Retailers set the bar for natural and organic standards

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Retailers set the bar for natural and organic standards

Related tags Organic food Retailing Cosmetics

Live Organically, a newly launched ecommerce site, is the latest retailer working to close the gap between consumer expectations and industry best practices in this space.

As there is no universal definition of ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ or ‘botanical,’ brands and retailers are developing their own product guidelines and seals of excellence, to capture the attention of consumers who favor such products.

Credo, founded by a former Sephora leader, just moved beyond digital to open its first storefront in California, reported Cosmetics Design​ last month. The shop will be a showroom of sorts for the company’s carefully curated portfolio of natural skin care and color cosmetics as well as a lifestyle boutique with salon amenities.

And of course, there is the grocery retailer Whole Foods​. That company’s four-tiered guideline for natural and organic personal care products has become a go-to benchmark in the absence of formal industry regulations.

Now, the ecommerce company Live Organically aims to offers consumers an alternative to mass-market personal care and household products that maybe formulated with ingredients thought to be toxic.

The site created a safety index to guide consumers to the products that meet their expectations. Live Organically also lists ingredients for shoppers to review and links out to resources on those ingredients (purportedly, the same resources used to establish a given safety index rating).

Victoria Thompson’s company is aiming to “provide [consumers] with alternatives to typical products with toxic chemicals - organic and/or artificial,” ​according to media release announcing the site launch. And to start with, Live Organically will sell a select assortment of products including, soaps, skin care, hair care, sun care, and deodorant. 

Consumers trust third party certifications and turn to conscientious retailers like Live Organically to bear some of the responsibility of making safe, smart purchasing decisions.

Thompson’s protocol for selecting products to sell on the site echoes this: “We do not simply add products that have 'natural' or 'organic' on the label or rely solely on the manufacturer’s reputation; instead we go beyond the marketing label and spend much time researching the toxicity level of each ingredient from multiple sources around the globe,”​ she tells the press.

She adds, “even some organic ingredients can be toxic and should not be used in certain products at any concentration. If there is a questionable ingredient that has contradictory research, then a product with that ingredient will not be added to the store, until Live Organically can confirm the product’s safety.”

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