Bamboo is sustainable ingredient of choice

By Katie Nichol

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cosmetics

Bamboo has become the ingredient of choice for companies who want to bolster their sustainability credentials, according to the recent Consumer Packaged Goods trend report from market researcher Datamonitor.

The use of bamboo is increasing within the cosmetics and personal care industry, both within packaging and as an actual ingredient in cosmetics and hair and nail products.

According to Datamonitor’s Product Launch Analytics, the number of new products bearing the term bamboo in this sector has risen from 52 new products in 2005 to 221 new product reports in 2009, an increase of 325 percent.

However, analyst Tom Vierhile said some of the new introductions in the category are attributed to bamboo being used as a shade or as part of the product branding, rather than being present as an ingredient or in packaging.

Bamboo as packaging

Bamboo is a popular choice for companies looking to produce green packaging. As Vierhile noted, one reason is because of its versatility, and another is its rapid growth rate, (it can grow up to 24 inches in a single day), adding that “it has become a standard bearer for the concept of sustainability.”

Last year at the HBA International Packaging Design Awards, both Beauty Society and Urban Decay won finalists awards for their color cosmetics palettes made from bamboo.

LMVH also opted for bamboo as a packaging material, creating am eye-shadow and blush make-up palette for Sephora made from sustainable bamboo and recycled metal.

Bamboo as ingredients

Several companies, including L’Oreal and Sally Hansen, are adding bamboo as an ingredient to their products.

“It would appear that cosmetics makers are using bamboo as an ingredient because of its hydrating properties and the fact that it can keep fingernails (for instance) shiny and healthy,” ​said Vierhile.

Last year L’Oreal Portugal introduced a hair colorant with bamboo extract under its Garnier brand. The HerbaShine colourant, which is free from ammonia, claims to strengthen hair and improve shine while offering optimal grey coverage.

Nail care company Sally Hansen launched a Green Tea and Bamboo Nail Strengthener, which is referred to as ‘nail nutrition’. According to the company, the "strengthening base coat formula with green tea and bamboo bonds and seals all the layers of the nail to help resist tearing and peeling."

Bamboo is also marketed by manufacturers for its nourishing and soothing properties in products such as mascara and lip balm.

Related topics: Market Trends

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