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The Green Report: The Question Begs the Answer
By Jeff Falk
Posted: January 30, 2008, from the February 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
page 3 of 7
Zurek: For us, it’s a new opportunity. Yes, we’ve had to work a bit harder to source quality packaging opportunities, and we have had to quickly become experts in another area, but that knowledge also puts us in a position to work with companies we might never have had the opportunity to work with were it not for the greening push.
Gill: The global market of specialty natural ingredients is expanding. With the advent of better communications in third world countries, our suppliers now have access to raw ingredients that truly have a unique eco-responsibility message. We have always embraced new and innovative ways to improve the eco-responsibility of our formulas; every day, we are finding better solutions to the use of synthetic ingredients.
Gentile: Sourcing has become easier in that there are more suppliers focusing on sustainable and renewable products.
It is easier for us to find suppliers that are committed to environmental causes today than it was in the past. Since we have been producing environmentally conscious packaging for 20 years, we feel like the industry has finally caught on to something we’ve known for a long time. And that is the idea that you can make excellent products, keep consumers happy, and make a living while being conscious and friendly to our environment. On a more acute scale, the greening of the beauty industry has certainly widened our appeal to some segments of the beauty industry.
Duber-Smith: Green is very obviously an opportunity for any forward-thinking company. The days of putting forth whatever works best and is least expensive, regardless of side effects, are ending quickly. More chemists are working with natural ingredients, more suppliers are sourcing them, more sustainable packing is available, and templates for making manufacturing processes and distribution more sustainable are becoming available through consulting firms. This is the future, and executives have a fiduciary responsibility to pay attention and react to this paradigm shift in a way that benefits shareholders. The new paradigm is that what is good for people and the environment is also good for shareholders. That’s what sustainability is all about.
Schiek and Basanta: The green movement is both an opportunity and a hurdle. It has tremendous potential and opportunity for all. With globalization on everyone’s mind, this could encourage companies to utilize local growers in remote areas, encourage free trade, increase quality of life in these areas, all while giving back to the communities and creating a natural/organic end product. The hurdle in this movement really comes from consumers’ tolerance of what these products will be, how they work and how they smell. A 100% organic face cream may be exciting to create and get onto the market, but will people use it if it doesn’t smell like they are used to? Most studies say that they will if the product delivers results, but, in reality, the level of what odors are acceptable will take time. At the end of the day, consumer demand will drive this segment, and, if they want it, companies will find a solution.