Green People

Plant Performance Without Compromise

Wednesday 10 October 2012, by Dong Xujie, Stefanie Brand, xuemei

1 inspired

A. The main facts about the activities of the company

In today’s society beauty products are omnipresent and the beauty industry is making a lot of profit with countless products which often contain chemical ingredients and are produced under unethical circumstances. But with the development of people’s daily life, they pay more attention to the ingredients and whether the products are healthy for them.

The company “Green People” is the leader in certified organic body care products in the UK and was the pioneer in designing, manufacturing and selling organic beauty products with a high percentage of organic ingredients and lack of synthetic chemicals present in the products. Today the company produces a wide range of product (shampoos, body washes, creams, sun lotions, toothpaste etc.) for babies, children, men and women and sells them worldwide in their online shop.

B. The ethical challenges this company is addressing

The competition in the cosmetics industry is high and fierce. To gain a competitive advantage and secure profit and market share unethical actions can be found frequently. Many big companies add harmful ingredients to their products in order to improve the desired effects for their customers. For instance, several cosmetic companies used lead in their products to enhance these effects (especially in lipsticks to make them kiss-proof). To save costs a lot of companies also test their products on animals or trying to manufacture their product as cheap as possible, without considering fair trade. Some cosmetic companies even mislead their consumers through pseudo-scientific claims about their products.

In this competitive and often unethical environment “Green People” try their best to improve their formulas in order to provide the safest products to babies, children, women and men. In addition, the company believes that consumers have an elementary right to know what the products they use contain exactly. So they disclose full ingredient information on the labeling of all of their products. Furthermore none of their products have ever been tested on animals.

But it is not just the ingredients of their cosmetics “Green People” is concerned about. Moreover the company generates jobs, ensures fair prices and an improvement of the living standards for the farmers and communities in the developing countries where the ingredients for their products come from.

But despite the best effort “Green People” is making, it also faces some serious problems which should not be ignored. The company obtains their ingredients from different vendors all over the world. To ensure that each producer provides completely organic ingredients at a reasonable price is a big challenge from both an ethical and economic perspective. This multiple vendor sourcing strategy inevitable leads to heavy transportation, fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emission.

C. What makes you believe this company is really ethical and why you trust it?

The backstory of the company and its founder speaks for itself and makes the business trustworthy. It was founded in 1997 by a mother simply wanting to help her 2 year old daughter who suffered from severe chemical-based skin allergies and eczema. When she found out that even the so-called “natural products” could contain up to 99.9% synthetic chemicals, the founder used her knowledge in herbal medicine and experience in the pharmaceutical industry to prepare these special products on her own. This story really inspires us personally and as a few of us are mothers who love their children, we feel that as love is one important ingredient of their products, the company is very trustworthy.

The history of the company influences their current partnerships and projects too. One of the company’s latest projects is the partnership with the UK charity organization Bliss, which tries to provide the best care and help to prematurely born and sick babies and their family.
Furthermore the company also supports charities with related environmental and health concerns and each year 10% of their net profit is donated to charitable causes linked to ’green’ or environmental issues. Moreover the company focusses on fair trade and creates jobs in the developing countries where the ingredients are produced. The company created a project in Ghana to produce shea butter, while giving jobs to 600 women. “Green People” also founded further projects in the Dominican Republic, Namibia and South Africa and makes sure that the growers in these countries work for fair wages and can improve their living conditions. Besides that, the company aims to promote sustainable practices, increases the awareness to reduce environmental damage in the society and raises the industry standards.

Moreover “Green People” makes a significant contribution to the spread of the organic lifestyle and its benefits to humans, animals and the environment. Most of their products are approved by the Vegan Society, so the products are suitable for vegetarians. The company also produces over 100 products which are certified organic by The Soil Association (2002), Organic Food Federation (2003) and EcoCert (2009). All of its products have passed the ethical standards set by the consumer organization “Ethical Consumer”. Additionally, the Ethical Company Organization awarded “Green People” with the Ethical Accreditation.

D.The possible challenges facing the company in the future and how you think this company may improve

“Green People” is a small company compared to other giant ones in the beauty industry. Nowadays while the awareness of consumers and their demand for organic products is rising, these latter companies pay more attention to the ingredients and production processes of their products and often even offer an organic product line. While ethical products sometimes cost a lot, these companies benefit from scale and financial advantages and may easily become market leader in the organic industry. With more and more organic body care products in the market, customers will have more choice but it also causes price competition and smaller profit margins. Small scale companies like “Green People” will face dramatic difficulties to insure their earnings.

One possibility to be competitive in the future could be the establishment of offline stores. In these shops the company could sell their own products and also provide competitor’s ones. As not just the UK but also the rest of Europe seems to be receptive to organic cosmetics “Green People” could target big cities with their concept. Moreover they could also adapt their online sales to this new strategy and offer products from other organic brands.
Furthermore partnerships with other ethical companies could the reasonable. A cooperation with for example Whole Foods could help to make the brand more popular.

Bibliography

http://www.greenpeople.co.uk/

http://thegreenfamilia.co.uk/green-people-proudly-support-bliss

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1 Discussion / 1 Message

  • Green People (how it inspires me) 27 February 2013 at 20:35 , by SergiC

    This company inspired me because it is really hard to find nowadays companies that really care about their products.

    It is great to see how in such a competitive market as these one, they decided to introduce a product which not only respects the environment, nature and animals but also provides a good product which doesn’t have "toxic" ingredients in it. They really care for healthy things for people.

    You just realize how many products you use on your daily habit which are not so healthy and good for your body as you might think they are...
    In my opinion, people should care about these type of products and buy those things that support a healthy product which also respects the environment as this one.

    It is true that the margins and benefits are probably not as big as others and that the competence is really scaring, but, I think that they can create a high value on it which the final customer is going to appreciate.

Location: West Grinstead, West Sussex, RH13 8LN (United Kingdom )

Sector: Other service activities

Official website: http://http://www.greenpeople.co.uk/

Key figures:

Location: UK with worldwide delivery
Sector: Cosmetics
Owner: Charlotte Vøhtz

Nbr. visits: 515

Nbr. inspires: 1