Spreading Clean Beauty

Embracing ethical manufacturing in the BPC space

Last year, a survey by Sagentia found that the vast majority of British adults say that beauty and personal care brands should put more effort into ethical manufacturing. The market research company commissioned a poll of more than 2,000 people to find out what matters most when they’re choosing personal care products, and interestingly, ethical and sustainable credentials were found to be just as important as sensory characteristics like fragrance, at 34% and 31% respectively.

These findings demonstrate the growing public discussion about climate change and sustainability. It’s radically altering the way people think about the products they purchase and what they expect from brands. Now, it’s not only about making your skin, hair or body feel cared for – it’s about caring for the people and the planet too.

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What makes a product ethical?

Certainly, many leading beauty and personal care brands have sustainability objectives and reports. However, this survey indicates that many people want to see practical, tangible evidence of change rather than the usual corporate statements. This is of vital importance, especially as younger consumers become more alert to ‘greenwashing’ or over-inflated sustainability claims. 

Ultimately, it’s all very well having a mission statement that talks about ethical manufacturing, but this needs to filter down to the products in a meaningful way. When people think of ethical beauty, they often think of sustainable packaging – but this is only one part of the puzzle. Ethical manufacturing implies a totally transparent supply chain, with ethical practices applied at every touchpoint, from sourcing to collaborations with growers.

Provital’s commitment to ethical manufacturing

Provital believes that taking care is taking action. Taking care is the force that moves us forward, and it is also our commitment to people, communities, and the planet. We care by combining nature and science to develop innovative sustainable products and assuring an ethical supply chain. This enables beauty brands to integrate a wholly ethical manufacturing process into their product development.

Provital is proud to be the first cosmetic ingredients supplier to earn the Internationally Recognized Certificate of Compliance (IRCC) at Access and Benefit-Sharing Clearing-House (ABSCH). This certification demonstrates that Provital fulfills all requirements according to the Nagoya Protocol. Aimed at ensuring the fair and equitable sharing of the riches gained from the planet’s natural resources, this certification is a cornerstone of our ethical manufacturing processes.

A key example of our ethical sourcing initiatives is our work sourcing Buchu (Agathosma betulina) with the Khoi and San indigenous peoples in South Africa. With these communities, we apply the access and benefit-sharing principles of the Nagoya Protocol to harvest this medicinal plant ethically, and acknowledge the Khoi and San peoples as the keepers of this knowledge. Closer to home, Provital also works with farmers in the Vall del Tenes in Catalonia to locally and sustainably grow numerous medicinal plants and botanicals as part of our project BioDeVaTe.

BPC needs to center people and the planet

Today, it is essential that the BPC industry fully embraces ethical manufacturing. This isn’t only to meet consumer demands – it’s also to play an active role in preserving our planet for generations to come. To achieve this, brands need to scrutinize every aspect of their supply chain: where did the raw materials for this product come from? Was it cultivated sustainably? Was the grower fairly paid? How sustainable is our production facility? Is the product biodegradable?

Of course, this creates a complex set of challenges, which may involve some serious overhauls – but with the right partners, we can work together to make beauty more sustainable, ethical, and caring.

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