Cosmetic Industry Companies Create OASIS
In a major development within the cosmetic and personal care industry here in the U.S., representatives from a number of the leading companies in the industry have come together to create OASIS, the first U.S. industry standard for certifying organic cosmetic products.
OASIS (Organic and sustainable industry standards) is a collaborative effort between a number of companies including Estee Lauder, Aveda, L’Oreal, Private Label Select, Oh Oh Organics, Hain Celestial Group and others. The organization is a registered 501c 6 Mutual Benefit Trade Association designed to represent the concerns and goals of companies that make sustainable and organic products for the beauty and personal care industry. The organization has 30 founding member companies which include both product and ingredient manufacturers as well as distributors.
Fueled by the lack of U.S. industry standards and the increased harmonization efforts of similar policies and standards in the EU, OASIS is aimed at providing clear industry standards. “We (US beauty industry) needed to have a voice in this discussion,” said Tim Kapsner a Senior Research Scientist with Aveda.
Kapsner explained the lack of a clear industry standard and increased consumer demand for organic beauty products have caused some companies to apply the USDA Organic food-grade standard to their cosmetic products. But those standards were never designed for the beauty industry and presented a number of challenges to companies looking to certify high-performance products.
For Kapsner and his colleagues, OASIS is the result of nearly 10 years of work to establish organic standards and clarity in the industry.
In the EU, ECOCERT is the leading standard using 10% certified organic content as its benchmark for certification. OASIS will require 85% certified organic content. According to its organizing board, the “organic” standard will gradually increase until it reaches 95% organic content in several years.
Karl Halpert, Founder of Private Label Select told Sustainable is Good the new OASIS certification will carry a significant education component both within the industry and also to consumers. “It will bring clarity to a very confusing marketplace,” Halpert said.
Halpert said he expected products certified through the OASIS process to be available to consumers within 9-12 months.
OASIS certification will be conducted by International Cosmetics & Regulatory Specialists L.L.C. an independent certifier using standards developed by OASIS. Products certified by OASIS will carry the OASIS seal logo on their packaging.
OASIS will initially focus on certifying ingredients used in cosmetic/personal care products but will likely branch out to include sustainable practices and packaging.
Ellen Maguire, Vice President of Global Communications for Aveda told Sustainable is Good she expected products from Aveda would be OASIS certified within the next year. She was also excited the standard would likely branch out to cover packaging noting Aveda’s focus and leadership in the area of more sustainable packaging.