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The Green Consumer

The trend for ‘Green’ products is growing at a most incredible rate here in the UK.  While the health and beauty market has, for quite some time now, been pretty environmentally-friendly the number of people choosing to buy completely natural or organic products from manufacturers who are committed to conservation of the environment.

At one time, natural and/or organic products were a niche market.  Not so now though, in fact it is one of the biggest growing markets for consumer products as has seen a 200% increase in the last year. 

Because consumers are becoming increasingly more knowledgeable about skin care and environmental issues, this has shaped their product demands.  As much as 28% of all product consumers, choose natural products.

So what does this mean for manufacturers (regardless of size)?  For some, it is a case of reformulating their products lines to ensure they are free from harmful chemicals.  But should more be done?  Removing the harmful chemicals certainly contributes to greener skin care but should it go further to include biodegradable, recycled/recyclable packaging, choosing organically produced ingredients, reducing ones carbon footprint.

Organic?  Natural?  What is this?

Organic is certainly a current buzzword throughout the beauty industry and one that undoubtedly sells.  However, is it confusing?  I certainly think so since we all have different perceptions of organic.  Many people are actually unaware that for a product to be called organic, 70% of the total ingredients must be organic.  That leaves 30% that can be made up of, well… anything.  Ror it to be certified, for example by the Soil Association, it needs to contain 95% organic ingredients!

‘Natural’ is probably even more misleading.  For a product to have natural on the label, it only needs to contain (wait for it…..) 1% natural ingredients.  What about the other 99% ? 

There is no doubt about it, when it comes to making organic/natural product choices, one does have to really be on their toes to ensure you are actually getting what you are expecting. 

Seen In Green…

A green product manufacturer will go further than this though.  Many deliberate intensely over the type of packaging they use.  For a ‘green’ product to be truly green, it will come in biodegradable, recycled, recyclable packaging or from sustainable forests (in the case of new paper/card materials).

Fair Trade or Fairly Traded

Fair Trade and fairly traded goods means that producers/traders in developing countries have been paid a fair price for their goods.  Goods that have been fairly traded have not exploited humans, animals or the environment and very often go hand in hand with organically produced goods.


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