ABIC Promotes Genuine Eco Credentials

There’s a lot written, not just within the wider beauty industry but every industry about brands that indulge in ‘greenwashing’. But what exactly is ‘greenwashing’ and what is the wiser, genuine sustainable alternative when it comes to choosing a product? By Tracey Horden.

Essentially greenwashing is making false claims (usually in marketing material) that your company or products are environmentally friendly. And this misleading, usually slickly-delivered lip service to sustainability is now rife across all products and markets, not just the wider beauty industry.

Greenwashing however is rarely caused by malicious motivations to deceive, it’s usually the result of ignorance, laziness, degrees of fakery and in some instances, over-enthusiasm. But it’s also easy to see why marketers are enthusiastic to promote their eco bona fides, whether they are true or not.

Sustainability Sells

According to GreenPrint’s 2021 Business of Sustainability Index*, 64% of Gen X consumers would opt to spend more on a product if they believed the product came from a sustainable brand. That figure jumps to whopping 75% among millennials who would choose eco credentialed products, over non-sustainable products.

The good news is consumers are becoming more aware of some of the misleading marketing tactics that companies have previously gotten away with. At the Aesthetic Beauty Industry Council (ABIC), we recognise that consumers are looking for brands that are transparent, honest and genuinely have integrity behind their actions and the products and services they release into the market.

One Body – One Planet

Anyone, any age who is conscious, who understands that our planet is fragile and currently out of balance, understands that we need to urgently redress that balance, not just by a change in our thinking – but by acting more consciously. And in a consumer society, often our most powerful actions are defined by our purchasing power.

Balance, like many things in life is key here, and it’s interesting to consider that we should aim to treat our planet, just as we would like our bodies to be treated. That is, gently and considerately, while always striving for balance. That’s a nice karmic thought to hold, isn’t it? If we were to treat the planet with the same conscious respect and care as we approach our bodies, the planet would be in a better state.

Truly eco-conscious health, beauty and wellness products and services not only serve us as an individual, but they also serve greater good – the planet. So how exactly to you choose what is best for you and the environment?

Marketing by Confusion

This is a legitimate marketing aim / terminology, Marketing by Confusion is a cynical strategy that is especially rife in the health / wellness and beauty market. Quite simply, there are so many skin and body care ranges that claim eco-friendly credentials that simply aren’t what they claim to be. Finding quality beauty and skincare products that are good for both you and the environment shouldn’t be so difficult, but unfortunately it can be.

But luckily in Australia, we have a regulated system, most importantly, if you choose to purchase “organic” products. But it still all comes down to doing your research and understanding basic terminology and recognising legitimate certifications.

If you want to find and buy genuine organic beauty and skincare products in Australia, we have a regulated certification system. Any brand or product that claims to be organic should have the certifications and the Australian Certified Organic logo on the packaging (it’s that small familiar swirl logo, usually green that looks like a sprout / or snail at first glance).

You can trust that when you purchase and use beauty and skincare products with this certified logo that you are using quality products that are made from nature’s best ingredients.

The Term “Natural” Can Mean… Absolutely Anything!

Many people understandably assume “natural” in the description of a product means something. It does not.

“Natural” Claims for a Product Could Potentially Follow these Standards:

  • Unregulated (no laws around what can and can’t be done)
  • Green washing / false eco-terminology is common in labelling and marketing
  • Open to misleading claims (due to it being unregulated)
  • No minimum requirement for ‘natural’. This means that as little as 1% of the product can be ‘natural’
  • Does not have to consider the environmental impact (not eco conscious)

On the Other Hand, in Australia – Certified Organic Products Convey:

  • Cosmetics / skincare products are especially heavily regulated
  • No greenwashing is allowed
  • No false or misleading claims are allowed
  • Products must contain a minimum percentage of organic natural ingredients
  • Products must consider environmental impact

ABIC always endorses choosing wisely, choosing healthy, sustainable products, not only for you – but for our planet. ■

This article was produced in partnership with ABIC.

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