Beauty Store Business

AUG 2018

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54 August 2018 | ever-growing customer demand. "I am very clear on Shashi's vision for Credo," Jackson says. "I miss him tremendously and there about 100 times a day I wish I could talk to him, but I never question whether we are growing according to what he envisioned. And that feels really good." MAKING CHANGE Meanwhile, Credo continues to make progress in the greater landscape of clean beauty. In June 2017, the company joined Beautycounter's Counteract Coalition, made up of like-minded businesses in the safe skincare and beauty industries collaborating to advocate for federal laws to protect consumer health. With no new rules or regulations on the $400 billion U.S. beauty industry in the past 80 years, Jackson explains, companies like Credo and Beautycounter are working to create better standards. "This coalition will activate at key moments, with actions to include joint sign-on letters to key Con- gressional committees; coordinated phone calls to Hill offices; and trips to Washington, D.C.," she says. "Credo is promoting the text for change–people can just text 'Better Beauty' to 52886 and, in response, a form with a letter that is directly sent to your state senator will appear." Because there are no legal definitions of terms such as "clean," "green" and "natural," Credo works to define them and asks its brand partners to align with these definitions, hopefully easing confusion in the beauty space. The company, of course, very clearly defines clean beauty on its website, including what ingredients they don't allow. Then there is the formation of the Clean Beauty Council–a dream since Credo's founding. "The Clean Beauty Council is a group of beauty industry experts who have been propelling the industry forward. It's made up of seasoned veterans of the clean beauty movement with decades of experience between them," Jackson explains. "A Ph.D. skin pharmacologist; a makeup artist focused on natural, holistic beauty; a founder of the organic certifica- tion movement; an aromatherapist and teacher; a public health advocate and market-mover–these are the current council members we're fortunate to work with. A couple of our council members are longtime advisers and friends of Credo, but we knew it was time to formalize the relationship. Credo is growing, and our industry is changing, too. As a retailer working with hundreds of brands and dozens of product types, we want to ensure that we're staying on top of the trends, the science and the supply chain. Industry expertise and constructive dialogue shouldn't be seen as a trend." Moreover, Jackson believes that con- sumers today expect and deserve better. She points to Whole Foods creating its own discerning standard for both personal care and food so that consumers needn't question their choices while shopping. "If you look at retailers like Target–visited by millions weekly–which is constantly evolving their chemical policy, and CVS, which will scrutinize 'chemicals of concern' in the future, it signals this is a movement, not a trend," Jackson notes. It's good news for Credo–a store that Jackson foresees establishing a presence in any community that has a critical mass of consumers with conscientious demands. However, she also knows that, as a leader in the movement, Credo has the responsi- bility to educate and be an integral part of building that demand. "Looking ahead, we believe the wealth of information out there today will empower people to know what they are consuming, and that will cast more suspicion on conventional beauty and the use of questionable ingredients," Jackson says. "There are similar parallels in other consumer categories, where sus- tainability, ethical sourcing, environmental impact and health are already key factors in consumer decision-making; food is one obvious example. The overall shift to conscientious consumption and healthy lifestyle is becoming innate to people. "If we work together to demand cleaner ingredients, it helps all of us," she concludes. "The biggest risk is for those who assume clean beauty is only a niche– and it's more a risk for the conventional brands and retailers who don't adapt. They have more to lose than the disrupters and startups, given the conscientious demands of today's consumer." ■ Tracy Morin is a freelance writer and editor based in Oxford, MS. "The biggest risk is for those who assume clean beauty is only a niche–and it's more a risk for the conventional brands and retailers who don't adapt." GET CONNECTED! @credobeauty @credobeauty @beautycredo Clean beauty "begins with the ingredients not found in our products," states Credo's website. Though the retailer admits that not all synthetic ingredients are harmful, it does keep a close eye on those that have been linked to health or environmental issues—and asks its brand partners to evaluate everything from sustainability to marketing claims. However, Credo also knows that the definition of clean beauty is constantly evolving and isn't always a black-and-white issue, so several ingredients are noted on its website as ones to watch. For example, palm oil and palm-derived ingredients are described as safe and potentially sustainable, but currently "most palm oil is grown and harvested in an unsustainable and destructive manner." So, the company attempts to fuel demand for eco-friendly production methods. The red pigment carmine, meanwhile, is allowed but must be clearly indicated on labeling due to concern over allergic reactions and its derivation from insect sources. Part of Credo's promise to customers is to keep up-to-date on the latest science and developments, working toward a clearer definition of clean beauty—and holding its brands to those ever-evolving standards. DEFINING CLEAN BEAUTY

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