Editor’s Spotlight

The conscious beauty supply chain

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

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Conscious personal care consumers, mission-driven fragrance brands, and feel-good cosmetics marketing campaigns are hard to miss now days. So smart suppliers and distributors are not only helping beauty makers tell more nuanced ingredient stories, they are telling their own stories too. Here, Cosmetics Design takes a look at some of the narratives coming down the conscious beauty supply chain.

Mission and method stories, even for multinational brands and big corporations, are most effective when they are personal, relatable, and authentic—and well differentiated. They can center on any number of responsible practices: give-back philanthropy, environmental stewardship, fair trade, human rights, co-operative farming, biotech sustainability, economic empowerment…the list goes on. Here are a few examples:

Environmental awareness

Eastman Chemical Company, which supplies the industry with both ingredients and packaging, operates with a number of corporate responsibility initiatives built into the business; among them, an environmental focus.

In a press release announcing the company’s 2018 sustainability report, David A. Golden, senior vice president, chief legal and sustainability officer, and corporate secretary for Eastman, remarked, “We know we must create far more value than the resources we use or the future is not sustainable, and as the purchasing power of the world continues to grow, we must innovate to deliver consumer choices that will sustain and protect our world.”

A recent example of this focus is the company’s launch of Trēva plastic cosmetics packaging made from 45% cellulose (an alternative to acrylonitrile butadiene styrene or ABS) that the company showed at Luxe Pack Monaco last month.

The cellulose is being sourced from what the company describes as sustainable forests in North America. And the resulting packaging promises to stand up well to the perils facts details stressors of consumer use.

Community education

UK-based specialty ingredient supplier Croda includes community education in its narrative of corporate responsibility.

In an effort to maintain the “social licence to operate [and build] trust and respect with local communities,” ​the company supports “the communities in which we operate, with a primary focus on encouraging young people to work within science and technology.” ​ Croda adds “value to local communities around the world through educational initiatives and by encouraging employees to get involved in local good causes,” ​according to the company site.

As a case in point, the company tells a story of employee volunteerism: “Gabriel Amato, Account Manager in Argentina has devoted 18 hours of his work time to various activities, including delivering a science lesson to 35 eight year olds.  They enjoyed playing with different soap bubbles, creating a hand cream and even modifying a polymer.”

Ethical farming

For some brands there can never be too much supply chain oversight. Whenever it’s both possible and practical, beauty maker WALA Heilmittel, the manufacturer behind the natural skin care brand Dr. Hauschka, sources ingredients from its own biodynamic herb garden.

The company’s gardeners in Eckwälden, Germany, “grow more than 150 different plants for the manufacture of Dr. Hauschka Skin Care and other WALA preparations on an area of more than 11 acres. Dragonflies, toads and fire salamanders have made their homes amid the water lily pond, stream, beehives, meadows and woods,” according to the brand’s website. Operating since the 1950s on land behind the WALA Heilmittel facility, the farm is in constant motion between planting, harvesting, drying, composting.

The Dr. Hauschka skin care ingredient story is one that resonates well with today’s farm-to-face beauty consumer.



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.

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