I was very excited to receive my first order from Futurenatural today (a US online store that sells the most gorgeous selection of natural/organic cosmetics). As I ripped through the box with my car key (couldn’t even wait to get home from the post office!) and tore open the brown wrapping paper, I suddenly realised what I was witnessing – the takeover of the organic beauty industry.
I started in this industry professionally in 2001, so it has been a decade for me of buying, watching and creating natural products. I have seen hundreds of brands, many of them came and went in a short time; some were great products in boring packaging, others were poor quality in pretty cute packaging. And then the evolution began.
I think it was around 2006. I started noticing that eco brands were starting to take themselves seriously. No longer satisfied to be the ‘alternative’ for hippy-types who weren’t concerned about the quality or beauty of a product (PS This is a massive stereotype – I apologise to any hippies I have offended. I love you all!), they suddenly began looking at themselves as serious contenders in the world of beauty.
At that time, there were only a handful of brands available in Australia that really cut the mustard in terms of quality, ingredients and aesthetics Living Nature (from New Zealand), John Masters Organics (USA), Aveda (although not strictly natural in the truest sense of the word) and perhaps one or two others. In the US and UK there were several more. But I think it was enough to make the others sit up and take notice. What these brands were doing a few years caught the eye of the entire beauty industry. It must have. Look at any commercial cosmetics brand now and you’ll see a slew of natural or organic claims, or marketing phrases that claim the use of natural ingredients. Clearly the industry recognised where it needed to go.
Fast forward to today and I sit in an office every day reading emails, seeing images and testing products from the hundreds of fantastic natural or organic brands now available. Very rarely do I try something that doesn’t tick all the boxes. Amazing hair products, stunning perfumes, beautiful makeup, skincare to die for! The quality is almost always superb, the packaging often stunning and the ingredients are still the focus for most of these companies (thankfully). Not only do we compete against the big guys, I get the feeling we’re actually winning this race.
Let me send a shout out to all the little companies who started in this industry with a vision for change, a passion for naturals and the guts to go forward and really shake the tree. You’ve done us all proud. What a privilege to be a part of such a dynamic industry. I can’t wait to see what the next decade will bring.
Got a favourite natural/organic brand? I’d love to hear about it! Post your comments…