A Roadmap to Sustainability
Since 2010, The Detox Market has been curating the best of green beauty to provide customers with confidence in their choices. Their focus has been primarily on avoiding toxic, chemically-charged cosmetic products, and although being environmentally conscious has always been key in their business, they realized it was time to take it to the next level. Our team members – Arianna Bottome, Blair Diehl, Emma Lawrence, Laura Shutack and Zoë Gaston – were tasked to create a sustainability beauty framework to inspire brands sold at The Detox Market to implement responsible practices. Additionally, the client requested we develop a strategy specific to their in-house brand, Detox Mode, currently producing a line of 8 all-natural, safe and effective skincare products.
Part of our goal for this project was to simplify the complex idea of sustainability to provide small brands with opportunities to create a positive impact regardless of the resources available to them. We wanted to make our strategy accessible, clear and easily digestible.
We started by researching common environmental and social challenges across the cosmetics supply chain. The stages we selected include: raw material sourcing and processing, product manufacturing, packaging, consumer use, and end-of-life. Once these challenges were identified, we used them to guide our strategy formulations, and, by gathering information individual to the Detox Mode, we created a separate plan with specific steps unique to them.
Knowing that we had to create an industry-wide framework and propose solutions that could be adopted by multiple brands, we also developed a “Self-Assessment Workbook” so that any brand using this material is able to connect where sustainability falls in their business model, and select the solutions that fit their operations the best.
Our final product was divided into 4 main parts, including:
- A Cosmetics Supply Chain Analysis: Including an overview of each stage analyzed, a ranking according to the level of risk associated to each stage, the drivers behind the impacts, and targets and strategies to address them.
- A Self-Assessment Workbook: A tool to guide brands in finding an alignment with sustainable goals based on where they are today. In this section we also provided suggestions for measuring, benchmarking and tracking their progress.
- Best Practices for Detox Mode: A set of actionable steps and recommendations specific to the Detox Mode.
- Resources: A selection of tools and helpful resources for any brand to get started in their sustainability journey, including greenhouse gas calculators, certifications, reporting frameworks, and more.
It is essential to understand where you are to understand where you can and need to get. There is no single right way to improve sustainability, and before setting any goals or targets, brands must measure their impacts to identify the potential for change and reduction under their individual circumstances. It is ok to start small, and our aim is that our work can be used as an incentive for continuous growth.