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Beauty Companies Lead in Fair Trade

Posted: October 1, 2008

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Preliminary research from Organic Monitor shows that the European market for natural and organic cosmetics is, in 2008, expected to break the $2 billion barrier for the first time. High market growth rates are occurring across Europe as consumers increasingly demand "chemically clean" and ecological-friendly cosmetics. Mainstreaming is leading to new product launches in supermarkets, hypermarkets, discount stores, drugstores and department stores.

Many new products are aimed at ecological and health-conscious consumers, positioned as "free-from" and organic. Fair trade is catching on as it enables cosmetic products to be marketed on ethical values, attracting consumers concerned about social inequality and sustainability. With a growing number of natural and organic cosmetic companies adopting fair-trade practices, Organic Monitor predicts some convergence between standards. A number of organic certification agencies are already integrating fair-trade practices into their standards. Such convergence will enable cosmetic companies to bridge the gap between green and ethical products. The market share of fair-trade cosmetics is expected to rise as this happens.