Written By Ashna Bajaj, Environmentalist

The word ‘green’ automatically carries organic and eco-friendly assumptions. The Green Market Movement is increasingly gaining popularity today as consumers are drawn towards products that claim to be ecofriendly and cruelty free and contribute to Sustainable Beauty.

The Beauty and Cosmetic industry is no exception to these trends. Many cosmetic companies are tenaciously pursuing and adopting the ‘Go Green’ policy and using this ideology for Sustainable Beauty as the core principle in the process of manufacturing their products.

Green cosmetics are defined as sustainable cosmetics that are free of any chemicals or toxic elements that may have adverse effect on the consumer’s
health and environment. Since the consumer today is actively invested in the process of manufacturing rather than the manufactured product itself, cosmetic companies use oleo chemicals that are derived from natural and renewable plant and bacteria sources that is the core of green cosmetics.

Coconut fatty acid, Castor oil and DMDM Hydantoin are some of the sources that are commonly found in most of these cosmetic products. Typically, the term green cosmetics is used to describe cosmetic products that use eco-friendly formulas of production and packaging.

The Federal Trade Commission in the US has published guidelines that state and distinguish these natural products from their synthetic rivals. ‘The Green Guide’ issued by the FTC summarize the general principles that apply and provide guidance to ecological and marketing claims such as biodegradable and recyclable content, ozone safe products and cruelty free or animal friendly goods for green cosmetics.

However, these standards are loosely defined and need clarification. The issue of ‘green washing’ is the biggest problems faced by organizations. Some companies attempt to show themselves as environment friendly to gain customers when in actuality they do not adhere to and, in fact, violate the codes and conducts issued by authorized organizations.

Despite this, many oleo chemical based cosmetic manufacturers have been successful in gaining a loyal membership and have established their place in the consumer-centric modern market. Such brands would include Native, RMS Beauty, Drunk Elephant, The Body Shop, Oriflamme, and Aroma Magic, which are just a few examples that have taken over the cosmetic sphere with their bio-based products.

With growing emphasis on corporate conscience, steps towards sustainability can improve the goodwill and reputation of a company in the eyes of the consumers. Modern consumers have growing conscious globally and are aware of their responsibility towards the environment.

For them natural, low-polluting products outweigh the extra cost of these non-toxic sustainable cosmetics. Moreover, these products are less likely to cause skin irritation or allergic reaction that is a common side effect of conventional cosmetics. By switching over to these products, the consumer can avoid the stress and uncertainly that users of conventional cosmetics may confront. Choosing sustainable products with natural material over synthetic and contaminated cosmetics will attest as a safe choice both health-wise and environmentally.