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Brand responsibility under scrutiny – what is responsible nowadays?

17.4.2024, Four Reasons

How to distinguish a responsible hair care product? From packaging labels? From the INCI list? From the information provided on the website? While these may offer clues to the product’s responsibility, the fact remains that even the most conscientious hairdresser or consumer cannot evaluate the entire responsibility of a product based solely on its packaging and public information. Packaging made from recycled materials does not make the product responsible if the production conditions are unethical. And an ethically manufactured product does not automatically guarantee responsibility if its transportation distances are long and cause significant emissions.

The upcoming EU standard for sustainability reporting, CSRD, is an important step in combating misleading sustainability communication and greenwashing. Standardizing the terminology will be a welcome change in cosmetics marketing.

“Four Reasons’ sustainability work is based on customer-centricity: being responsible means prioritizing customer needs and producing products and services that are genuinely in demand. A responsible cosmetics purchase is one that is used up.”

Difficult times force both companies and consumers to prioritize – how to balance economic, social, and environmental responsibility? Am I willing to pay more for eco-packaging? Do I support local products? Do I choose cheaper at the expense of sustainability? Decisions are not always straightforward.

Three years ago, we began systematic sustainability work at Four Reasons by creating a sustainability program based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Our goal is to improve the sustainability of our products’ entire value chain and reduce their climate impact. Yes, our products are vegan, our packaging is recyclable, and our factory in Finland uses 100 % renewable energy. Although we have achieved significant results, we are aware that sustainability work is ongoing and will require years of effort.

Last year, our most significant environmental achievement was transitioning to recycled aluminum for the tubes of our best-selling hair dye, Four Reasons Optima. This change reduces the use of virgin aluminum by nearly six tons per year.

Although environmental aspects are often the most visible in sustainability work, at Four Reasons, responsibility primarily means good partnerships with our customers and fair employment practices. We continually develop new product innovations in collaboration with our customers, provide training for our customers on the latest trends and business practices, and invest in personalized service. We create a workplace where every employee feels their contribution is meaningful and where it’s pleasant to work. The recognition we receive from our staff and customers warms our hearts, and you can read more about it in our recently published sustainability report.

I claim that a responsible company is primarily recognized by how it treats its customers and employees. How does the company respond when a customer complains about a faulty product? Is the company genuinely interested in the customer and their needs? What do the employees say about the company? They probably reveal much more about its responsibility than what is disclosed in the packaging texts.

So, warm thanks to our customers and staff for our achievements in 2023. We continue our determined work towards our common goals by making responsible choices!

Best regards,

Jyrki Hakala
Four Reasons

Four Reasons

Four Reasons on suomalainen kauneusalan kapinallinen. Kuljemme eturintamassa monimuotoisuuden puolesta ja puolustamme jokaisen oikeutta kauneuden kokemukseen. Inspiroimme ja voimaannutamme ihmisiä arvostamaan itseään sellaisena kuin kukin on – ihanan epätäydelllisenä – ja tarjoamme työkaluja positiivisen minäpuheen vahvistamiseen.