The North American edition of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit (http://www.sustainablecosmeticssummit.com/NAmerica2015/) drew to a successful close in New York a few weeks ago. Bringing together about 160 senior executives, the 3 day summit highlighted sustainability shortcomings in the North American beauty industry. Discussions centred on the safety aspects of cosmetics, building closed loop systems, prospects for a sustainability standard, use of nanomaterials and emerging green ingredients.
Founder of Jason Natural Products, Jeffrey Light, opened the summit with his keynote on sustainability. A veteran in the natural products industry, Light said that his "50 year journey" was about developing safe and nutritious products. His latest venture, Aroma Naturals, is diversifying from natural candles to certified natural personal care products. Tina Sigurdson, from the Environmental Working Group, called for tighter regulations for personal care products in the U.S. Sigurdson said that the existing regulatory framework was posing a risk to public health.
There were also calls to develop "closed loop systems" for waste. Anita Kedia, from Waste Management, said cosmetic companies should consider developing zero-waste systems if they want to become truly sustainable enterprises. Founder of Pangea Organics, Joshua Scott Onysko, said his brand has a closed loop for its packaging. By placing seeds in its molded fiber packaging, the brand enables customers to grow plants from the packaging.
UL Information & Insights made the case for a sustainability standard for personal care products. Citing "GoodGuide" as an example, the organization said such a standard could rate products on health, environmental and social criteria. Apart from helping consumers choose safe, personal care products, the standard would also provide greater transparency to retailers and consumers.
Jaydee Hanson, from the International Center for Technology Assessment, expressed concerns about nanoparticles in cosmetics. He believes the U.S. industry should follow the "precautionary principle" for this new technology. Mirexus Biotechnologies stated the benefits of using nanotechnology. Giving the example of its nano-glycogen material, the Canadian company said the technology can create new natural ingredients.
With growing concerns about contentious ingredients in the cosmetics industry, details were given on a number of new green alternatives to squalene and polyethylene beads. Amyris showed how it is developing squalane from the biological fermentation of sugar cane. Sophim said it is using olive oil as a raw material to produce its squalane.
Jordan Quinn, from Vantage Specialty Chemicals, outlined the range of green alternatives to polyethylene beads. His company believes polymer-free jojoba beads are the way forward for sustainable exfoliants.
Taking place in New York from May 14-16, the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit highlighted key sustainability areas in the North American beauty industry. Sustainability discussions will continue in the upcoming Latin American (São Paulo, September 28-30, 2015) and European (Paris, October, 21-23 October) editions.
About the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit
Organized by Organic Monitor, the aim of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit is to encourage sustainability in the beauty industry by bringing together key stake-holders and debate major sustainability issues in a high-level forum. The 6th North American edition was hosted at Marriott New York Downtown. More information is available at http://www.sustainablecosmeticssummit.com/NAmerica2015/.
About Organic Monitor
Organic Monitor is a London-based specialist research, consulting and training company that focuses on the global organic and related product industries. Since 2001, we have been providing a range of business services to operators in high-growth ethical and sustainable industries. Our services include market research publications, business and technical consulting, seminars and workshops and sustainability summits. Visit us at www.organicmonitor.com.
Editor's Note: This post was shared by a member of the Package Design community. Do you have news to share with our readers or a package design project that you are especially proud of? Click here to learn how you can become a contributing member of the Package Design online community.