The New Definition of Clean

Clean products from Rawbble, RXBAR, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, and Schmidt’s.

Clean product marketing is all about communicating that your product is made the “right” way. And while clean generally means free from unwanted ingredients, the idea is evolving. Clean is impacting every product category and the entire supply chain (not just ingredients). Read on to learn how brands are defining clean now.

Retailers including Whole Foods, Target, Sephora, and DoneGood are self-certifying clean.

Retailers Self-Certify Clean
The clean movement started in food and beverage where Whole Foods pioneered ingredient transparency. Now, retailers in different industries are creating their own programs with visual icons to help conscious consumers identify better-for-you products.

In March, Target announced the new Target Clean symbol which signals to shoppers in-store and online that a product is made without certain screened ingredients. You can view Target’s list of unwanted chemicals on the company’s website. Recently, Target also launched a clean home care brand Everspring.

Similarly, Sephora introduced its own Clean at Sephora program in 2018. Sephora’s clean label icon highlights products made without a list of excluded ingredients. Like Target, Sephora defines clean slightly differently for each product category.

Meanwhile, boutique marketplaces like DoneGood screen for ethical brands. DoneGood offers alternatives for products in almost every category searchable by values including Empowers Workers, Recycled / Upcycled, and Vegan. Their slogan: “Make the world better with every purchase.”

Fragranced products in eco-friendly packaging from Febreze, Enviroscent, Method, and Burt’s Bees.

Clean Beyond Formulation
Today, it’s not just about what’s inside your product that counts. Clean includes sustainably supply chains and eco-friendly packaging

This summer, Starbucks began rolling out a recyclable drink lid that the company says will replace one billion plastic straws per year.

In fashion, women’s clothing company Reformation posts the environmental footprint of every garment on its website and releases an annual sustainability report to consumers.

In personal care, Burt’s Bees packaging uses low-impact plastic and all kit packaging is 100% plastic-free.

Home cleaning brand Method uses recycled plastic for all its bottles and promotes recyclability by selling refill pouches.

Clean Product Claims
We analyzed fragranced products across categories to understand how brands are signaling clean to shoppers. While ingredient standards vary by brand and product, these were the most consistent clean claims:

  • Cruelty-Free (not tested on animals)
  • Recycled and Recyclable Packaging
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Natural Fragrance *synthetic fragrances at less than 1% of the total formula often allowed

Youth to the People Superfood Cleanser
100% Vegan ingredients
Cold-pressed extracts
Recyclable packaging
Made in USA
No animal testing
No parabens
No phthalates
No sulfates
Clean at Sephora

 

Everspring All-Purpose Cleaner
91% biobased product
Not tested on animals
Biodegradable formula
Non-toxic to humans when used as directed
Ammonia free
Packaging made with 100% post-consumer recycled plastic

 

 

P.F. Candle Co. Standard Candle
100% natural soy wax
Cotton wick
Phthalate-free
Hand-poured in California

 

 

 

Phlur Eau de Parfum
Formulated without BHT, phenoxyethanol, parabens, phthalates, olycylic and alicyclic musks
Vegan and cruelty-free
Packaging maximizes recycled materials
Clean at Sephora

 

 

Developing Your Clean Fragrance
Whether you’re formulating for clean label products or exploring allergen-free and natural options, we can work with you to develop the right fragrance for your customer. We invite you to try our fragrances inspired by the latest trends in clean:

  • Lavender Sage | All-natural essential oil blend
  • Lemon Mint | All-natural essential oil blend
  • Mandarin Ginger | All-natural essential oil blend
  • Supergreens | Complies with Sephora’s clean standards
  • Kondo | Complies with Sephora’s clean standards
  • Orris Santal | Complies with Sephora’s clean standards

This information was shared as part of Orchidia Fragrance’s monthly TREND WATCH email. To sign up, click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *