Sustainability Special Newsletter

Sustainability: Climate change, the Amazon, Asian consumers and the squirrel's hair

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Sustainability: Climate change, the Amazon, Asian consumers and the squirrel's hair

Related tags Climate change Sustainability

Welcome to our Sustainability Special Newsletter, which brings a collection of articles touching on subjects as diverse range of topics that help form this increasingly vital pillar of the cosmetics business.

This collection of articles looks at topics ranging from  Amazon biodiversity, the importance of being a carbon neutral company, how synthetic cosmetic brushes can be a better choice, as well as posing the question of whether or not Asian cosmetic consumers care about being eco-friendly.

Below is a link to the title and introduction of each article, with a hyperlink allowing you access to its entirety.

Climate change and the cosmetics world

The first article in the series lifts the lid on the importance of an up-and-coming UN conference that could be pivotal in helping to push action on climate change at a business leve​l.

Climate change has a major effect on our health as well as the planet and this means reducing carbon impact and aiming for a stable climate are of great importance, particularly to the cosmetics industry.

Next month sees the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (also referred to as COP 21) take place in Paris, and this takes on greater importance according to Vicky Murray from Neal’s Yard Remedies, as it could be the last chance to reach a global agreement on carbon targets to limit climate change to manageable levels.

Speaking exclusively with, the Head of Sustainability at the natural health and beauty company, who was the first UK high-street retailer to be certified as ‘Carbon Neutral’ by the CarbonNeutral Company back in 2008, says that it is even more important to do everything to reduce carbon impact.

Do Asia's consumers care about 'eco friendly' over price and texture?

It's nothing new to say that Asia's consumers prioritize price and texture when choosing and indeed remaining loyal to a beauty brand. However, shoppers are becoming less passive towards eco-friendly products, increasingly prioritizing greener formulations and packaging​ concepts.

In 2014, market researcher Nielsen reported online consumers across 60 countries as willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact.

Of those findings, the firm reported 'the propensity to buy socially responsible brands' is strongest in Asia-Pacific (64%), Latin America (63%) and Middle East/Africa (63%). The numbers for North America and Europe were 42 and 40 per cent, respectively.

Synthetic brush fibers as a sustainable choice

A sustainably sourced material is one your company will reliably have access to. So as often as sustainable sourcing means gathering ready-to-use materials from nature in a way that doesn’t deplete the ecosystem, it means, instead, synthesizing materials with plentiful inputs (like plant cellulose or petrochemicals) that replace the natural version.

Often, manufactured versions can be tailored for an array of uses that conventional materials cannot accommodate. Cosmetics Design connected with Jim Perry, president and CEO of TaikiUSA, to get a closer look at the options​. “Now that consumers and companies are no longer using natural hair (because of cruelty free, bacterial issues), synthetics options are needed,” ​he confirms.

In the beauty tools space, synthetic fibers are not new.  “Synthetic brushes have typically been used for liquid application,” ​notes Perry. Though, “currently many powder brushes are made from goat hair (or other animal hair) as this was always known to be the superior performing product.”

Natural hair brushes made from squirrel, pony, sable, kolinsky, goat and badger are the industry reference points for bristles shape and behavior. Perry believes that, “the superior standard of natural hair is squirrel hair.”

Reaping the benefits of the Amazon while respecting biodiversity

Beraca has paved the way in sourcing natural cosmetics ingredients from the Amazon, but with new regulation to encourage research and development while preserving the biodiversity, we asked the company's head of sustainability what this will mean for cosmetics businesses​?

Sourcing new natural ingredients can put pressure on the complex biodiversity of regions such as the Amazon, but the regulation implemented by the Brazil government aims to address that issue in a sustainable manner.

Law 13.123 was introduced in the country in May of this year and aims to take the country’s regulation governing the Amazon’s biodiversity one step further by establishing a fairer and more equitable platform to share in the research and innovation of Brazilian biodiversity.

According to Beraca’s sustainability and corporate affairs manager, Thiago Terada, the law has been greeted with mixed reactions from the cosmetics industry.

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