Green beauty has taken the cosmetic industry by storm in recent years. You may have seen more brands using words like ‘vegan’ and ‘clean’ to market their products. This is because consumers are shifting their spending habits to choose products that are environmentally-friendly.
From sourcing the ingredients right through to the packaging, Green beauty is a movement towards sustainability in the cosmetics industry. It is a commitment to our planet to protect its resources and its people, and making mindful decisions about the impact we’re having.
While more companies are choosing eco-friendly alternatives and working to improve their green credentials, others can be found to be stretching the truth when it comes to just how green their practices actually are. Many customers now search for the sustainable alternative when shopping for their beauty products, so it has become attractive for companies to proclaim that they are green even when they may not be as environmentally friendly as they claim. This is called ‘greenwashing’.
Read on to learn more about what greenwashing actually is, how to avoid it and what we’re doing as a company to be sustainable.
WHAT IS GREENWASHING?
Greenwashing is a marketing strategy that companies use to make their brand look greener than they may be in reality. Often companies use buzzwords like ‘clean’ and ‘eco-friendly’ with little evidence to back up their claims.
This strategy is created to appeal to green consumers to get them to purchase products by providing them with misleading information. The issue with this is that it could deceive people into purchasing unsustainable products that ultimately support the company, not the planet.
Consumers are gradually becoming more environmentally-conscious and feel that they share a social responsibility to protect the environment. Companies can exploit this using their greenwashing techniques, which does more harm than good.
When companies are not transparent about their level of sustainability, they run the risk of losing the trust of their consumers, and this can harm their reputation, brand image and ultimately the environment as more eco-friendly alternatives are often available.
HOW CAN I AVOID GREENWASHING?
With many companies now choosing more sustainable options, greenwashing is on the rise, and this can make it difficult to spot dishonest marketing.
Here are three things you can look out for to avoid greenwashing.
TIP 1: DON’T BE FOOLED BY THE COLOUR GREEN
It may be easy to assume that a product or brand is eco-friendly when the packaging is green and decorated with imagery of plants and animals.
However, this may not always be the case.
They may be overcompensating their lack of claims with green imagery that can trick consumers into believing that their products are more sustainable than they really are.
To avoid greenwashing, try not to rely on just the packaging to tell you all about the brand. Look into the brand’s story to see whether or not they are sustainable.
TIP 2: LOOK INTO THE FACTS AND FIGURES
If a brand prides themselves on sustainability, they will have no qualms sharing the evidence to back up their claims. Companies should be fully transparent in their sustainability story and share this with their consumers.
Don’t be afraid to look for evidence and double check bold claims on the company’s website or even enquire for more information about their sustainability.
At Evolve Beauty, we have documented our journey in our Sustainability Report and will continue to do so annually. From our compostable packaging to being Climate Positive, we have highlighted what we have achieved to date and our goals for the future.
TIP 3: LOOK FOR THIRD PARTY CERTIFICATIONS
Buzzwords like ‘eco-friendly’, ‘vegan’ and ‘clean’ are unregulated terms in the beauty industry. What this means is that companies can use this type of language without needing proof that they can meet those standards.
Companies can also make their own logos to give the illusion that these are substantiated claims.
Instead, take note of recognised third party auditors who can verify whether these claims are actually true. Here are just a few examples that you can look out for:
HOW DOES EVOLVE BEAUTY AVOID GREENWASHING?
As a natural and organic skincare brand, we want our customers to know exactly what they’re putting on their bodies. This is why we list the percentage of natural and organic ingredients on our product labels! All of our products have at least 98% natural origins and we screen over 150 of our ingredients to ensure they are GMO-free and biodegradable.
We use COSMOS Natural and Organic Certifications to ensure that our products are held to an internationally recognised standard. We are in the process of ensuring that all of our products meet this standard, and you can read all about what COSMOS approved means.
As we mentioned before, we have made our Sustainability Report publicly available in a downloadable PDF to share our journey with our customers. This is our way of holding ourselves accountable for work that we’ve done in the past as well as what we hope to achieve in the future.
The Sustainability Report breaks our journey down into five key pillars: Zero Waste, Zero Carbon, Clean Chemistry, Protecting Biodiversity and being Kind to All. From sourcing our ingredients in nature to the packaging of the very end product, we recognise that we have an impact throughout the supply chain and have set goals for each key area.
Our end goal is to move beyond being sustainable, but to eventually become regenerative.
This means putting more into the planet than we take out through restoring the world around us.
HOW WILL EVOLVE BEAUTY CONTINUE TO BE SUSTAINABLE?
As our name suggests, we are always looking for ways to be more sustainable than we already are. This is why we’ve upgraded our kraft paper cartons for grass paper packaging. It is 100% compostable and saves 99.9% water and 97% energy in its production compared to traditional wood pulp packaging.
When it comes to our products, we will continue obtaining COSMOS Organic and Natural certifications. Around 30 of our products are already certified, but by 2023 we hope to have certified 95% of our range!
We choose to use organic ingredients as we believe they work better with our skin compared to synthetic alternatives. Choosing organically-farmed ingredients also benefits the environment where conventional farming uses harmful pesticides, fertilisers and GMO.
For the environment, this means biodiversity loss, reduction in soil fertility and a higher carbon footprint. Using organic ingredients in our products means that you can be sure that when you’re buying with Evolve, you’re helping to protect precious wildlife and create a safer habitat for all!
This year, we also hope to obtain more third party certifications including the Living Wage and Living Hours to prove that our employees are fairly compensated, as well as the Leaping Bunny certification to show that we are a cruelty-free company.
In addition, we aim to complete the B Corp certification process this year to show that Evolve Beauty is a purpose-driven business that considers our social and environmental impact.
The reality is that beauty isn’t always beautiful and we recognise our impact and responsibility as a company. Our goal is to become regenerative and restorative to better the planet, body and mind.