Sustainable Cosmetic Predictions 2024

Ecovia Intelligence gives its predictions for the year ahead for sustainable cosmetics… 

> Sustainable Products. The range of cosmetic products with sustainability attributes will continue to expand. Natural and organic cosmetics are the most established, with their market share approaching 10% in the US, Germany, and Switzerland. 

New products will be launched with green attributes. Waterless products such as shampoo bars, solid moisturisers, and sheet masks will continue to make headway this year. Other sustainable products that are gaining popularity include microbiome-friendly products and refillables. 

> Ethical Labels. The number of ethical labels in the cosmetics industry will continue to mushroom. Natural and organic are the most established labels; COSMOS and Natrue are the leading standards, having over 35,000 and 6,400 certified products respectively. Other popular eco-labels include Nordic Swan, Fairtrade, Non-GMO, and Climate Neutral. 

> Plant-Based Cosmetics. As more consumers switch to a vegan lifestyle and / or reduce their intake of animal-based products, they are seeking plant-based cosmetics. More brands are expected to market their products as vegan. The Body Shop announced this month that it became the first major brand to have its entire product range certified by the Vegan Society. 

> New Technologies to create sustainable ingredients. Cosmetic ingredients are increasingly made using precision fermentation, plant cell and new technologies. Geltor and Modern Meadow are two companies that have created collagen alternatives using precision fermentation. The proteins are marketed as vegan, animal-free and sustainable. The Californian start-up Debut is making active ingredients using a cell-free biotechnology model.

> Captured Carbon Molecules. Expect to see more companies using carbon captured molecules to make cosmetic ingredients, packaging, and finished products. Last year, Coty launched the first widely distributed fragrance using alcohol from industrial carbon emissions. Its Gucci My Heart Beats Eau de Parfum contains alcohol made from carbon captured molecules. The Element Beauty Group recently obtained CO2 Carbon Captured certification for its packaging materials.

> Deforestation-Free Ingredients. Growing consumer concerns about deforestation is encouraging organisations to develop green ingredients. The Dutch-Indonesian enterprise Forestwise is marketing butters and oils made from wild harvested raw materials sourced from the Borneo forest. They are marketed as rainforest ingredients.

Last year, Palmless was launched as an alternative to palm oil in the US; almost chemically identical to palm oil, the material is marketed as deforestation-free. In Europe, NoPalm Ingredients and Äio are creating palm oil alternatives from agricultural byproducts. Expect to see more such ingredient launches this year.

> Green Packaging. The move away from single-use plastics is encouraging cosmetic brands to experiment with new packaging materials. Bamboo, beeswax, wood chips, agricultural fibers and other bio-based materials are finding their way into cosmetic packaging. Some brands are looking at dissolvable and compostable packaging.

> Marketing Claims and Greenwashing. There will be greater scrutiny of green marketing claims this year as regulators bring in new legislation. Just this month, the EU parliament gave the go ahead for a new directive that will require companies to substantiate environmental or sustainability claims they make about their products. The EU Green Claims Directive aims to regulate sustainability labels and protect consumers from greenwashing. Last month, Unilever was called up by a UK watchdog on concerns about its environmental claims.

Sustainable Cosmetics Summit
Ecovia Intelligence will showcase these developments at the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit throughout the year. The North American edition will be hosted in New York on 4-6th June, European edition in Paris on 28-30th October, and the Asia-Pacific edition in Hong Kong on 11-12th November. More details are on

Posted: February 1st 2024

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