Natural beauty is having a ‘big box’ moment. Last week, Walmart announced its expanded requirements for all consumer care products to provide full ingredient disclosures both online and on product packaging starting in 2018. This includes options found in the household cleaners, cosmetics, personal care, and infant aisles.
The announcement comes as part of a bigger plan Walmart has to strengthen its sustainability and transparency practices. Known as the Sustainable Chemistry Commitment (started in 2013), Walmart says it's aiming to reduce its consumable chemical footprint for Walmart and Sam’s Clubs U.S. stores by 10 percent by 2022.
“We know our customers are interested in what goes into products and how they are made. It’s important for them, and we are advocating for them by encouraging innovation and transparency into that process,” Zach Freeze, senior director of strategic initiatives for sustainability at Walmart said in the company’s statement. “Our strengthened commitment provides more clarity on our expectations for suppliers in working towards enhanced product formulations and setting concrete benchmarks to check progress along the way.”
Walmart, however, is not the only retailer to make natural products a priority.
Target started its “Made to Matter” program in 2014. The collection is hand-curated by Target and features brands that go the extra mile to be healthier, such as products made without synthetic additives or harsh chemicals. Target’s program started in an effort to make natural, organic, and sustainable products more accessible to their customers. Seeing the program’s success, Target announced that by 2020, it is banning phthalates, propylparaben, butylparaben, formaldehyde, formaldehyde donors, and nonylphenol ethoxylates from beauty, personal care, baby care, and household product formulations.
A 2017 Mintel report on beauty trends states that 57 percent of U.S. personal care consumers buy natural and organic personal care products because they don’t contain unnecessary ingredients or chemicals. Consumers are getting savvier, and we are happy to see retailers responding accordingly.