Friday, February 24, 2012

Cosmetic Companies and CSR

By: Julia Isslamow

If you are into the beauty world – mainly cosmetics – you would know that there are numerous arguments regarding cosmetic companies and being ethical. The main issue which seems to arise is regarding PETA and the ethical treatment of animals.

One of the major companies which take pride in their CSR and ethics is “The Body Shop”. According to their website they have over 2,500 stores and they are located in over 60 markets worldwide. They take pride in the fact they are 1) against animal testing 2) fair trade 3) five core values [support community trade, defend human rights, against animal testing, protect out plant] 4) their charitable foundation. All of these values are without a doubt absolutely amazing. However, one issue which I have found is their actual product. I find their cosmetics incredibly over-priced for the quality, the pigmentation is definitely lacking, their cosmetic brushes shed, and lastly I find their make-up “heavy”. Again, this is completely a personal observation.

The negative aspects of their products to me, outweigh their amazing values. I would much rather spend that money on a product which I love on a company which vales may not be anywhere close to theirs. I feel like if they were to improve their products, people such as myself may purchase more ethical products.

By saying this, I read here that L’oreal has made the change in being ethical. L’oreal is the world’s largest cosmetic company. They have made significant changes in the “environmental” and “social” aspects. They are trying to master their environmental impacts of their activities by:

- Increasing awareness

- Reduce environmental impact with industrial sites, shipping centres, administrate sites

- Decrease volume of point of sale displays in weight and quantity while putting an emphasis on recycling

- Reduce volume and weight of their packaging

- And much more

As for social aspects they have implemented

- Aim of zero accidents in the workforce

o Impoved safety levels by 23%

- Partnered with UNESCO in the “For women in science”

- The belief that the contribution of women is vital to the future

L’oreal has ‘higher end drug store’ cosmetics. They are accessible through any drugstore, however you will not find these products as Sephora which is a higher end cosmetic store. Their quality and price is very reasonable, especially if you cannot get to or afford a Sephora brand. The pigmentation of most of their products is really well, along with its consistency.

It is nice to see a company with good products take a stand on social responsibility. I hope that with companies such as L’oreal and The Body shop coming together to make a change, that some of the larger “prestigious” companies such as “Urban Decay”, “Too Face”, “Make up Forever”, “MAC” and many, many more will follow in their footsteps.

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