Nowadays, when we shop for beauty and grooming products, it’s not just about what they can do for our hair or skin—it’s also about their impact on the world around us. People are taking a closer look inside the bottle, looking for sustainably and ethically sourced ingredients that are natural—forget ingredients that no one can pronounce. But as brands have begun cleaning up their products, consumers are also concerned about their platform.
“I think it is important for every company to realize that consumers vote with their dollars, and that in 2018, businesses have a very real responsibility to all stakeholders: workers, the environment, consumers and shareholders,” says Mia Davis, director of Mission at Credo Beauty. “There is no second chance here to earn consumer trust or to find another planet with the resources we need to thrive.”
In the past, cosmetic companies would offer one-off products for a cause or do a limited-run campaign. But now, the future is brands aiming for long-term, impactful commitments. “When I started working on corporate accountability, there were very few companies that did anything beyond basic cause marketing, which arguably was really a marketing initiative, not about social change,” Davis says. “One-off campaigns can be useful for certain causes, especially those that are targeted, like raising money to pay a hospital bill or a legal fund. But slapping a pink ribbon on a product for one month—especially if that product was made with chemicals linked to cancer in the first place—is not a genuine or useful approach to change, and I’d argue it’s actually doing a huge disservice. I’d much rather see companies with thoughtful, long-term programs in place.”