Going green

That reaction has been a long time coming but, at last, the green revolution in the cosmetics industry is in full swing.

There hasn’t been specific data collected to show the growth of the green segment in Australia, but Jo-Anne Mason, from the beauty industry data monitoring service bU Australasia, points out that The Body Shop has seen “impressive growth in skincare of just under 20 per cent for calendar 2007. Jurlique has grown by high double digits over ’05 and ’06.  Aesop also had high double-digit growth – 17 per cent – in department stores over 2007, and L’Occitane grew 11 per cent in department stores.  The natural/organic trend is one we’ve been following for the past two years and it’s growing.”

Meanwhile, in the United States, Happi magazine reported “sustained annual growth of 15 per cent over the past 15 years.  US retail sales of natural and organic personal care products reached US$7.5 billion (A$8.3 billion) in 2005, while global sales topped US$21 billion (A$23 billion), according to Nutrition Business Journal.”  It went on to report that the 2007 sales were approaching US$9 billion (A$9.9 billion) in the US alone.

The main point is that companies are making changes.  The cynics out there may call it ‘greenwash’, but even the major players such as L’Oreal, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble, are beginning to address the environmental impact of their businesses, with the understanding that more consumers are demanding improvements.  Obviously, there’s lots more to do in terms of packaging, waste and clean energy, but in an industry that relies on the marketing of luxury and self-indulgence, even not-so-environmentally friendly inclined companies must be realising there’s money to be made in ethical products and that, in the 21st century, green, rather than greed, is good.

Quote “If you think you’re too small to be effective, try going to bed with a mosquito.: Unquote – The late Dame Anita Roddick of The Body Shop.

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