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The MWSCC Packs the Personal Care House
By: Katie Schaefer, Cosmetics & Toiletries
Posted: April 6, 2010
The Midwest chapter of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists (MWSCC) knocked another TeamWorks out of the park with unprecedented attendance to its social night, education session and exhibition. Before the education session and exhibition were under way, the chapter hosted its annual Social Night on Mar. 30, 2010, with a "Roaring 20s" theme. The night began with cocktails and gambling in a room filled with black jack, roulette, craps and poker tables. Attendees then shifted their focus, although briefly, to a number of pasta, meat-carving and dessert stations, before testing their luck again at a hand, or two or three.
During the festivities, a scuffle occurred between a few gangsters and "coppers," much to a sobbing flapper's dismay. In the end, the guilty parties were hauled away in handcuffs and evening broke back into a gaming mode. At the end of the evening, chips won at the tables were traded in for raffle tickets, and a few lucky attendees walked away with either a GPS, an iPod or the grand prize, a Nintendo Wii, which was presented to Michael Wright of Alberto-Culver. After the Social Night venue closed, MWSCC members and guests retired to get a good night's rest for the following day's morning education session.
On March 31, the morning education session, themed “Formulating for Marketing Demands,” featured presentations from some of the top US personal care manufacturers. After TeamWorks education co-chair Gene Frank, PhD, (Raani Corp.) gave opening remarks, keynote presenter Peggy Ward, manager of corporate sustainability programs at Kimberly-Clark, took to the podium to present her company’s efforts to sustainably produce personal care products by reducing waste and using less energy. However, according to Ward, “You can’t just make a diaper overnight that is 100% biodegradable.” She furthered that in order to make its Huggies diapers more eco-friendly, Kimberly-Clark redesigned them with less material, thereby decreasing the amount of material that is disposed, in addition to reducing total weight of shipments.
The company also launched a diaper that is constructed with organic cotton, aloe and vitamin E. To design products that better benefit the environment, Ward noted that companies must assess the life cycle of their products. She noted that 86% of consumers are interested in green products, with 41% of those being "very" interested. She emphasized, “We are now formally including sustainability into every business aspect … it is obvious to every employee.” But it is not always the big efforts that count, according to Ward. “Any little thing you can do helps.”
Natural and green are marketing claims often seen on personal care products; however, it seems free-from appears just as frequently. Addressing the free-from conundrum was Tim Kapsner, senior research scientist at Aveda, who began his presentation with an exhaustive list of free-from claims. He ended this list with “free-from chemicals,” clearing pointing out the absurdity of some claims since everything is based on chemistry, even water, to which the audience broke out in laughter.