offering added value (think of environmental protection, or fair trade), but it’s rare to find an added benefit that’s unexpected and would also surprise the gift’s recipient. Creative gift ideas are in short supply on the shelves. Unfortunately, I find a lot of natural and organic cosmetic products on the shelves that offer no added value other than the box. Nothing irritates me more than when a natural and organic cosmetic’s Christmas packaging involves nothing more than more cardboard, without any added benefit. What better way to open doors than by offering fantastic natural and organic cosmetic products with an unexpected added benefit? They could also inspire new topics of conversation around the Christmas tree that might cause many people to take a different view of shopping next Christmas.
Elfriede Dambacher, owner of the consultancy firm naturkosmetik konzepte, is an international expert in the natural and organic cosmetics industry and publisher of the current Natural Cosmetics Yearbook and the Natural Cosmetics Trade Monitor, which appears quarterly: