Kanebo EC—a brand that embraced sustainability and LOHAS




Kanebo EC launched in 1991

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Sustainability is a concept that seems exceptionally familiar to consumers and businesses now, but the term did not become well known until 1987. In that year, a report by the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development introduced sustainable development as environmental, social, and economic strategies that help the global community progress while protecting the planet for future generations. 

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the term “LOHAS” gained popularity in American media. LOHAS, or Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability, is based on the idea that people want to lead healthy, environmentally-friendly, and sustainable lives—and they choose products that help them achieve those goals. As American outlets continued to expose the concept to a wider audience, the ideals behind LOHAS grew in relevancy on a global scale, prompting the media in Japan to begin discussing LOHAS in 2004. 

In 1991, thirteen years before the idea arrived in Japan, Kanebo Cosmetics launched a brand that developed “ecological cosmetics that are friendly to both your skin and the environment.” The brand, Kanebo EC, was an abbreviation of Ecological Cosmetics, which also took on other meanings: Earth Clean and Extra Calm. 


Kanebo EC chose a packaging design with the best technologies available at the time. The container caps were a composite mixture of resin and rice husk, while the bottles used a specialized type of PET (polyethylene terephthalate), five times thinner than conventional PET bottles. Durable paper tubes made with recycled paper protected the thin bottles and removing box packaging cut down on excess waste. 


The products were also skin-friendly, hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and without artificial coloring—a response to the increasing consumer demand for functional cosmetics. The products also offered hydration and UV protection to protect the skin from the deteriorating environmental situation with a simple routine consisting of lotion, serum, emulsion, and cream. 

Over 30 years have passed since the concept of sustainability was created in 1987. Now, the global environment has become a part of the everyday discussion in business and daily life, with a wide range of efforts continuing to address the issue. Kanebo Cosmetics is still committed to developing sustainable products that provide our customers with convenience and peace-of-mind when it comes to protecting the environment. 

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