The beauty industry isn’t good at opening up when it comes to ingredients and impact. But the ‘values shopper’ cohort is growing, and brands need to step up to meet their expectations. According to the British Beauty Council’s Courage To Change report, 86% of beauty shoppers want information about ingredient supply chains. Brands are falling behind these customer expectations: 1 in 5 customers don’t know how to check a product’s sustainability credentials.
Supply chain transparency is a difficult issue for brands. At Provenance, however, we believe they have a responsibility to open up about impact. And, with customer expectations for transparency growing fast, those who do will benefit. We believe every product should come with accessible, trustworthy information about origin, journey and impact. Through Provenance’s Transparency Framework, we’re helping beauty brands deliver exactly this.
What’s the Transparency Framework?
Our Transparency Framework is an open-source framework that helps companies communicate the impact of their business and supply chains with integrity. The framework is benchmarked to international standards, verifiable through proof and backed up by a council of expert advisors. It allows brands to turn supply chain data into information shoppers can understand, accessible through off-pack and online channels.
As part of the Transparency Framework process, we work with brands to develop a comprehensive understanding of a product’s impact throughout the supply chain. This covers a range of issues relating to a business’s impact, from carbon impact to animal welfare issues. The framework then allows brands to communicate the impact through Proof Points, which connect claims around impact to real data in the supply chain.
What does it mean for beauty brands?
1. Unlock the truth around ingredients
Beauty shoppers are used to a lack of information around ingredients. When ingredients lists are disclosed, they’re often difficult to understand, making it hard for shoppers to make an informed decision.
Our Transparency Framework is enabling brands to be open with customers about ingredients and their impact on people and the planet. Through Proof Points, brands can clearly communicate proven claims around their ingredients, so that shoppers can compare products based on facts.
The framework in action: Provenance recently worked with an Italian brand who were marketing sunscreen as Coral Reef Safe. Thanks to the Transparency Framework process, they learned that their formulation in fact contained an ingredient not considered to be Coral Reef Safe. The brand immediately stopped making this claim, and are currently taking steps to address the issue.
2: Add clarity to clinical claims
Beauty shoppers are used to brands marketing their products as ‘clinically tested’. But unfortunately, not all claims adhere to a consistent standard, and shoppers are generally left in the dark on the nature of these tests
Through our Transparency Framework, brands can get specific with their ‘clinically tested’ claims. The framework allows brands to share the subject, method and results of the test in question. Shoppers can then access this information online – by clicking on a Provenance Claim Capsule or in-store – by scanning a QR code.
The framework in action: Lumity is a cosmetics brand that sells ‘clinically tested’ Day & Night Nutritional Supplements. With Provenance Proof Points, their customers can see a detailed summary of these clinical tests with just a click. Lumity’s customers can see that “a placebo-controlled, double-blind, two-cell clinical trial was conducted on 50 female subjects, aged 35-65, for 12 weeks.” Crucially, they can also see the positive results: “users saw significant improvements in hair, skin, nails & quality of life.”
3: Communicate with confidence on product recyclability
British Beauty Council research found that unrecyclable packaging is amongconsumers’ top environmental concerns – and little wonder, given that the global cosmetics industry produces more than 120 billion units of packaging every year.
However, it’s a complex issue and many brands struggle to know what they can and can’t claim. Through the Transparency Framework, we’re helping brands develop a comprehensive understanding of the recyclability of their packaging, so that they can communicate confidently around this key consumer issue.
The framework in action: We recently worked with a haircare brand called Centred. Through the Transparency Framework, they were able to collate comprehensive packaging information from their supplier for a recyclability Proof Point. In the process, they discovered that parts of their packaging were actually made from recycled plastic. This meant that they weren’t only recyclable, but more than 75% of the product’s packaging was made from recycled materials, which they could communicate to shoppers through an additional Proof Point.
4. Build trust with third-party proof
According to a Compare Ethics report, just 1 in 5 shoppers trust brands’ sustainability claims. It’s perhaps understandable thatlarge brands are often guilty of ‘greenhush’, and reluctant to communicate progress for fear of backlash.
Beauty brands can tackle this problem by working with independent third parties to verify their claims. The Transparency Framework helps brands add weight to claims and build consumer trust by embedding these verifications within the off-pack and online shopping experience. In practice, this lets brands highlight the positive impact they are having in the supply chain, whether that’s by working with communities or reusing byproducts.
The framework in action: The socially conscious fragrance brand Sana Jardin claims to “contribute to development of the community where our hero ingredient is sourced”. Through the Transparency Framework, the brand is able to evidence their actions: the Orange Blossom Project which they helped form has led to a 136% increase in local women's wages and the re-purposing of floral waste. Sana Jardin had this claim publicly verified by NEST, a nonprofit focused on responsible handcraft.
Are you a beauty brand manager? We’d love to talk with you about how our Transparency Framework can help you communicate with credibility around product impact. Get in touch.