London – The number of ethical labels is mushrooming in the cosmetic industry, with natural and organic labels gaining most traction. Organic Monitor expects the trend to continue because of upcoming developments.
Over 20 different types of labels are now present on cosmetic & personal care products, representing some ethical, sustainability and / or safety aspects. Some, such as Fairtrade and gluten-free, have crossed over from the food industry. Whilst others like EWG Verified and the Whole Foods Market Premium Body Care have been especially designed for such products.
Natural & organic are the most established ethical labelling schemes, especially in Western Europe where about 3 per cent of personal care products are certified according to popular standards. A spike in adoption rates is envisaged when the ISO standard for natural and organic cosmetics is introduced in the coming months. Although there are concerns that ISO 16128 maybe a weak standard, it will be hailed as the first international standard for natural & organic cosmetics.
As will be presented at the upcoming Sustainable Cosmetics Summits (www.sustainablecosmeticssummit.com) in Asia-Pacific and Latin America, there is also a growing move towards national standards / labels for natural & organic cosmetics. South Korea plans to have a national standard for such products. The Brazilian government has already regulated the ‘organic cosmetic’ term, paving the way for an eventual national standard. Australia introduced its national standard for organic cosmetics in 2013.
Natural and organic labels will become more established when the ISO standard is launched, and as more countries introduce national standards / labelling schemes. However, other ethical labels are also gaining currency. The Fairtrade mark is becoming highly visible on personal care products in the UK, USA, France and other countries.
The Halal label is arguably the most prospective in Asia which houses over 1 billion Muslim consumers. Its high potential is leading large ingredient firms, such as BASF and Clariant, to develop Halal-certified raw materials.
Whether natural, organic, Fairtrade or Halal, ethical labels are becoming a permanent fixture of the cosmetics industry. The question is whether the number of labelling schemes and standards will continue to grow and proliferate, or whether some degree of harmonisation is possible.
The future direction of ethical labels will be featured in the Latin American and Asia-Pacific editions of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit. A dedicated workshop at the Asia-Pacific edition will give details of leading Halal labelling schemes, as well as an update on natural & organic labels (including ISO 16128 and national standards).
Latin American edition: 14-16 September, São Paulo
European edition: 24-26 October, Paris
Asia-Pacific edition: 14-15 November, Hong Kong
About the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit
Since 2009, the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit has been covering sustainability issues in the cosmetic & personal care industry. The international series of summits now takes place in the major geographic regions of the world. More information is available from www.sustainablecosmeticssummit.com
About Organic Monitor
Organic Monitor is a specialist research, consulting & training company that focuses on the global organic & related product industries. Since 2001, we have been providing a range of business services to operators in high-growth ethical & sustainable industries. Our services include market research publications, business & technical consulting, seminars & workshops, and sustainability summits. Visit us at www.organicmonitor.com
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