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How Sephora is championing transparency with its new global sustainability seals

Sophie Smith
04 April 2024

Sephora has launched two new global sustainability seals aimed at harmonising its environmental commitments and formula communications worldwide.

The initiative hopes to provide transparency as the beauty giant commits to providing customers with more clarity and consistency to make more informed choices in stores and online.

Developed in collaboration with environmental and scientific experts, the new global seals - "Clean at Sephora" and "Planet Aware at Sephora" - will provide all customers, regardless of region, with visibility on a brand’s product formulations and environmental commitments.

The "Clean at Sephora" seal highlights brands with effective formulations that meet global regulatory standards and avoid certain ingredients.

At launch, 133 brands worldwide have met the "Clean at Sephora" ingredient list, with notable players such as Drunk Elephant, Fenty Skin, Gisou, Haus Lab, Ilia, Kosas, K18 and The 7 Virtues, among others.

Meanwhile, the "Planet Aware at Sephora" seal introduces brands that have met specific criteria set by the retailer for ingredient sourcing and formulation, packaging, corporate commitments, and consumer transparency.

To qualify, brands must comply with a minimum of 32 mandatory criteria across four key sustainability-related pillars. At launch, 40 brands worldwide have met the "Planet Aware at Sephora" criteria.

Sephora has also introduced a combined seal of "Clean & Planet Aware at Sephora" for brands that have met both requirements. At launch, 39 brands worldwide have met these combined criteria, including Amika, Biossance, Briogeo, By Rosie Jane, Glow Recipe, Skinfi and Unbottled.

In collaboration with technology partner Novi Connect, the retailer is providing all interested brand partners with a custom vetting tool where they can assess their products against the ‘Clean at Sephora’ ingredients list and ‘Planet Aware at Sephora’ criteria, to determine whether they meet its standards.

The retailer will roll out the seals in stores and online, giving customers the ability to search for and identify brands that meet their preferences.

With these seals, Sephora also has the ambition to influence the cosmetics industry and encourage brands to make more responsible choices, notably in the conception of their products through formulas, ingredient sourcing and packaging, transparency, and corporate commitments.

Guillaume Motte, President and CEO at Sephora, said: "As the world’s leading omnichannel prestige beauty retailer, we have a major responsibility to involve our partners and our teams in achieving challenging goals.

"Sephora is committed to making more sustainable choices more accessible for our customers and brand partners and drive positive influence, and these new seals are a significant step in that direction."

The move comes as Sephora continues to unite its global community through a single brand signature across all its 35 markets worldwide.

The slogan  - 'we belong to something beautiful' - aims to highlight the beauty retailer's inclusive culture, offering spaces for free exploration and self-expression, without judgement.

Sephora returned to the UK market online in October 2022. It has since opened stores at Westfield London and Westfield Stratford, with plans to open a third and fourth location in Manchester and Newcastle later this year.

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