Recent years had seen the ethical beauty trend gain strong ground​, with a plethora of terms and certified labels used to communicate in this space. Driven by planetary needs amidst an ongoing climate crisis and consumer concerns around ingredients and product impact, the number of labels in beauty was rising fast behind food. From certified vegan, cruelty-free and halal, through to Fairtrade, UEBT, NATRUE and COSMOS, ethical labelling had surged in the beauty and personal care sector, according to Ecovia Intelligence.

Retailer standards – ‘expect more initiatives like this’

And, according to the research and consulting firm, ethical labelling was now stretching far beyond its NGO and beauty brand roots.

“What we’ve seen in the last few years is retailers have got more involved,”​ said Amarjit Sahota, founder of Ecovia Intelligence.

Addressing attendees at the research firm’s annual Sustainable Cosmetics Summit event in Paris, France, last month, Sahota added: “What we’re seeing is retailers are introducing their own sustainability schemes and ethical labels.”

Wholefoods, for example, had introduced the Premium Body Care standard with an extensive list of acceptable and unacceptable ingredients for products sold under this part of the store and website. Sephora had its Clean at Sephora label that brands could use if products met strict ingredient list requirements, with many ingredients disallowed. And, more recently, online retail goliath Amazon had introduced its own certification scheme Compact By Design to highlight products with lower environmental impacts and better unit efficiency.


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