Founder and CEO Gregg Renfrew and the team at Beautycounter are on a mission to clean up the beauty industry. This week Renfrew and other industry leaders are heading to Washington, D.C., to make the case for cosmetics safety reform.
In a Congressional briefing on Nov. 17, as well as one-on-one meetings, the group will educate lawmakers on the “Wild West” state of the cosmetics industry, as a statement from Beautycounter describes it. The industry has largely escaped the scrutiny leveled at other product categories, such as food, tobacco and medications. The last major federal law regulating beauty products passed in 1938. To date, the U.S. has partially restricted just 11 ingredients, while the European Union has banned about 1,400.
The need for safe, effective beauty products compelled Renfrew to launch Beautycounter in 2013. Based in Santa Monica, California, the company provides cosmetics and skincare products free of toxic ingredients. Under Beautycounter’s Never List guarantee, nearly 2,000 harmful substances are banned from the company’s products.
“At Beautycounter, we are leading a movement for better beauty,” Renfrew said in a statement. “We are a company that is pro-commerce and pro-regulation. While we have shipped close to 2 million products, we know it’s only the beginning—there is a lot of work to be done.”
Renfrew’s bold measures at Beautycounter are capturing the attention of the wider industry. Beauty Inc, a publication of Women’s Wear Daily (WWD), included Renfrew in its recent list of Beauty’s Most Innovative Thinkers. “Call her the queen of clean,” the editors said of Beautycounter’s outspoken chief executive. “With her direct-to-consumer brand, Renfrew has shown safe beauty can be chicly pragmatic rather than dogmatic.”