Nearly 90% of consumers today believe companies should look for ways to make their products and services more sustainable. Over the years, several beauty brands, ambassadors, and consumers have longed for a more sustainable industry, hoping to tackle ethical and environmental issues through climate- and people-conscious campaigns, product offerings, and packaging. An increasing number of companies are also seeking more extensive sustainability credentials such as B Corp certification. In the hopes of making a difference, e.l.f. Beauty has become the first in the cosmetics industry to have one of their third-party manufacturing facilities Fair Trade Certified.
“Consumers love e.l.f. because of our superpowers. We bring premium quality products at an extraordinary value that are cruelty-free, vegan, and clean, and now we are adding one more superpower: achieving a Fair Trade Certification," says Tarang Amin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of e.l.f. Beauty.
Fair Trade USA offers globally recognized sustainable sourcing certification programs, with a Fair Trade Certified seal on a product signifying that it was made in accordance with rigorous standards, promoting sustainable livelihoods and safe working conditions for factory employees, protection of the environment, and transparent supply chains.
"It's been very meaningful to partner with Fair Trade USA to establish the first Fair Trade Certification in the beauty industry for our third-party manufacturer," Amin furthers. "We look forward to growing consumer awareness and education around fair trade practices to make a difference in communities around the world.”
The facility first achieved the certification in August this year. To achieve certification, it was required to pass audits and demonstrations that adhere to over 100 compliance criteria covering environmental and social responsibility, empowerment, and economic development.
The certification extends across all products from e.l.f. Beauty's portfolio of brands: e.l.f. Cosmetics, e.l.f. Skin, Well People, and Keys Soulcare. Going forward, every time a consumer purchases a Fair Trade Certified product, e.l.f. Beauty will contribute funds to the facility workers who made the product to be used to improve their community.
“Worker participation is a big part of our supply chain. Our manufacturing partners have worked with us for a long time and are part of the e.l.f. family. One of the things that gave us confidence that we could get Fair Trade Certified is that we already had great conditions for workers. The extra premium empowers workers to decide for themselves what needs to be improved in their communities,” Neha Gohil, VP, Global Sourcing and Strategic Extensions at e.l.f. Beauty, tells BeautyMatter.
By purchasing e.l.f. Beauty products consumers are helping to push other companies and professionals to make conscious changes to their products and services, ultimately resulting in a much more sustainable future for the beauty industry, which will eventually have an impact on the Earth as a whole.
Prior to the Fair Trade Certification, e.l.f. Beauty had already made environmental progress. In 2021, through smart packaging redesign, the company saved over 1 million pounds of packaging materials. Earlier this year, the brand reformulated 350 SKUs to ensure all products were not only 100% vegan and cruelty-free, but also clean, banning over 1,600 ingredients. As e.l.f. Beauty works to achieve Fair Trade Certification for additional factories in the near future, their goal is to have 80% of products contributing to the betterment of local communities. “We are excited by the progress that we are making along our sustainability journey. At e.l.f. we like to say that anything is e.l.f.ing possible and the opportunities are limitless,” Gohil concludes.
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