Ulta doubles down on its commitment to transparency and sustainability in its battle for the clean and conscious beauty consumer. Prestige clean beauty is up 11% so far in 2020 despite the overall beauty category’s 14% decline, according to data from the NPD Group. The direction of beauty is clear—consumers are voting with their wallets for clean, sustainable, and transparent products.
The launch of Conscious Beauty at Ulta Beauty is a holistic initiative to provide consumers greater choice and transparency while going head to head with the Clean At Sephora program. With strategic partners in place, the initiative will debut this fall and will certify brands under five key pillars—Clean Ingredients, Cruelty-Free, Vegan, Sustainable Packaging, and Positive Impact.
Under its Sustainable Packaging pillar, Ulta Beauty is taking further steps to do what’s right for the environment. Effective today, Ulta Beauty pledges to ensure 50 percent of all packaging sold, including the Ulta Beauty Collection, will be made from recycled or bio-sourced materials, or will be recyclable or refillable by 2025.
“As the beauty retail leader, we have the unique opportunity to inspire positive change in our industry,” said Dave Kimbell, President of Ulta Beauty. “With Conscious Beauty at Ulta Beauty, our focus is to educate, guide, and simplify product choice and elevate those brands doing good for our world. This initiative helps our guests readily navigate our assortment through the lens of what matters most to them. We are thrilled to offer such transparency and set significant standards as a company.”
The five-pillar program will help guests navigate brand choices tailored to their personal values across the following areas:
- Clean Ingredients: Indicates which brands comply with the Ulta Beauty Made Without List, an ingredient standard created for Conscious Beauty.
- The Made Without List is grounded in science and was developed in partnership with ingredient and health experts. As research, technology, and regulations evolve, so too will the Made Without List. At launch, this designation indicates a brand is free of parabens, phthalates, and ingredients from more than 25 chemical categories.
- Participating brands will be certified via ClearForMe, largely regarded as the leading independent ingredient authority, to ensure ingredient transparency.
- The recently announced Credo Collection at Ulta Beauty, featuring eight exciting clean beauty brands, will launch within the Conscious Beauty platform.
- Cruelty-Free: Elevates brands that certify as never engaging in animal testing. This pillar incorporates third-party certification from organizations such as PETA, Leaping Bunny, and Choose Cruelty-Free.
- Vegan: Underscores beauty products made free of animal products, animal by-products, or animal derivatives.
- Sustainable Packaging: Designates brands made with reduced, recyclable, or refillable packaging to minimize the more than 120 billion packaging units produced globally annually within the cosmetics industry.
- Ulta Beauty will pilot a circular shopping experience as the exclusive beauty retailer for reusable packaging pioneer Loop. This relationship will fuel actionable improvements to packaging processes, begin to tackle the sizable beauty-waste issue, and contribute to Ulta Beauty’s 2025 sustainable-packaging goals.
- The company will support the Sustainable Packaging Coalition’s (SPC) mission to make actionable improvements in packaging systems and will apply How2Recycle instructions on owned-brand packaging and print materials.
- Positive Impact: Highlights brands with giving back at their core and those that champion meaningful causes.
Ulta Beauty established the Conscious Beauty Advisory Council to drive the initiative forward. Collectively tackling industry issues, cultivating communal efforts, and bringing unique perspectives across beauty forward, the Council brings together experts at the forefront of clean beauty, product development, packaging sustainability, and brand leadership. To date, the Council includes Annie Jackson, co-founder and COO, Credo Beauty, and Tom Szaky, CEO and co-founder, Loop, among others.
“We have always taken pride in offering guests a diverse assortment of products to meet their individual beauty needs, including many brands that align to the Conscious Beauty pillars,” Kimbell added. “Today’s announcement marks a definitive milestone on our ongoing journey in this space and we look forward to further meeting guests’ needs this fall in-store and online.”
Photo: via Ulta