Green Beauty Bizz: VIVANESS International Trade Fair for Natural Personal Care

A post for everybody who likes a glimpse behind the curtains of the green beauty industry; especially if you’re a green beauty maven yourself.

February 12 – 15, the beautiful German city of Nuremberg is the place to be: enter BioFach, the world’s leading trade fair for organic food, and the partner trade fair Vivaness.vivaness-2014If you’re somewhat familiar with the German bio scene – and many of you very much are, dear Adventurers – you’ll have heard of the trade fair tandem BioFach and Vivaness. It’s THE event for the green beauty industry in Germany; attracting all relevant media, politics, experts, suppliers, distributors, buyers, it’s simply THE place to be for a green beauty brand. A place to meet the right people to discuss about regulations, formulations, industry numbers and future development. What’s not to love?

Maybe BEAUTYCALYPSE should book a media booth in 2015, too? Would you come and visit me?” 😉

But let me recap the story and check a few numbers for you:
> First, BioFach launched in 1990 in Nürnberg (or Nuremberg if an umlaut is too much to bear) focusing on organic food and other products
> As the range of natural cosmetics and personal care products grew, Vivaness was born in 2007
> In 2013 Vivaness counted 206 exhibitors (133 international), almost 42 thousand visitors (near the half international guests) and attracted press from 40 different countries.
> Both trade fairs are trade pros only.
> Links: VIVANESS Trade Fair + Ask Vivaness exhibitor and product database


Vivaness Trade Fair Guide

My PERSONAL HIGHLIGHTS during a Vivaness visit:
> When going to the fair, your carbon footprint is nil due to a sweet special rate train ticket offer with the Deutsche Bahn (you travel in a 100% green energy powered hightech train!)
> A list of 45 (fourty-five, you guys! Fourty! Freaking! Five!) fantastic international exhibitors, makers of a sensible range of clean & green everyday products that I won’t be able to visit all – but have put them on my list for further examination
> A comprehensive congress program with such highlights as “Organic 3.0 – Trend & Potential Study”, “Sustainable Sourcing of Cosmetic Ingredients”, “Biodiversity Conservation through Organic and Ethical Markets”, and “Novel analytical methods for the authentication of organic plant products”
> Two congress forums are held in German only: Gastro and Specialist Retail, so if you’re interested in their highly specialised topics, you better get your German on
> The Recruitment Fair – exhibitors can look for new talent right there, right now
> And of course: dining out in Nuremberg’s bio, vegan & vegetarian restaurants such as Chesmu, Lorenz, Herr Lenz, The Tasty Leaf, or Jo Johannis [Facebook page].


* Where “you” is a green brand – and eventually also us, the consumers, who want less toxic and more fabulous!

My Vivaness ticket

As you might or might not know, apart from my work as a copywriter, I was a magazine editor for nine long years. My job included advertising, product development and branding of the magazine, and I’ve always meticulously studied the industry I was navigating. In my case, it was the beauty and the luxury industry (as well as fashion, but the latter not in the main focus). I’m pointing this out in case this is the first post you ever read on BEAUTYCALYPSE and wonder why a lipstick doll tells you something about trade show values for a green brand.

Becoming a Vivaness exhibitor means you can only exhibit certified organic products, so it also means being admitted is great value in itself.
Oh, you’re a small brand that believes in pure ingredients but in certificates – not so much?
Good news: the fair will check your INCI and decide then. Products with toxic ingredients cannot be admitted to the fair at all: bye-bye, GMO, radiation treated, ecologically unsafe products AND packagings; bye-bye toxic synthetics (EDTA, silicones, aromatic amines, problematic UV filters, etc.)

Of course you also take advantage of everything a leading trade fair got to offer – exposure, contacts, knowledge, communications package, product database, early bird booking offers (deadline in July) etc. and WLAN, WLAN everywhere on the fair grounds for your social media updates! 😀 – that goes without saying.
Newcomers and innovation-driven brands can participate in the novelty show BREEZE.
And if you’re new but like to mingle, the daily meet & talk event (3pm, Hall 7A) is a fantastic option for a quick chat with experts and insiders.

If I was a green beauty brand, I would use the free trade fair “Benefit Check” calculator offered by the German Trade Fair Industry Association. Oh. Now I want to have a green beauty brand having seen that the calculator exists! Well played, German Trade Fair Industry Association, well played
Or download your Exhibitor Service Brochure in the Media Centre: click.


And now, dear brands, listen up please.
This is a share of what consicous consumers want for green beauty, personal care, housekeeping products:
> A reasonably priced range of clean, ethical & efficient personal care products – toiletries and such.
> Products that wow, not work. I’ts that simple/hard.
And I think we can agree that for most products, efficient green alternative design can’t simply mimic a toxic chemical formula. Thinking outside the box is a good thing.
> Modern ways of getting advice from brands – you’re the real experts, after all. Use the force, Luke! Use the force! Use the media!

Number 3 here really is a thing. I truly want to see green brands, particularly German pioneers, to honestly and efficiently embrace the so-called new media (so-called because it’s already a third generation of “new media” in my professional history) and to dare more. And no, I’m NOT saying everybody must be on Facebook, every brand should do Twitter.
But every green make-up brand and artist should consider visual communications – Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, Vine – just as every expertise hub – R&D, sustainable sourcing, raw materials research etc. – could do well with crowdsourcing all over the planet. Why not?

And as for great brands who already are green & organic, why don’t you go one step further and listen to your audience to become all-round-gorgeous?
Here are a few unfulfilled desires from years of green research:
> Women look for an uncompromisedly clean organic mascara in more than one colour;
> We want a water-based nail polish that’s not based on mineral oil derivatives;
> How about powder, eyeshadow, rouge without talc?
> Show us more clean and vegan options, two that not necessarily go together!
> Show us your expertise, share your knowledge, let your customers know how your products work, don’t wait for questions or concerns
Be transparent even about your second-best choices (it will leak anyway, but sharing your progress goes a long way!)
> And please – here I’m admittedly looking at quite a specific breed of green-ish beauty products – please, please, don’t support esoteric INCI myths, good or bad, in your products and/or communications: you give green a bad name + customers want green science, not green voodoo.


If you’re visiting Nuremberg because of the fair, you will probably have little time to enjoy what the beautiful city has to offer, but here are two great info links for your most urgent travelling needs. You know, like green shopping 😉
Nuremberg Tourism [en] + The Dining & Shopping Guide [PDF] created by the Supporting Programme “Bio in der Stadt” (the latter maybe if you have company who won’t be hanging out with you on the trade fair grounds all the time)

Pictures used with permission: Nuernberg Messe/Frank Boxler.


Geeking out about all things truly green, healthy and ethical over at (Avatar illustration by A. Goncharenko)

5 Responses

  1. Once again, your attention to detail is phenomenal!! You are so right when you say green brands should be proactive and share what they know instead of waiting to be asked or critiqued… it’s so time consuming shopping for things that won’t kill you! I’ve just moved to organic milk and fuck me – if it isn’t made at a farm around the corner – but who knew 😉 …these guys need to start telling us what they are doing!

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