Australia is burning, carpets of waste are floating on the oceans and microplastic particles can be detected in the air. In order to ensure the continued survival of humanity on our planet, rethinking and innovations are necessary. A promising approach is so-called eco-design.

Eco-design describes an approach to product, packaging and service design that is aimed at minimizing the resulting impact on people and the environment. The entire life cycle is taken into account. Relevant criteria include pollutant emissions and pollution, reusability and recyclability, use of resources and energy consumption. Eco-design thus shares the basic philosophy of natural cosmetics: doing good for people without harming the environment.

Economically sensible as well

But eco-design is not only responsible; it can also be economically profitable. According to the IRi European Shopper Survey, which questioned 3,300 consumers in seven EU countries, 72% of Europeans are more likely to buy products from companies that respect the environment and 72% are also in favor of products with environmentally friendly packaging. Dr. Robert Kecskes, Global Insights Director at Association for Consumption Research (GfK) also believes that eco-design has advantages for the cosmetics sector: “Natural cosmetics are in demand even in economically turbulent times; the need for responsible consumption will not decline. In Germany, the proportion of LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability), i.e. consumers who gear their consumption behavior towards both health and sustainability, has grown to over 30% in 2018, and the trend is rising.

Federal Ecodesign Award

The opportunities offered by eco-design are great. To promote its establishment and create incentives, the Federal Ecodesign Award has been awarded annually in Germany since 2012. In evaluating the designs submitted, the focus is on innovation content, design quality and environmental characteristics. The impact on everyday culture and consumer behavior is also taken into account. The entire product life cycle from the preliminary stages of production, manufacturing, distribution and use to the “end of life” is considered. Last November, for the first time, a cosmetics-related design received the Federal Prize Ecodesign in the category for young designers: the Soapbottle, a bottle for liquid hygiene products which itself consists of soap and can thus be used up completely when empty. Innovative concepts, products, services and packaging can still be submitted until 6 April 2020 at www.bundespreis-ecodesign.de.