Nature's Gate is launching for national distribution the first organic lotion range to bear the USDA Organic seal. The stamp is usually reserved for beauty products such as lip balm and body oils — items that don't require many of the prohibited synthetic ingredients needed to hold water and oil together.
For a lotion to earn the organic seal — which is the same seal awarded to organic foods — is a big deal for the beauty industry, seeing that the four-item range, called Rainwater Organics, had to be 95 percent organic, excluding water and salt. The remaining 5 percent of ingredients must meet strict USDA regulations.
What also earned the line the coveted seal by the USDA's National Organic Program is that it was manufactured in a facility that operates in accordance with USDA Organic rules, which include how materials are received, warehoused, mixed, filled, cleaned and sanitized.
"Every aspect of handling is very specifically defined," said Paddy Spence, chief executive officer of Nature's Gate, which makes natural and organic personal care items. The facility is located in a 500,000-square-foot plant owned by Nature's Gate's parent, Levlad, based in Chatsworth, Calif. The lotion would not have earned the seal had it been processed like other Levlad beauty items, such as those under the Arbonne brand.
Choosing to first produce lotions — as opposed to other beauty items — was strategic since "body lotion is the biggest category in personal care, it was unisex, has broad appeal and, most importantly, doesn't need a surfactant." For now, Spence said, there is no efficacious organic surfactant he would want to use in a shampoo or soap formula.
Dr. Bronner's, a Menomonee Falls, Wis., beauty manufacturer, also makes lotions, lip balms and soaps bearing the USDA organic seal. However, these items are in small distribution and production.
Since word of Levlad's organic manufacturing capability hit the beauty street — the company can process 100 million units of organic items a year — its third-party beauty partners, including Sally Beauty, Victoria's Secret and ProActive, as well as some "major beauty companies" have been inquiring about the organic process, Spence said.
While the cost of raw organic materials and creating an organic section in the plant was costly, Spence learned from watching the highs and lows of the organic milk category that competitive pricing was key."When organic milk first came out, it was twice the price of regular milk," he said, and consumers were slow to accept it. "But when private label organic milk came out [at a lower price], the category accelerated."
Rainwater Organics body lotions are $7.99 each and are available in four flavors: Lemongrass Spice, Bergamot Patchouli, Citrus Ginger and Orange Zest Mint. Each features Açaí oil, which grows in the Amazon rainforest and is likened to grapeseed oil. Items ship this week to 1,000 supermarkets and natural food stores. In-shelf merchandising units will promote the USDA Organic seal. More than 500,000 samples of the products are being distributed, too. Packaging is made of 25 percent post-consumer regrind (recycled plastic), and labels are printed with soy ink.
Spence said he found that supermarkets, rather than mass outlets and drugstores, seemed more receptive to organic beauty items. He attributed this to the fact that supermarket buyers were already familiar with the popularity and profitability of organic items.
From overseeing America’s fastest-growing speciality retailers to codifying cool, WWD talked to the women who are leading the way for the future of beauty. Check out our Instagram Stories to see how these women built today and are creating tomorrow. (📸: @hannah_khymych) #wwdbeauty
For @laperlalingerie's spring 2018 show, the brand chose to host their event at @thevenetianmacao. With Chinese megastars @bingbing_fan and @hubing in attendance, La Perla debuted a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired collection. The show marked the start of Sands Macao Fashion Week, which runs from October 19 to 24 — the city’s first such event. Pictured here are models backstage with glimmering eyes. #wwdfashion (📷: Cheuk-Yin To)
Trending for spring 2018: top stitch design. Gone are the days of stitch just for seams — designers are using the once-minimal detail to create strong decorative elements. (📷: Paola Testa; Styled by @andrew_shang) #wwdfashion
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)