Better Natural Products and Materials Sustainable Beauty

Sustainable Beauty – Not Only Better Natural Products but Also Materials

The Natural Beauty Summit America, held on May 14 and 15, 2012, in Manhattan, NY, brought a convergence of many people from around the world, connected by an interest in natural beauty products made in a sustainable manner.

The focus at this summit was not about making a better product or one that sells, but about sourcing with sustainable materials so that Mother Earth is not drained of her resources just because green is the new black.

Kline kicked off day one of the conference with an opening presentation of an overview of the global natural personal care market. Nancy Mills discussed how Kline defines “natural” and described how we segment the market into truly natural versus natural-inspired brands. Over the next two days, many presentations described sustainable materials for personal care products. For example, there are biodiversity enhancement programs in Brazil, utilizing the exotic materials from the rainforest in a way that does not deplete the forest while respecting the local people’s culture and way of life. Other speakers presented novel solutions for very high volumes of natural specialty materials, such as microalgae and cyanobacteria, which can supply an almost unlimited variety of renewable compounds. Listeners also heard about the use of biotechnology to use entire plant cells on an industrial level, and also controlling its metabolism to the production of a specific molecule inside the cell while not damaging the natural origin of the cell. Another speaker described the possibility of using proprietary microbes that grow on nothing but gases. Many different gases can be used, including those that otherwise would be released into the atmosphere as greenhouse gases.

A speaker from Cosmetics Inspiration and Creation discussed changes in consumer behavior and attitudes in different countries. She said that the industry is moving away from “no” claims (marketing based on an absence of negative ingredients) towards positive trends, such as the inclusion of food grade ingredients. She calls this part of a mega trend of “positively green.” She also explained how different cultures have come to embrace this positively green trend. For example, in France, the green trend started in 2005 with research on the downsides of parabens. In Japan, the commonly used phrase meaning “do not waste” has contributed significantly to the search for sustainable practices throughout the value chain. In China, many consumers have health concerns, which leads them to seek products that do not pollute the environment or their bodies. These attitudes and concerns affect the various reasons why truly natural products are destined for the highest growth in the market, as Kline projects.

In the new edition of the Natural Personal Care: Global Market Analysis we will be looking again into these high growth markets such as Brazil, China, or India.

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