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Naturals in the Age of Sustainability

By: Jeb Gleason-Allured, Editor
Posted: March 17, 2009, from the March 2009 issue of P&F magazine.

The lingering question for ethical naturals is: can sustainability be accomplished when economies falter? And how do companies measure sustainability and ethics in the first place?

 During her presentation at the 7th Centifolia International Congress on Perfumery and Natural Materials in Grasse, France, Mintel analyst Nica Lewis acknowledged that eco-friendly beauty products remain a small subset of the whole, though there is significant growth potential. “We need to show consumers that luxury can be ethical,” she said.

“I believe sustainability equals protection,” Lewis added, defining the term as both protection of humans from the damaged environment and defending the planet from human activity. And while there are legitimate drivers behind this growing trend, there is a dangerous downside: totophobia.