The first Asia-Pacific edition of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit will take place in Hong Kong on 7-8th November. Organised by Organic Monitor, the summit aims to help establish natural & organic beauty products in the region
Natural & organic beauty is chosen as the primary focus of the summit because research shows the Asian region is lagging in terms of production and consumption of these products. Although the continent has over 3.5 million hectares of organic farmland and become a major source of natural ingredients, very few companies are involved in production and marketing of natural & organic cosmetics. High consumer demand is leading European and American brands to mainly capitalise on business opportunities in the Asian market.
One reason for Asia to lag behind is the lack of technical know-how and expertise in green formulations. To address this, the summit opens with a dedicated workshop that covers the major formulation issues associated with natural & organic cosmetics. Judi Beerling, head of technical research at Organic Monitor, will go through the natural alternatives to synthetic chemicals like parabens, phthalates, SLS / SLES, etc. A critical review will be undertaken of the leading natural & organic standards, and practical advice given to Asian brands looking at developing ‘chemically-clean’ cosmetics.
Business openings and marketing challenges are the focus of the second workshop, also on day one of the 2-day programme. Titled ‘business opportunities in the global market for natural & organic cosmetics,’ the workshop provides the latest market data and key developments in this dynamic sector. The workshop leader will highlight some of the major marketing and distribution obstacles to growth in the Asian market. With many companies struggling to communicate natural & organic product features to consumers, the workshop shares best-practices from pioneering companies in Europe and North America.
The seminars (day two of the summit agenda) will also showcase leading Asian brands in the naturals arena. Lihua Song and Gordon Chalmers, founders of the organic skincare brand Jasmin Skincare will share its experiences in targeting Chinese consumers. Although the brand has Australian origins, Jasmin Skincare has set up manufacturing facilities and distribution infrastructure in mainland China. It is now one of the few organic brands to be successful in the potentially lucrative Chinese market.
A paper on ayurveda and cosmetics will be given by Dr. Prahallad Maddi Archana from Himalaya Herbals Healthcare. The ayurvedic doctor will show how ayurveda – an ancient philosophy of India – is permeating into natural cosmetics. Also in the marketing session, a leading retailer will give its perspectives in selecting and marketing natural & organic beauty products. GfK will share its research on green consumers in Asia, giving insights into buyer behaviour, motives and attitudes towards natural & sustainable products.
Some of the most practical sustainability initiatives for Asian companies are highlighted in the sustainability best-practices session. The Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) will discuss the future role of roundtables in commodity sourcing. Others papers will cover implementing an ethical sourcing programme in Asia, building a sustainable business, and sustainable packaging.
Following on from the opening workshop, the green formulations session gives an update on green ingredients and formulations. Jari Lander from AAK will discuss the opportunities and pitfalls of using plant feedstock for cosmetic ingredients. Other speakers will explore novel actives for skin whitening, formulating with traditional Asian herbs, and developing paraben-free preservative systems. Key speakers will discuss novel approaches to persistent technical issues in the panel discussion.
By intertwining technical and marketing sessions, the organiser believe the summit can help overcome some of the major impediments to growth in the Asian natural & organic beauty products market. Mr. Amarjit Sahota, founder and president of Organic Monitor, comments ‘natural, organic and sustainability are becoming an integral part of the beauty industry in the western world. We are taking the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit to Asia to show sustainable development should not be confined by geographical boundaries.’
Organised by Organic Monitor, the aim of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit is to encourage sustainability in the beauty industry by bringing together key stake-holders and debate major sustainability issues in a high-level forum. More details are on the website