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Consumers confused about what ‘green’ means, says Aveda

By Andrew McDougall+

22-Apr-2014
Last updated on 23-Apr-2014 at 14:18 GMT

Cosmetics brands need to make it their mission to ensure that the word ‘green’ is used correctly and does not confuse consumers and lose its meaning, according to Estée Lauder’s Aveda brand.

“I think that consumers are confused about what green means because the word green has been used to mean so many things,” says Dave Rapaport, Vice President of Earth and Community Care.

The Aveda man tells CosmeticsDesign.com USA that the company does its best to make sure that the company mission is always in the forefront of people’s minds and that it is vital to be authentic in this in order to avoid falling into the ‘green washing’ trap.

“We subject all of our communications to extensive internal review to be sure that any claim we make is well supported. We know that living our mission is a journey and are proud of the many accomplishments we’ve made along the way,” he explains.

Changing landscape

The landscape has changed somewhat over the years as consumers now demand cosmetics that benefit society and the planet without sacrificing performance; and Rapaport believes the industry will now meet these demands.

“The future is a bright one in which consumers will be increasingly able to use products that provide the high-level performance they expect while benefiting the planet and society, thereby allowing them to add new dimensions to their own beauty and well-being through contributing to the health of the earth,” he says.

“Trends contributing to the realization of this future include the growing focus on the full lifecycle impacts of products, including greater transparency of the supply chain and tools for monitoring and improving developments at every stage.”

The eco profile of new products has evolved from a focus on the finished product and a few specific ingredients, to a more comprehensive approach on the sustainability of the entire supply chain.

Environmental leadership

Aveda’s primary focus is to continue striving for environmental leadership and responsibility and ensuring that the mission remains a key driver for its business decisions, says Rapaport, who explains it is an important source of innovation for the company.

This has led to Aveda pioneering the move to manufacture with 100% renewable energy, as well as joining the Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP), a coalition of leading businesses at the forefront of advocacy for urgently needed action.

The green ethic is shaping the business and, Dave hopes, the beauty industry too.

“The Aveda mission is deeply imbedded throughout the business, influencing the materials we use for product displays, the choices we make for business partners, the design of our packaging, and of course the formulations of our products and where we source our ingredients,” he says.

Rapaport will be speaking about these issues at the upcoming Sustainable Cosmetics Summit in New York on May 15-17. For more information on this, please click here.

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