A report published recently by Environmental Marketing company Terrachoice this week claims that many cosmetic products are “greenwashing” consumers. The article was brought to the attention of the cosmetics industry by website Cosmetic Design. The full report can be accessed through the Terra Choice website by following this link.

Greenwashing has become the popular term used to describe marketing practices that depict a product as better for the environment than it really is.  As the environmental debate hots up and concerns over our “carbon footprints” rise,  more and more businesses  are looking for any opportunity to get onto the  bandwagon of turning Green to Gold!  Now, while  installing energy saving light bulbs and recycling office paper are a good first step for any business, it would be misleading for the business in question to then start marketing its self as “green”.  It is time to put the record straight.

Q) What should a “green” product look like?

A) This will depend on the potential purchasers values and which product they are looking to buy.   There are many certifying bodies around that spell out their criteria on what is and what isn’t worthy of their “green stamp of approval”.    For cosmetics these standards focus heavily on the ingredients that go into the formulation. Many standards will only allow vegetable based ingredients which have been manufactured with minimal processing while other standards are less rigid.   The standards will also set out their views on how much of a formulation needs to conform to their rules in order for it to be given a stamp of approval. In some cases only 70% of a formulation (excluding water) have to conform to the standard.  Whether choosing products with vegetable based ingredients […]