The companies stated: “The clean beauty collection will premiere with eight exciting clean beauty brands, including EleVen by Venus Williams x Credo SPF, Innersense Organic Beauty and One Love Organics, among others, across 100 Ulta Beauty stores and on Ulta.com this fall.”
Ulta Beauty’s Chief Merchandising Officer Monica Arnaudo explained:
“As a trailblazer in ingredient authenticity and transparency, Credo Beauty is the perfect partner for us as we continue to evolve our clean beauty offerings for guests. We know ninety percent of Gen-Z shoppers intend to buy clean beauty products in the next year1; this first effort together, a clean collection handpicked by the experts at Credo, offers amazing products and more beautiful, clean possibilities for their needs.”
This is definitely an important step forward, which will help bring safer beauty products to the hands of consumers. We congratulate Ulta on this important partnership with Credo Beauty, which has very stringent safety standards and adopted an industry-leading fragrance transparency policy last fall.
Ulta must not stop here—it needs a full makeover
For the last few years, Ulta Beauty has lagged behind Sephora and other top retailers in our annual Who’s Minding the Store? retailer report card, the annual evaluation of the safer chemicals programs of the largest retailers in North America.
So Ulta’s announcement is welcome news. But does it go far enough?
For one, this new initiative only applies to 100 of its 1,264 retail stores, about eight percent of its total store count. Ulta stated: “As the partnership grows, Credo Beauty and Ulta Beauty will leverage their collective expertise to continue pushing this important space forward.” We hope Ulta will extend this program to ALL of its stores in the months ahead. Surely, all of their customers deserve the same access to clean beauty products curated by Credo.
And more importantly, all products should be free of harmful chemicals and radically transparent, not just a handful of brands at the end of a store aisle. Ulta’s new initiative falls far short of Sephora’s safer chemicals policy, Clean at Sephora program, and goal to reduce its chemical footprint by a whopping 50% over the next three years.
Sephora also just announced a new partnership to bring clean beauty pioneer Beautycounter to its customers beginning online this July and in stores starting in August. This is also an exciting development!
— Beautycounter (@beautycounterhq) June 16, 2020
Driving a competitive race to the top
It’s clear the race is on to see which beauty retailer will be the leader in bringing safer products into the hands of consumers and drive toxic chemicals out of the beauty industry. At a time when more and more consumers are clamoring for clean beauty products, it’s clear retailers are listening.
Ulta’s new announcement signals it is upping its game which is welcome. But will it catch up to Sephora and launch a safer chemicals policy and chemical footprint reduction goal? And what about Sally Beauty? It’s the nation’s other leading beauty retailer, and it still lags behind both Ulta and Sephora. And how will retailers address the disproportionate impact of toxic chemicals in beauty products marketed to women of color? So far, no retailer has made a commitment to address these products.
We can’t wait to see how all this shakes out, especially with our 2020 retailer report card coming out this fall. Grab your popcorn folks—this is getting interesting!