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Brief Published: 4 Feb 2020

Net-A-Porter’s Retail Guide for Clean Beauty

Net Sustain

As consumers prioritise more sustainable and natural products in their everyday lives, more brands are coming to market with eco-friendly claims. To combat greenwashing issues within beauty retail, Net-A-Porter is helping its luxury clientele confidently and more easily shop for truly clean products with its online retail guide Net Sustain.

To attract eco-shoppers, some beauty brands market their products as eco-friendly, clean and sustainable, using overhyped, sustainable buzzwords while not fully following environmentally friendly protocols. British luxury e-tailer Net-A-Porter is tackling this by adding beauty products to its sustainable shopping platform Net Sustain – which previously only promoted fashion brands. The carefully curated platform is enabling customers to make informed choices more easily. About 77% of both Gen Z and millennial females would switch to sustainable skincare and beauty product if they found one that offered the results they want, yet a third would have trouble finding sustainable product and 42% don't know of any good sustainable products (Compose[d] Creative, 2019). 

Adding 27 beauty brands to Net Sustain, Net-A-Porter’s tough parameters take into account every facet of ethical beauty, such as animal welfare, wastage and production methods. Each product must meet at least one of these attributes, and has been marked according to a pillar of sustainability. For example, US naturals brand Tata Harper falls under the locally made category.

Another company that successfully embodies these pillars of sustainability is French personal care brand Cosmydor. Aside from its potent natural and organic, cold-pressed botanical extracts, the brand primarily aims to minimise its carbon footprint. All ingredients and packaging are locally sourced, while circularity is at its core. For example, its S/2 Artisanal Face and Hand Soap is available in eco-refills. The brand’s packaging is also made from glass and aluminium, instead of plastic.

True luxury consumers expect brands to approach sourcing, production and sales in an ethical manner – globally, 56% claim they investigate a brand’s social responsibility (BCG, 2020). Net-A-Porter’s retail strategy shrewdly demands brands it retails on Net Sustain to take full accountability when promoting sustainable initiatives. Rebecca Hobbs, Stylus’ Retail editor, said: “As the climate emergency deepens, luxury consumers will expect retailers to provide easy-to-access sustainability information. This is especially true of luxury brands, which will be expected to go the extra mile to ensure an eco-ethical product, as sustainability becomes synonymous with premium-level spending.”

To read more about clean beauty, see The Great Beauty Green-Up and Beauty’s 360° Ethical Millennials.