After a three-year hiatus, the original premiere green beauty event, A Night For Green Beauty, returns on August 2, 2018, featuring dozens of the world’s leading green beauty brands. The event, which began as the brainchild of La Bella Figura Beauty co-founder Victoria Fantauzzi in 2012, returns to its digital roots with an online party and marketplace, hosted from 7 to 9 p.m. ET on social media and brands’ websites, that anyone across the globe can join. But it’s not just a shopping event—the goal of ANFGB since its inception has been to raise awareness for brands who are committed to green, nontoxic products, and to give consumers a trustworthy place to learn about and engage with new brands.
“We had to come back, we just had to,” says Victoria, who orchestrated live ANFGB events in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago before putting the gathering on hold in 2015. “Almost once a month I was getting asked, ‘When is ANFGB coming back?!’ And there are so many new brands out there. Customers don’t always know who to trust, so we wanted to bring back this educational event to connect fans to their favorite brands directly.”
How Greenwashing Impacts the Green Cosmetics Industry
Victoria’s concern about consumers not knowing who to trust is a rising issue in the age of greenwashing. With natural beauty being a more than $18 billion dollar industry in North America alone, many brands are jumping on the “green” beauty bandwagon without fully committing to safer, nontoxic ingredient usage. That’s where ANFGB comes in—it vets each and every brand for ingredients, ethical sourcing, branding, packaging and environmental safety before it can become an approved participant. “It’s not just about safety for using on people,” says Victoria. “It’s about whether the products are safe for the environment—will they biodegrade? Are they safe for us from start to finish?”
Suzanne LeRoux, founder of One Love Organics, an original participant in ANFGB and a brand that has crossed industry lines from the natural category to more mainstream beauty, agrees that it can be tough to wade through if you’re new to the space. “I think that consumers are excited about and truly want green beauty, but this space remains confusing and creates some skepticism,” she says. “The FDA has no legal definition of ‘natural’ and ‘organic,’ and retailers all have a different definition, seal or list for green/clean beauty standards.”
The different definitions that retailers use to determine what “natural” beauty means, can be another trap for consumers. Says Victoria, “I hear over and over, ‘who do we trust?’ Retailers can change their standards and brands can reformulate without telling consumers they’ve changed.”
How Natural Beauty Retailers Impact Niche Beauty Brands
Retailers are now becoming more powerful than brands, Victoria continues. “They’re concerned about their own success, not always about the success of the brands themselves,” she says. This can make it really hard for smaller brands with limited funding to survive, let alone thrive. Says Katharine L’Herureux, founder of Kahina Giving Beauty, another brand that’s been a part of ANFGB since its inception, “Many retailers are now setting the terms for brands. It’s not enough to produce beautiful products. Brands are expected to participate in retailers’ extensive marketing programs in order to receive support and stand out from the multitude of other brands on shelves. It requires a real financial commitment.”
Victoria says that it’s trying on a small business to keep up with retailers’ terms. “They’ve begun asking for more than we can give as a small brand, and if we agree to those terms, and those terms become standard, we have to compromise our ingredients or be forced to close down our business.”
It’s just another reason Victoria felt compelled to reinstate ANFGB—to support brands and give them a little bit of power back. “A Night For Green Beauty was founded on camaraderie among green beauty brands,” says Victoria. “We want to empower ourselves as brands and remind founders that retailers don’t have a monopoly on us.”
Part of that power comes from brands’ connections with customers. With online shopping sales expected to double by 2020, brands can more easily sell directly to their fans, without the middle man of a retailer. Brands can create relationships with their customers, building loyalty in a way that is only reinforced by e-marketing and social media. Retailers know this, says Victoria, and “they want our customer base as much as they want our products in their shops.”
What to Expect from A Night For Green Beauty 2018
When A Night For Green Beauty launched in 2012, the marketing terms “clean” and “naturally derived” weren’t mainstays in our cultural conversation. “We wanted to start a real conversation about ingredients,” says Victoria. “We started with the idea that together, we could all become known [as brands]. We could get more people on board to listen to us and our message.”
Part of spreading that message is why an online event is so appealing. Says Victoria, “We hope to reach a wider and global audience because our customer demographic is not limited to the United States. We want the lovers of green beauty that are already knowledgable to participate, and anyone new and interested is going to love learning about green beauty in a fun way.”
And fun it will be, with more than 42 vetted brands joining the party come August 2. Participating brands will share special offers, promotions and links to social media pop up stories, and all brands will be online during the event time via Instagram, Facebook stories and hosting other live events for a celebration directly with and for their customers. Some will host parties at their work spaces or other venues, and share details about new products, collaborations or upcoming projects. “This will be the day to get the real scoop from your favorite brand founders,” says Victoria.
The event brings together brands that have been on board since 2012 and new brands that are ready to engage with fans. Twelve Beauty Founder Dr. Pedro Catalá says, “I work with a very small team and spend most of my time in the studio, which is in Spain in one of the most isolated regions, so it is a great opportunity to listen to customers and find out about everything regarding skincare, from concerns to goals.”
Being part of a collective that has strong roots in the green beauty community is also appealing to new brands. “Showcasing alongside the respected, established green beauty brands featured in ANFGB, brands that we love and admire, is a really exciting opportunity for us as a relatively young and new green indie beauty brand,” says Suzannah Raff, founder and CEO of natural deodorant and bodycare company Cleo&Coco. “We wanted to participate because being on a platform with such brands will help us reach out to the consumers who are seeking what our products offer.”
With so many more advances in green beauty since 2015, brands are also looking to demonstrate to customers that green beauty is more than the next big thing. Says Suzanne, “There have been so many breakthroughs in green cosmetic science. The products offered today are even more cutting edge, effective and clean. It’s an exciting time to find products that are carefully crafted, good for your skin and amazingly effective.”
Joanna Montesano, founder SAINT Cosmetics, a new ANFGB participant, agrees, saying, “We feel this is not only the perfect time to participate as a color cosmetic brand but also to solidify our growth as a luxury green beauty community. We couldn’t be more excited!”
And if you’re still holding your breath for another in-person ANFGB event, Victoria has your back. “I think it’s unifying to hold a digital event like this one,” she says. “This doesn’t mean that physical events are unneeded or unwanted. We know our fans love meeting brand founders in person and participating in this party. To be clear, I’m not saying we won’t also return physically, just not this August. As a matter of fact, we have plans for something smart, collaborative and inventive for ANFGB.”
Join in on the A Night For Green Beauty bash by following along with participating ANFGB brands online on August 2 from 7 to 8 p.m. ET. On social media, follow the #ANFGB18 hashtag, and look for live streams and Stories sharing new product information, shopping deals and special promotions. Want to dive into green beauty before August 2? Follow our beauty stories for the latest in beauty news and the best DIY tips.