Cosmetics With a Cause: Why Gregg Renfrew Is Fighting to Reform the Beauty Industry
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Beautycounter founder and CEO Gregg Renfrew didn’t set out to create a beauty company. She wanted to lead a movement.
After learning about the toxic chemicals used in many beauty products, Renfrew decided to take on the industry with a new brand of safe, non-toxic cosmetics.
“Our job is to show that regulation won’t stifle innovation and there is a future where all beauty is clean beauty,” Renfrew says. She’s determined to create a world where consumers can trust that the products they are using are free of harmful chemicals, and her first stop is Capitol Hill.
For the past six years, Renfrew has met with lawmakers to push for stricter federal regulation over this massive industry, which last saw a legal update in 1938. She sees the European Union, which has banned over 1,300 ingredients, as an example of the difference this kind of legal action can make.
“The U.S. has banned only 30 [ingredients] to date,” says Renfrew. “I think you have a right to know what you’re putting on your body.”
In response, Beautycounter created the Never List, which includes ingredients linked to cancer, reproductive toxicity, and endocrine disruption, that will never appear in their products.
“I think the future of commerce is in companies that are doing well and doing good simultaneously,” Renfrew says. “We can’t afford not to.”
In this episode of How Brands Are Born, see how Renfrew is using beauty products to spark political action.
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