Key concerns debated at European Sustainable Cosmetics Summit

Sustainable Cosmetics Summit 2016 Paris
Sustainable Cosmetics Summit 2016 Paris

A number of the key sustainability issues facing the cosmetics industry have been highlighted at the European Sustainable Cosmetics Summit in Paris.

Pressing issues included contentious chemicals in personal care formulations, resource and carbon management, and the impact of packaging.

During sessions focusing on personal care ingredients, it was pointed out that although there is high awareness of palm oil and polyethylene beads, other less well known chemicals also have a detrimental impact on the environment.

Allard Marx, founder and CEO of Aethic, called for greater scrutiny of sunscreen chemicals, which are leading to the destruction of coral reef in many parts of the world. Andrew Thompson of Ronald Britton said that at least eight million tonnes of plastics leak into the ocean each year, disrupting marine eco-systems. His company has developed bio-based glitter as an alternative to conventional glitter.

With air pollution being linked to increased skin sensitivity and pigmentation, the advent of anti-pollution skincare was also covered.

Davide Bollati, chair of Italian sustainable hair care company Davines, also spoke at the event about the sustainable village the brand is opening in 2017, which will produce natural ingredients, create zero waste and be powered by green energy.

And William Cook from Marks & Spencer outlined its Plan A roadmap for its goal to become the most sustainable major retailer in the world. Two-thirds of its products now have a Plan A feature, including its Pure Natural beauty range, which is made from grape waste.

Professor Andrew Parker, founder and CEO of Lifescaped, gave a keynote on the potential of biomimetics. He expressed his concerns about losing nature’s technology, since every hour three species are becoming extinct on Earth. He urged the cosmetics industry to harness nature’s potential to create innovative products.

More information about the European Sustainable Cosmetics Summit can be found here.

Photo L to R: Sabine Kaestner, Spokesperson, Lavera; William Cook, Beauty Technologist, Marks & Spencer; Anne Himeno, Business Development, Chainpoint; Davide Bollati, Chairman, Davines; Dominic Watkins, Partner, DWF; Amarjit Sahota, Director, Organic Monitor