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The Future of Beauty

By Jeff Falk and Leslie Benson
Posted: October 14, 2008

page 6 of 8

All that said, it doesn’t take a special level of clairvoyance to predict this future; so much of it is happening in the present. However, it does require some filtering of labels, seals and finger pointing to get to the heart of the matter.

Widening the Scope

In his book Minding Your Business, Horst Rechelbacher, who founded Aveda and Intelligent Nutrients, provides a summation of sustainability and sustainable business: “Sustainability is not an eco-Band Aid, a luxury for affluent Westerners, nor pie-in-the-sky idealism. It is the necessary life-blood of a new era of enlightened capitalism. A successful sustainable business involves ethical transactions or energy exchanges in the form of services, products and money that benefit all parties—the company, the clientele and the greater community of which they are a part.”

This broader stroke look says nothing about components, ingredients or processes, but implicitly suggests the foundation of what these issues are and how deep that foundation must run, the extent to which it is ingrained for ongoing and far-reaching success in these endeavors.

As noted previously, many beauty industry suppliers also hold leadership roles in sustainability. The efforts of Diamond Packaging and Curtis Packaging are well documented, with both building business practices and processes year-on-year toward a level of eco-consciousness and sustainability that would serve as admirable benchmarks in any industry. And though their efforts may currently be among the most prevalent, in the packaging segment, they are not alone. Efforts by ingredient and chemical suppliers, too, have clearly ramped up over the last few years—and there’s, with a seemingly constant battle against labels generally denoted as “dangerous,” may be the most significant within the short term in that “efficacious” can’t be sacrificed in the quest for “not dangerous.” This quest also brings more complicated issues of sustainability—sourcing alternative ingredient choices, for example.

Ingredient supplier Alban Muller International and speciality chemical company Cognis Corporation base their activities on principles of sustainable development.