The Natural Cosmetics Barcamp 2021 and the challenges facing the industry

Publish DateNov 24, 2021

Communication with heart and mind

Covid laws for the German natural cosmetics industry barcamp in 2020 only permitted for an online edition. Natural Cosmetics Camp 2021 was broadcast live for the first time. Due to Corona, the date had to be rescheduled. However, Wolfgang Falkner, the organizer, showed great courage and was rewarded for it. The natural cosmetics camp could take place in the lovely Panorama Royal Hotel in Tyrol, in accordance with 3G safety rules. The nearly 100 attendees all agreed that having a genuine and personal conversation was beneficial. As a result, the debates were animated.

I was ecstatic as well because I was able to carry out my plan from the previous year. Finally, combining the Natural Cosmetics Camp 2021 with a few days of hiking in the enchantingly gorgeous North Tyrol was feasible. I got in the mood for the Barcamp exchange in the pure mountain air, accompanied by cow bells ringing. 

But we're back to square one now. What exactly is the Natural Cosmetics Camp?

"Natural Cosmetics Barcamp" - Conference, Camp or Discussion Round?!

Barcamps are sometimes known as "non-conferences." That encapsulates the distinction between a traditional conference and a modern one. The Barcamp is similar to a camp — all participants gather in one location for a few days. Unlike conferences, the Natural Cosmetics Camp does not have a "frontal program" with speakers. The debate of questions that interest the participants is the main focus here. This implies that anyone can propose a topic for discussion. 


The Natural Cosmetics Camp 2021 in Tyrol

Since 2014, the Natural Cosmetics Camp once a year for the German-speaking region held.

The kick-off of this year's natural cosmetics camp was a Herbal hike on Friday afternoon. The The importance and use of herbs on our meadows and roadsides were expertly explained. I learned, for example, that September is the best time for Collecting nettle seeds is. The small seeds are especially useful for men. You cut off the branches together with the seeds and let them dry in a paper bag. After a few days, you only need to roll the bag and then take out the stalks. The result is nettle seeds that are ready for use.

One of the participants of the guided tour through the herbal world formulated his insight from this hike like this: "We help people." We immediately agreed that this principle all Natural cosmetics company connects.

In the evening, Wolfang Falkner welcomed all participants on the beautiful terrace of the hotel. Those who had submitted a topic presented it briefly. After that, the selection of topics to be discussed in the sessions on Saturday and Sunday started.

The following two focal points have clearly emerged for me in the sessions of the Natural Cosmetics Camp 2021.


Guided herb walk with many discoveries

Communication as a challenge for the natural cosmetics industry

The Natural cosmetics industry has a lot of catching up to do in communication. This statement ran like a red thread through all the sessions of the Natural Cosmetics Camp 2021. Both in external and internal communication there is a lot to do in the industry. I will therefore address the three most important topics from this complex in the next sections.

Lone fighter or team?

At the moment, it is still the case that each company on its own tries to communicate topics that are important for the entire natural cosmetics industry. But this is difficult for individual brands to achieve. A sensible solution here would be to join forces to provide consumers with accurate and useful information. Many natural cosmetics topics have cross-company relevance and could be communicated jointly by several brands and business partners. For example, stories of the people along the supply chain could be told. One could jointly educate about the natural cosmetics seals or inform about sustainable packaging and its disposal. The following were identified as good starting points for cooperation Common hashtags and advertising campaigns called.


Natural cosmetics standards unite!

The question was also hotly debated, how consumers can be introduced to the importance of certified natural cosmetics. As before, interested consumers are provided with a Variety of natural cosmetics seals confronted. Only little generally understandable information can be found on the seals. Some participants suggested a state seal as a solution to this problem. Others, however, were sceptical about such a seal. Here the fear arose that a state natural cosmetics standard could tolerate lower quality standards than the already existing seals. Such a levelling at a lower level could already be observed with the introduction of the EU organic label for food.

The idea of uniting all the major natural cosmetics seals under one roof met with a great response and to explain it together. In this context, I was asked whether I would like to Organisation of a "family of standards for natural cosmetics to be possible. With my company Authentic Eco, I already educate people about certified natural cosmetics without representing any of the standards.

Speech and action

Positive changes - both within the natural cosmetics industry and in its presentation to the outside world - will only come about if there is more talking with each other and then joint action. For example, who represents the industry to consumers and legislators? Here, too, a "family of standards" could play an active role. The proposal of a camp participant new to natural cosmetics to draft and sign a resolution at the camp unfortunately came to nothing.

The Natural Cosmetics Camp 2021 was a good opportunity to talk. But when will action follow?

Naturkosmetiikcamp-2021-Session-1024x554.jpgSession of the raw material supplier Naturamus

Transparency, fair trade and organic: the new triad of natural cosmetics


This triad characterises the Trends in the natural cosmetics industry for the next few years.

It is no longer possible to imagine natural cosmetics without transparency. But for many "old hands", the traceability required by the new generation is a big challenge. Many of them are still too obsessed with the idea that information about suppliers, raw materials or business partners should better not be disclosed. The fear of exposing one's own company to the competition and opening the door to copiers is great.

But the Consumers today want to know exactly what they are buying, where it comes from, how it is produced and who produces the raw materials. Fair and sustainable relationships with all business partners form the basis for a transparent presentation of the company and the supply chain.

Fair Trade

The participants of the Natural Cosmetics Camp 2021 were unanimous that, in addition to transparency Fair trade will also play a major role in the future. Independent certifications such as "Fair for Life already stand for trust and verifiable credibility here. All people involved in the supply chain deserve fair business practices and a decent life. "Fair for Live" monitors this and builds up funds for business partners in poorer countries.


Last but not least: Natural cosmetics are inconceivable without BIO. The controlled organic origin of ingredients in natural cosmetics will retain its importance in the future. In this way, the organic requirements also support regenerative agriculture.

Transparency, fair trade and organic cultivation will therefore be the cornerstones of natural cosmetics in the future.


Gi Quong to start the third day on the hotel roof with the bistro of the Panorama Royal - recharge your batteries!

Further topics of the Natural Cosmetics Camp 2021

As in the years before, this time too, the Sustainable packaging a key issue of the Natural Cosmetics Barcamp. Some examples of good solutions were presented. Also, the soon to come into force Packaging Materials Act has been discussed. Unfortunately, there is still no such thing as the "egg-laying pillow". As in many other areas, it is necessary to Improve communication with consumers on the subject of packaging.. Although sustainable packaging solutions and recycling are very popular with consumers, they are still far too little addressed by brands.

From "Green Beauty" and "Clean Beauty" to the Due Diligence Act

The influence of marketing terms was discussed objectively and at the same time very emotionally. "Green Beauty and "Clean Beauty on certified natural cosmetics. The terms that have come to Europe from the American market should be used by the natural cosmetics industry, at least that was the tenor of the session. Natural cosmetics according to our European definition are indeed "clean" and "green" from the outset. But these two terms could certainly be used as a magnet to attract new customer groups.

Furthermore, there were interesting Input to the Due Diligence Act. Important food for thought was also provided by the sessions on the Influencer marketing and to the Organic shop as a one-stop-shop experience. Like Animal ingredients in natural cosmetics can get a better reputation, was a new and, I think, very important topic on the agenda. Special Fragrance experiences, the Concept of beauty, Sustainability in the company and the role of natural cosmetics labels were also discussed.

Digital marketing and its prerequisites

My session dealt with the particular strengths of small brands with regard to new digital concepts. The discussion revolved around what groundwork brands should do to find the right technologies and use them successfully. Using two applications from the digital world, I demonstrated the rapid changes and new possibilities in the field.

The discussions in the sessions this year were very lively and direct. There was also a sense of pleasure in being able to meet again in person during the breaks and before and after the sessions.

Three days of natural cosmetics exchange are real power

The three days were over faster than expected. The Panorama Royal Hotel in Bad Häring proved to be the optimal location for the Natural Cosmetics Camp 2021. The sustainably managed hotel is located in a place that is said to have a special energy. For my part, I think that is true.

To exchange ideas with like-minded people in a beautiful place, that gives pure strength. I hope that all bar campers have taken some of this with them into their everyday lives. I hope that many of the ideas discussed will make waves in everyday life. We will see next year at the latest: at the Natural Cosmetics Camp 2022.

Thanks to the dedicated team of Wolfgang, the hotel and to all this year's bar campers!

Author: Elke Hockauf


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