What Does It Mean to Be Green in 2017?


Organic Monitor has released its predictions for the natural and organic cosmetic market in 2017, including more labels, more sustainable ingredients and packaging, and better ways to measure eco-friendliness. 

Natural and Organic Cosmetics

Healthy growth is continuing in the global market. North America and Europe have the largest markets, however, the highest growth is envisioned in Asia. “Greenwashing” will remain a major industry issue, with many brands opting for certification to legitimize their natural and organic marketing claims.

Green Certification Standards

Natural and organic will remain the main certification standards for green cosmetics; however, fragmentation is expected to continue. There are currently more than 30 such standards for cosmetics and personal care products, with most in Europe, according to Organic Monitor.

Ethical Labels

The number of ethical labels is predicted to rise in 2017, with more crossovers from the food industry. The "free-from" craze is expected to continue, and consumers can expect to see more gluten-free and non-GMO claims on product packs, as well as the traditional paraben-free, silicone-free and SLS-free claims.

Sustainable Sourcing

More investment will go into sustainable sourcing of natural ingredients. Expect to see more large cosmetic firms and ingredient firms make sustainable sourcing commitments.

Green Materials

The range of green materials will expand this year. A number of renewable feedstocks is now being used to develop green cosmetic ingredients: algae, food waste/byproducts, tobacco, as well as traditional plant-based materials.

Sustainability Metrics

Metrics will continue to gain prominence as large cosmetic firms look to measure and reduce their environmental footprints. Carbon footprints are the most widely used, however, more companies are likely to consider energy, water, resource usage, waste and social parameters.

Sustainable Packaging

The use of an eco-design approach and sustainable materials is likely to rise as cosmetic and personal care brands look to reduce their packaging impacts. More companies are expected to use recycled materials; others will look to close their packaging loops by finding new applications for their packaging waste.

Organic Monitor is a specialist research, consulting and training company that focuses on global organic and related product industries. The Sustainable Cosmetics Summit will be held in May 3–5, 2017, in New York.

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