On Jan. 23, over 60 independent beauty brands, including Kosas, Juice Beauty and Herbivore Botanicals, will convene in San Francisco for multi-brand retailer Credo Beauty’s first brand summit.
The summit will consist of networking opportunities for its 100 attendees, including beauty and wellness brand founders, Credo Beauty’s own investors and experts within the industry. “These brands hustle and work for us, and we wanted to figure out how we could be a community to collaborate and share ideas,” said Annie Jackson, co-founder of Credo Beauty.
Additionally, Credo Beauty will use its summit as an opportunity to help its brands understand its new clean beauty guidelines. In June 2018, Credo announced it was implementing more stringent standards and that all of its brands must comply no later than October 2019. The new rules include further transparency around suppliers’ manufacturing processes and ingredient purity, as well as ingredient labeling. That includes more disclosure around ingredients using the catch-all term “fragrance,” which typically refers to undisclosed mixtures of various scent chemicals.
“What we are trying to do is make it more easily digestible for [customers], so they know where we stand,” said Jackson, of the new guidelines’ end goal. “That’s why we take great pains as we rationalize and support what Credo is.”
Credo Beauty isn’t the only clean beauty retailer to implement newer, stricter standards: Sephora has introduced a Clean at Sephora program, and both Follain and The Detox Market have moved to stricter rules. But each retailer has its own standards for what “clean” is, which has lead to confusion for some brands. Clean at Sephora states that mineral oil is not clean, but polyethylene glycols, or PEGs, are, for example. Meanwhile, Follain banned phenoxyethanol from its shelves in August, and according to its website, Detox Market has not banned the ingredient.
Therefore it can be a tough road to navigate for brands, and the summit is designed similarly to Credo’s other efforts to help brands understand their own position. Since the announcement of its new guidelines, Credo has hosted conference calls every six weeks on different topics (like the label “drug” versus “cosmetic”) with experts in various fields, inviting its brands to participate in order to prepare. According to Jackson, its summit is an in-person version of those calls. “We are now at a point in our growth that we want to give back,” she said.
Following the event, Credo Beauty will launch a website feature providing more information about product ingredients. Customers will be able to click on an ingredient on any product page and see a user-friendly definition of the ingredient. This feature will be powered by software-as-a-service platform ClearForMe.
“In the store, there are so many questions that customers have, but they have a staff member [to assist them]. If you think about how to translate that [experience] digitally, it’s very challenging,” she said. “Our customer is very focused on ingredients. They are not just looking for a single product, but they also want to learn about ingredients and benefits. This new feature will allow them to easily navigate their shopping versus guessing or going to Google.”