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Could Fair Trade be the next big trend in cosmetics?

SpecialChem / Imogen Matthews – Jul 17, 2014

Organic and natural formulations are becoming increasingly popular, but many people are also questioning whether products are ethically traded. Consumers are as concerned about the provenance of the goods they buy as the brand itself. Fair trade purchases are a growing consumer trend, according to the Fairtrade Labelling Organisation {FLO}, who claim that the sale of fair trade products increased by more than a third in 2005 to reach £758m {$1.38bn}. Mostly, fair trade goods are commodities, such as coffee, tea, chocolate and bananas, so the impact on finished goods, such as cosmetics and toiletries is quite small. In the UK, the Fairtrade Foundation products carry a mark to help consumers identify them, although this is not yet available for beauty products. Barbara Crowther head of communications for The Fairtrade Foundation, comments: "We have had a lot of interest from cosmetic companies but it's a matter of developing standards. We're not at the point where there are Fairtrade Foundation standards, but we would like to extend fair trade benefits to cosmetic companies.

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