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Replogle Asks If Goals Match Actions

John Replogle, president and chief executive officer of Burt's Bees, presented the "severe dilemma" the beauty industry is facing today by asking the audience of beauty executives one simple question: "If we're here to help consumers live better...

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John Replogle Burts Bees

John Replogle, Burt's Bees

Photo By WWD STAFF

John Replogle, president and chief executive officer of Burt's Bees, presented the "severe dilemma" the beauty industry is facing today by asking the audience of beauty executives one simple question: "If we're here to help consumers live better lives, then do our actions, our policies and our leadership support that stated mission?"

Replogle was speaking of four specific areas in which beauty companies, aside from making beautiful products, can target making life better for people, specifically through sustainability, formulations, marketing and standards.

As the head of Burt's Bees, Replogle knows that his company's mission to "make people's lives better every day naturally" is a journey — one that he realizes still has a long way to go. But he wanted to put out a question to the beauty industry leaders in the room as to whether their respective companies are on a similar journey, or, at the very least, are they on a path?

He cited several audience members as those to whom he looks up, including William McDonough, a co-author of "Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things," as well as CVS for its recent action to protect the well-being of its consumers by voluntarily reformulating its in-house personal care brands, a move Replogle called "bold and courageous."

But yes, the industry has a way to go. In regard to sustainability, Replogle said beauty companies continue to create tons of packaging waste.

"You just have to go to the store and look at how we've packaged our offerings to consumers and realize the amount of excess we create in our designs. We don't start with the design end in mind. We are creating packaging and why is that?"

On formulations, Replogle asked the audience what it is doing with products and formulations that continue to use ingredients with suspected human health risks.

Regarding marketing, Replogle asked whether the industry misleads consumers or deliberately green-washes certain terms.
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