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Beauty and wellbeing findings by the Soil Association

Increased awareness of global issues through online media and exposés has resulted in consumer mistrust. Consumers are putting pressure on many different industries to conduct business responsibly. These are key findings in the Soil Association 2018 Beauty & Wellbeing report.

Accessibility of information, such as Netflix documentaries on health and global issues, has led to heightened awareness of these issues which is changing attitudes.

Initiatives such as the Sustainable Cotton Communique pledge by 35 brands to achieve sustainable cotton by 2025, are on the rise as consumers demand better business practise. Brand transparency continues to perform with prominence in labelling and supply chains.

Traditionally associated with vanity and frivolity, skincare is now taking a proactive approach to alleviate modern consumers’ health concerns. Brands are acting as a force for good by presenting many accreditations on packaging and formulating products to combat modern issues, such as air pollution.

The organic beauty and wellbeing market has performed steadily for seven years. However, availability of products is still a major block to growth. The sector should follow lessons learned from the established organic food industry.

Moves toward more natural ingredients from the big players in the beauty industry could be very positive for the industry and would support growth for smaller certified organic brands.

In cosmetics, conscious consumerism translated to the phenomenon that was ‘clean beauty’, arguably the most prevalent trend of 2017. It’s an extraordinary loose term which comes from the clean eating movement and can mean anything from products without synthetic ingredients to non-toxic ones, to those that list every ingredient, that are free from industrial chemicals, natural and, sometimes, even organic. Indeed, the term ‘clean beauty’ is open to interpretation.

“We encourage any amount of organic ingredients in beauty products,” says the report. “But we don’t think brands should mislead consumers by making marketing claims about those ingredients if the rest of the product would not meet organic standards. Consumers agree -- more than three quarters (76%) told us that they felt misled when they found out that products were not certified and could not meet organic standards.”

Find out more about the SA Come Clean About Beauty campaign here.

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