This year’s event was the 3rd annual Raise the Green Bar Summit. The sustainability awards program was launched at the 2018 summit; and the winning brands announced at this year’s summit comprise the inaugural class of Good Housekeeping Sustainability Award winners.
Birnur Aral, director of the Good Housekeeping health, beauty, and environmental sciences lab; Carolyn Forté, director of the Good Housekeeping home appliances, cleaning products, and textiles lab; and Rachel Rothman, Hearst Lab scout and chief technologist at Good Housekeeping; all served as judges for the awards as did a couple of sustainable packaging experts from outside of Hearst (the media company that owns Good Housekeeping): Mike Brown of Brown & Wilmanns Environmental and Tom Szaky of TerraCycle.
Consumers care most about sustainable product packaging
“At the Institute, we test thousands of products each year. And whether it’s for our seal or editorial coverage, our mission is to find those products that perform,” explained Aral in her remarks at the 2019 Raise the Green Bar summit last week in New York City.
The team behind the summit surveys over 5,000 consumers in advance of each Raise the Green Bar event to understand where the Good Housekeeping readership is at in terms of their “approach to green products and environmental issues….and packaging is definitely on their minds,” observes Aral.
When asked how they decide which green products to buy, “the number one answer,” she says, “is that they look for recycled, recyclable, and reusable packaging.” This year’s awards categories cover beauty, home care, and toys—3 product sectors “where we feel packaging is most wasteful,” explains Aral.
Some 80+ brands turned in nearly 200 submissions for the 2019 Good Housekeeping Sustainability Awards. And the entries were ranked against several criteria, including minimalism, material efficiency, innovation, and esthetics.
“Once we determined our finalists for packaging, Carolyn and Rachel and I, we made sure that the winning products also met our criteria for product efficacy. After all, at Good Housekeeping, we can’t call a product a winner if it doesn’t perform,” explained Aral.
Independent beauty brands and niche brands that look like indies won out
Entries came in from indie brands, legacy brands, and corporate-owned niche brands. And the newer, more pioneering brands account for more than half of the winners in the cosmetics, fragrance, and personal care categories.
Bath and Body Winners
Innovative moisturizer: Seep Phytonutrients Body Moisturizer (L’Oréal)
All-in-one shower staple: Alaffia Authentic African Black Soap ( indie brand owned by Olowo-n’djo Tchala and Prairie Rose Hyde)
Give-back bar soap: The Right to Shower Joy Bar Soap (Unilever)
Crowd-pleasing soap: Mrs. Meyers Clean Day daily bar soap (SC Johnson)
Weightless haircare: Aveda Rosemary Mint purifying shampoo and weightless conditioner (the Estée Lauder Companies)
Bath and Body Honorable Mentions
Do-it-all wash: Follain Refillable Everything Soap (founded by Tara Foley, VC funded)
Aluminum-free deodorant: EiR NYC Pitted Deodorant (sole proprietorship founded by Jun Lee)
Simple sun screen: Sand Cloud Reef Safe Sunscreen (founded by Steven Ford, Brandon Leibel, and Bruno Aschidamini)
Beauty and Skin Care Winners
Conscious lip color: Burt’s Bees Glossy Lipstick (Clorox)
Minimalist cleanser: Osmia Black Clay Facial Soap (indie brand owned by Sarah Villafranco)
Super skin saver: L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream (L'Occitane Groupe S.A.)
Stand out scent: Henry Rose Fine Fragrances (partnership founded by Michelle Pfeiffer and Melina Polly)
Beauty and Skin Care Honorable Mentions
Classic lip balm: Burt’s Bees Bees Wax Lip Balm (Clorox)
Inventive moisturizer: Bull Dog Original Moisturizer (Edgewell Personal Care)
Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.