WHY TRANSPARENCY AND SUSTAINABILITY ARE VITAL TO TODAY’S COSMETICS INDUSTRY
The beauty industry is under increasing pressure from consumers to demonstrate transparency and sustainability in their supply chains.
In response, forward-looking companies are realizing the business value of transparency and sustainability.
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Transparency means the entire supply chain is visible, from raw materials, production, and packaging to delivery to retailers and consumers. A strategic concept, it is made possible by creating a shareable, fact-based profile of every aspect of the supply chain. Sustainability addresses the environmental and human impact of products, from sourcing and production of raw materials to manufacturing, packaging, distribution, and post-consumer activities.
Let’s look at why transparency and sustainability are vital to today’s cosmetics industry.
Transparency enables brand owners to support product claims (e.g., provenance, ethical sourcing) and tell the world, “We are what we say we are.” It offers greater operational efficiencies, mitigates common supply chain risks, and creates opportunities to engage with consumers. For example:
- Counterfeits and fakes. Fake products can endanger consumers’ health, jeopardize brand reputations, and affect profits. Transparency makes it more difficult for bogus products to enter the supply chain. Transparency can strengthen brand protection with detailed information about product provenance, quality, safety, and sustainability.
- Diversion, grey markets, and theft. The complexity of global supply chains makes it possible for products to end up in markets where they shouldn’t be. A transparent supply chain helps eliminate these “dark” areas.
- Consumer engagement. With data from a transparent supply chain, companies can create direct consumer relationships and link them with compelling digital interactions.
There are calls for mandatory sustainability standards. For example, the EU’s Supply Chain Law will require organizations to integrate sustainability into corporate governance and management systems, and frame business decisions in terms of human rights, climate, and environmental impact.
Consumers are driving the sustainability movement; they want to know that ingredients are pure, safe, and have been ethically sourced. For example, 62 percent of Generation Z consumers (born in the late 1990s) prefer to buy from sustainable brands, and 73 percent will pay more for sustainable products.
For cosmetics specifically, “The Big 3” are prioritizing sustainability and traceability:
- L’Oréal puts environmental and social performance at the heart of its business to drive value. It also held a virtual “Transparency Summit” last year.
- Estée Lauder’s mission is “to bring the best to everyone we touch and to support the environment in which we live.” It has a dedicated supply chain transparency page on its website.
- Unilever reports thoroughly on environmental and ethical statistics, including water, energy, greenhouse gases, waste and plastic packaging, sustainable sourcing, and community investment.
Cosmetics transparency and sustainability are here to stay. Fortunately, the technology and solutions exist right now to help the industry meet their stated goals — and the demands of consumers. These include supply chain digitalization, cloud-based data systems, and real-time monitoring, all of which are hallmarks of Antares Vision Group’s full-stack supply chain solution.
Our integrated technologies work together to harmonize, optimize, automate, and monitor virtually every aspect of the cosmetics supply chain, from raw materials to finished goods. This creates a fully traceable and transparent system that safeguards products, people, and planet while delivering true business value, including brand protection and unique opportunities for hyper-personalized consumer engagement.