Cosmetics and charity meet for ethical consumer

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Breast cancer, National breast cancer awareness month

Cosmetic companies are responding to the demands of the ethical
consumer by supporting charitable causes.

Beauty consumers who are looking for eco-friendly, fair trade and sustainable products are also keen to buy from companies that support charities. A total of 28 cosmetics products linked to charities have been launched onto the US market so far in 2007, according to market researchers Mintel. The US leads the way in terms of charitable product launches with Mintel only recording three releases in France, Italy and the UK this year. Mintel analyst Nica Lewis said the charity trend is primarily a selective distribution phenomenon with most of the donating brands being organic or niche. "Charity cosmetics fit into the broader and fast developing ethical trend, which incorporates eco-friendly, fair trade and sustainable products,"​ said Lewis. Many charitable companies are also environmentally friendly and organic because the ethical consumer is looking for all these things in a bundle. For instance, UK-based Green People is an organic cosmetics firm that gives 10 per cent of its net profit to charities that fight for environmental causes. Beyond green issues, cancer research organizations are well supported by cosmetics companies. Lewis said that Estee Lauder is a pioneer in the beauty industry when it comes to charitable initiatives with the founder's daughter launching the 'pink ribbon' breast cancer campaign several years ago. To coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness Month a number of personal care companies have launched charitable initiatives. For example, oral care giant Colgate has teamed up with the National Breast Cancer Foundation to help provide education and free testing for women. Canada-based Balmshell has brought out a '1 in 8' lip gloss for the event with all of the proceeds from its sales being donated to the foundation. The product is so named because one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime.

Related topics: Market Trends, Color Cosmetics, Skin Care

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