Cosmetic green – LA NACION (Argentina)

Cuando la belleza busca ser sustentable
When beauty seeks to be sustainable. Photo: THE NATION / Ana Fanelli

The impact of the process of preparing cosmetic products and the use of certain components is a subject little noticed, and relativized by the laboratories and consumers. Sometimes the cosmetic effect weighs more than the footprint you can leave on our body or in the environment. How important is that impact? or what are the consequences of the use of certain inputs? What is done in our country? and what are the marks that line up on the road to sustainability? Sustainability is a topic of debate and concern, because it has to do with the incidence of the hand of man in the environment and in their social context. The key is the conscientious use of resources today.

The name sustainable is not something easy to tackle in almost any industry and in the cosmetics either, because they take into account the ingredients used, where they come from, the ways of extraction and treatment and waste management. In addition to this, the value of the human being in the entire production chain and fair trade.

Are there any brands 100% sustainable in Argentina? No. Here and in the world, sustainability is an ideal, but yes there are firms that have a greater commitment than others.

«Sustainability is not a new issue; it was stated in 1968 in Rome when scientists, researchers and politicians from 30 countries, discussed the changes in the environment and their impact on society»


At the head are the companies certified as organic because their products are made with natural ingredients, that respect the cycle of nature, and are chemical-free and their packaging is biodegradable.

In Argentina, Anamê Saw, brand with 11 years in the market, developed a line of cosmetics certified by the National Organic Program, which is part of the Department of Agriculture the united States in 2002, which established a national standard for organic, which is followed by companies in the world. «All organic product is natural as we only accept the process of nature, but a natural product is not necessarily organic. For the natural, using conventional processes, but the herbicides and agrochemicals are present,» says Ceballos, who invites us to pay attention to what we use.

Weleda is a good example. For its production uses around 1,000 natural raw materials. «Monitors from the cultivation to the harvest and in the formulation does not use preservatives, colorants or synthetic perfumes. The respect for the environment governed the choice of raw materials, packaging and in the use of electric current ecological,» says Isabel Escalante, Marketing manager of Weleda Argentina. In addition, it bases its relationship with suppliers through fair trade and sustainable development with prices above the market, long-term contracts and training in farming techniques biological or biodynamic. «The farmers abandon the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides».

Take care of the resources

There are several large patches that took up a policy of sustainable, on the basis of small changes. «Many companies first line began to give importance to sustainability and have programs for recycling or replacement of a percentage of materials derived from petroleum. Some incorporate green chemistry (working with synthetic ingredients that are not harmful); also comply with the fair trade and are committed to lowering the emission of greenhouse gases, to reduce the carbon footprint and to transform the 100% crops (raw materials sustainable,» says Patricia Dermer, director of Lidherma.

In that sense many of the major cosmetics brands work with suppliers of raw materials certified as sustainable, for example BASF, one of which produces active chemicals or synthetic materials with international certifications of care environment, such as the european standard Cosmos, or the seal Natrue that respect biodiversity.

The brazilian Natura knows how to take care of resources. Already in the 70 incorporated plant ingredients; in 1983 launched spare parts; in 2006, eliminated tests on animals, and in 2007 launched the programme Carbon Neutral, by which it committed itself to offset its carbon emissions; in 2013 launched the line, Ekos, which included communities agroextractivas of the Amazon, the use of recycled plastic post-consumer polyethylene from sugar cane in containers and spare parts, as well as the fragrance of the alcohol organic. In 2014, he achieved certification as the company biggest B in the world, that is to say that among its objectives are the purposes of environmental and social.

«There is a widespread awareness that no companies can keep producing and the people consuming as if resources were unlimited. It’s not about sacrificing quality for sustainability, but rather to offer products that combine beauty, pleasure, and sustainability. That is the key to growth», says Sabina Zaffora, manager of Sustainability for Natura.

A big as L’oréal Argentina took over in 2015 the objectives of the sustainability program to Share the beauty with everyone. «To produce a sustainable, L’oréal works with renewable materials, recyclable packaging, you try to educate the consumer to have sustainable practices and encourages the inclusion of labour in the people,» says Pablo Sánchez Liste, director of Communication and Marketing, which is expected to reduce the environmental footprint of the company by 60% to 2020. L’oréal ranks number 14 in the ranking of the 100 most Sustainable Companies in the World of Corporate Knights.

«The cosmetic in Argentina we have plenty to do. It is necessary to include the management of sustainability in the core of the business, so that the vision of the company beyond what the words to transform into visible deeds of commitment», says Susana Casabé, director of Communications of Avon to the South market. The company faced a series of reforms in its production, among them the expansion of the treatment plant of liquid effluents, with the installation of a system that increases the efficiency of the debugging process. In 2015, it is recycled 3428 tonnes of cardboard, paper, plastics, glass and metals. In addition, we implemented composting for the treatment of waste and the reduction of use of electric energy with the use of LED.

Another that has a critical eye towards the use of resources is L’occitane. 95% of their products are made with natural elements, but limited the use of ingredients in their formulas to reduce the impact on the ecosystem, as well as avoid materials which are difficult to degrade (such as silicones or microspheres) and the use of air transport to minimize the impact of carbon. Sum packaging and recyclable refills and ecological.

Also Avène changed. And he did it in the formulas of the solar to remove filters that are water-soluble so as not to affect marine biodiversity; and replaced a plastic wrap for a security seal.

Klorane, another signature of Pierre Fabre, together with Botanic Gardens Conservation International works to conserve medicinal species argentinas through a program in which they undertake to cultivate and to propagate modifications in the Botanical Garden of Buenos Aires; among them, Maytenus viscifolia, Maytenus vitis-idaea, Maytenus spinosa, which are still not used but they are in the process of being used in commercial products.

In 2008, Kiehl’s with their product’s Aloe Vera Biodegradable Liquid Body Cleanser achieved the certification cradle to cradle (cradle to cradle), 100% biodegradable; in addition, it carries forward the program Reciclá and be rewarded, by which he invites us to bring the packaging of the brand to their stores to score points, and encourages them even more to give them a product gift.

Dior, for its part, launched the line Life with the concept of choosing the power of nature to beautify, with the premise of respecting the skin and the environment. How do you find fulfill this, and how to do it? In the cleansers, creams and treatments of this line, removes parabens, it minimizes the presence of the silicone and petrochemical derivatives; in addition, renews its packaging, eliminating brochures, corrugated cardboard and cellophane and using natural dyes.

More examples. A brand newcomer to the country is proud to be in this way. «We were inspired by the bees that take what they need from nature, leaving your surroundings better than they found it,» says Claudio Yakimovsky, chief Marketing officer of Burt’s Bees Latin america, that in addition to using natural raw materials, has strong policies for recycling and reduction of energy consumption.

Social impact

«In Argentina, the sustainability has always had to do with being sustainable in the production, but there is a social area that until recently has not looked and it is essential», writes Sánchez Liste. That’s why, L’oréal has a current program Beauty for a future, which offers low-income people to an output and labor of their crafts workshops: hair and makeup. Another of its actions in favour of the environment is carried out with the program Armani, acqua for life, which seeks to bring clean drinking water to communities that do not have it; he did so with a town of the Chubut and this year it will hit the Pillar.

In that line also is Kiehl’s, which supports the economic development of different communities, such as the argan oil cooperative Targanine in Morocco, which obtained from a relationship of fair trade. The same, Sri Sri Ayurveda, originating from India, who came to Argentina six months ago and occurs at the base of grasses and plants ancestral, make donations to the generation and realization of social programs; more than 40,000 children in India receive free education thanks to a program that holds.

Another more. Veganis produced in Argentina, under formulas, canadian, cosmetics, a vegan and, this year, will launch vegan foods to give in the public schools. «We want families to learn to eat healthier and in harmony with the environment,» points out April Torres, director of MKT of Veganis.

La cosmética se compromete
The cosmetic are committed. Photo: THE NATION / Ana Fanelli

More than words

The links of the chain: «In the cosmetics in local there are good intentions, but the actions are isolated. There are small ones that apply some of the principles of sustainability, such as the choice of packaging or raw materials, but sustainability is much more. This is a strategy that involves their production processes and take into account the social subject», says Alejandra García, Product manager of Biogreen.

Sustainability internal: «A company has to be sustainable inward and also outward. Some of the measures you can take are: to include train managers and middle managers in that culture; to choose suppliers committed; analyze the production processes, by paying attention to the consumption of water and in the treatment of effluents; to assess the packaging and rationalization to minimize the creation of waste; purchase raw materials from renewable resources», says the director of Lidherma.

The consumption conscious: «there is Currently a real demand for the consumers to buy cosmetics reliable and this makes them much more demanding in their choices,» adds Danielle Zanotti, director of Organization management, International Agriculture, which is responsible for certification of organic and natural products.

Some examples

Firming cream night. Burt’s Bees, $ 599

Hand cream based on natural extracts of fruits, herbs and flowers. The Passion Flower, $ 160

Tonic organic moisturizer. Anamê Vior, $ 355

Milk extrahumectante with avocado and olive oil. Veganis, $ 180

PRODUCTION: Agustina Butler. Scenography: Paula Bianco and Florence Abd. Illustration: María Elina Méndez. Maquilló and combed her hair: Cecilia Olivestro with Dior products. Model: Chloe Galli for Civil Management.

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