As the beauty industry continues to grow at a staggering rate, new ideas, trends and innovations are born. It is widely known that the Nordic consumer prefer things clean and simple – inside and out, which is reflected in the products they buy. Beauty brands in Scandinavia have always been ahead of the curve in terms of natural and sustainable products, and the beauty world has finally caught on to Scandinavia’s minimalist ‘healthy beauty’ approach.
Scandinavian brands were some of the first to celebrate simplicity within their products. Instead of a myriad of synthetic materials in one bottle, they focused on what was important and only included a few effective natural ingredients that would make a real difference to the consumer’s skin care routine. You may have already heard of the term ‘clean beauty’ being used. According to Scandinavian Mind , ‘clean stands for science, safety and sustainability.’ Sustainability plays a big part in a product being ‘clean’ however, the focus of clean beauty predominately refers to natural and organic ingredients, whereas sustainable beauty covers a lot more ground.
Through our own research we have found four main areas where beauty brands are trailblazing sustainability: packaging, ingredients, people and sourcing. We have explored these four pillars of sustainability below as a guide for brands, buyers and Scandinavian beauty enthusiasts to explore at the Natural Beauty show in November.
Where do ingredients fit into sustainability?
Scandinavian ingredients are known for their resilience and benefits for the skin. Companies with a sustainable mission take their ingredients to the next level by sourcing sustainably – choosing organic formations that are authentically natural. An ingredient frequently found in beauty products is water, around 70 – 90% water in some cases. Sustainable brands are taking steps to reduce or remove water from their ingredients list completely.
Certifications and symbols are a good way to determine whether a brand are complying to these rules. One main one is the Natrue certification. NATRUE is not just about naturalness or organic standards, it is also an assurance for the consumer that a product or ingredient is green in other ways: responsibly and sustainably sourced, free from genetically-modified ingredients, paraffin oils or petroleum-derived ingredients and silicone oils, and cruelty free.
Other symbols and certifications to spot on sustainable beauty products are:
- PETA approved (against animal testing)
- Palm Oil Free
- Vegetarian approved
- Vegan approved
- Soil Association (UK)
- COSMOS | Natural and Organic Certification For Cosmetics (cosmos-standard.org)
Why is sustainable packaging so important?
We’ve noticed a lot of inspiring packaging over the years at Eco Living Scandinavia,as more sustainable brands are pushing the boundaries with their choice of zero waste, recyclable, or biodegradable packages. A staggering 79% of all plastic made by humans ends up in landfill, which makes packaging such an important part of the sustainability narrative. Consumers appreciate practicality in Scandinavian countries as well as looking sleek and simple, and sustainable packing is very Scandinavian due to the use of natural materials.
Some companies are taking a greener packaging approach, so look for the following:
- Zero waste
- Reusable/ Refillable
- Plastic free
- The use of upcycled materials
- Reusing waste materials
Make sure to look for the ethics!
Sustainability also refers to a company’s ethics. In this case, brands have a responsibility to give back to society and support positive change within their communities. You may have heard of ‘rainbow washing’, similar to greenwashing that promises pride and support of LGBTQIA+, but looking closer, some brands have just slapped a rainbow on their logo and called it a day. A responsible and sustainable brand aims to implement real change for people and the planet.
Brands may look at the following when considering their brand ethics:
- Living wage for suppliers
- Gender Pay Gap
- Supporting LGBTQIA+
- Fair tax
- Diversity & inclusivityTo learn more about the advent of ‘greenwashing’, make sure to see Viktoria Potko from NATRUE talk about ‘Greenwashing: What is behind the environmental claims?’ on 16 Nov at 12pm in the Eco Living Talks Theatre.
Why is transparency and sustainable sourcing important?
Sustainable sourcing goes beyond the legal requirements which companies must abide by. For a start, look for businesses who are aware of the conditions of its workers along their entire supply chain, and look for the ones who advocate transparency and openness in their communications. Another huge way for brands to be more sustainable in their sourcing is if they participate in regenerating biodiversity projects – helping to preserve the eco system instead of just taking away from it.
More third-party verifications to look out for here are:
- B Corp
- Cradle to Cradle
- Biodiversity Projects
- Carbon footprint reports
- Regenerative farming practices
A visit to the Natural Beauty Show at Eco Living Scandinavia is the perfect place to find the best sustainable beauty brands on the market. Here’s just a handful of these companies to meet at the show:
Odyskin – Our packaging is designed to produce no waste and we avoid plastic at all costs. Our sunscreen comes in aluminum tubes, which are infinitely and easily recyclable, our aftersun is packaged in glass jars and all our boxes are home compostable. Odyskin is good for you and good for the planet (stand L50).
Earth Rhythm – At Earth Rhythm, we believe in smart and Safe skincare. The products you use should work and be good for your skin and earth, no exceptions. (stand L74).
Ambasz – organic ingredients included in the luxurious formula ensure its highest quality and 100% of our ingredients are of natural origin. Plus no animal testing (stand L21).
SOLIDU was created out of the love for the environment and a need for a simple yet innovative solution. We are a brand that creates a choice for people that want to lead a sustainable lifestyle and have high-quality beauty products available to them (stand M22).
The Cool Projects is about fair trade, small production, crafts, design, quality vs quantity, natural handmade products, and an effort to sustain small traditional workshops with respect to the environment, animals, people we work with and ourselves. All our products are designed and produced following the above principles (L21).
Donna Tapenero – Our mission and vision reflect the needs of consumers and the guidelines of society. We act responsibly. Our mission – Natural products that matter to you – helps us direct our work and develop better and better products for this world. Our vision “Towards perfect skin beauty” tells us how we can modify the compositions and flavors of future products based on 100% natural raw materials (stand N21).
Inlight Beauty – Our ethos and approach is centered around sustainability and slow beauty, creating effective skincare that is founded by scientific knowledge, guided by alchemy inspired by nature. The concentrated botanical extracts, potent base for all our products are created in house following an ancient slow procedure that keeps the wholeness of the ingredients intact and active (stand L63).
Natural Baby Care is a producer of natural skin care products for babies and young children. Natural Baby Care products are not tested on animals and each product is safe for the planet and full of ingredients that are naturally good (stand L47).
Labrains – Our philosophy is one of sustainability that includes caring for humanity and for the heritage left to us by those who came before – be it environmental or cultural – so that we may pass it on intact to our future generations. We view both science and nature as authentic channels of creativity and aim to reveal the sustainability behind beauty (L40).
LABBOK is the company that comes from the future, is more current than ever and meets the needs of the modern man. The times call us to become aware of a holistic culture of beauty in balance with the environment and within us. LABBOK with its power of science, is an ambassador of a sustainable life, full of aesthetics, quality and ecological consciousness (stand M35).
Other brands to meet at the show include: Nordic Natural Beauty Distribution (Inika), Dickinson, Brands, Nutrilight, Sirra Organics, Labbok, Uoga Uoga, Vild Nord, Kost kamm, Pura Vida Organic, Urtekram, Villoeco (Evergetikon), Natatul, Selencacare, Oriflame (Waunt), Spa Vivent, Bio B, Mokosh, Hagi, 4 Szpaki, Simply More, Rutines, Sapor, Eanna AB, Balade en Provence and Ester by Sweden.
Book your free trade ticket to Eco Living Scandinavia
Eco Living Scandinavia returns to MalmöMässan Sweden on 16-17 November. To register for a free trade ticket – click HERE
Please note, this is a trade only event and will need proof of trade status to visit.
Book a stand
The post A guide to sustainable beauty in Scandinavia appeared first on Nordic Organic Food Fair | Eco Living Scandinavia | 16-17 November 2022.