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Mintel Beauty Innovation Reveals Key Trend for 2011; Mary Bemis of Organic Spa magazine Explains How to Make Green on Green

Posted: January 7, 2011

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Bemis: Spa professionals can capitalize on the "Down to Earth" trend by first and foremost doing their homework. Be familiar with the eco-friendly lines that are available, and the varying degrees, or shades of, "green." Learn what other spas are doing to go green. Consumers want to know—and be able to visually see—that the spa they are frequenting cares about them and what they put on their skin, as well as the environment and their community at large. They are looking for transparency like never before. Contrary to what many in the spa industry believe, the consumer is not as necessarily hung up on a product's certifications for what they perceive of as a clean or "free-from" product. They want, as always, results from their skin care, but they also want skin care with a conscience.

Why the trend toward "free-from?" The consumer is confused—there are too many certifications and seals to keep track of from many countries and issued by many companies and nonprofits—and too much greenwashing. According to one report, there are nearly 600 environmental labels worldwide, with 80 of them coming from the United States (this is covering every category from food to fabric to beauty). What should spa owners should consider when choosing a retail and back bar line that meets their natural/organic/free-from needs?

Bemis: When it comes to choosing a retail and back bar line that meets spa owners' natural/organic/paraben-free needs, know what kind of a statement you would like to make. What level of green are you? How committed are you to the environment and free-from formulations, and how much do you have to spend?

Read labels. Know exactly why the line you are drawn to is natural, organic or free-from. Make sure that it really is what it claims to be. There are many terrific new free-from and organic lines out there, with wonderful packaging that is great for retail—and many of them have shorter shelf lives. Make sure you research this with any of these lines. Many retail lines are also handmade in smaller batches , so be aware of that, as well. For your back bar, choose a line that suits your client's needs, and that helps define your brand, as you would with any line. Make sure the line offers enough in the way of SKUs and, as always, look for what they may offer in the training and education departments. One of the pluses I've noticed about the natural/organic lines is that they are a bit more creative and have fresher ideas when it comes to creating new treatments and marketing services.