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Oliver Gothe of Fair Squared: „Increasing digitalisation will determine the commerce of the future”

by Daniela Nickel (comments: 0)

A man standing on front of a wooden wall.
At the 10th European Sustainable Cosmetics Summit, Oliver Gothe, CEO of Fair Squared will talk about marketing developments. © Oliver Gothe/Fair Squared

Next month, the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit will be hosted in Paris on 5th-7th November. At a session on the 2nd conference day, Oliver Gothe, CEO of the vegan cosmetics company Fair Squared, will talk about marketing developments within the natural cosmetics sector. In the run-up to the summit, he talked to about the chances brought by digitalisation as well as the challenge of dealing with greenwashing by competitors from the conventional market.

Mr Gothe, lately, natural and organic cosmetics have been pushing the cosmetics market. Can you agree to that?

Oliver Gothe: We agree on that insofar that the cosmetic markets have noticed a shift towards more sustainably ethical consumers who want to know about the ingredients and the processes included in the production. We as a vegan cosmetics producer have realised this increasing awareness during the last years.


© Shutterstock/Iakov Filimonov



Please also read:
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How do you assess the future influence of digitalization and e-commerce on the sales of natural and organic cosmetics?

The increasing digitalisation, which has already determined the developments of the last years, will in our opinion also determine the commerce of the future – for conventional products as well as natural and organic cosmetics. Not at least because the so-called “digital consumers” have more opportunities than ever to inform themselves about production processes as well as global injustices concerning topics like trade.

What opportunities and challenges do you see in the fields of online and social media marketing?

The awareness for human and animal rights has led to another form of consumer-driven decisions based on ethical and global consciousness. And here we see the opportunity for brands like ours, which are committed to high ethical codes of conduct such as the Fairtrade and vegan idea, respect for humans as well as animals and, therefore, the environment as a whole. The good thing about social media and other online channels: Well-applied, these instruments can contribute to a sustainable marketing strategy.


© Oliver Gothe/Fair Squared



The awareness for human and animal rights has led to another form of consumer-driven decisions based on ethical and global consciousness.

– Oliver Gothe



Do you think that digitalization has speeded up the coming and going of trends in the cosmetics industry?

Concerning upcoming trends, I would agree because, as mentioned before, the internet and the way it opens up possibilities to find online information can immensely influence the consumer decision. In some ways, it can also harm a brand’s reputation since digitally, information can be transmitted within seconds.

The social media are very attractive channels, particularly with regard to the marketing of cosmetics to younger consumers such as millennials. Have you had this experience too?

Yes, as Fair Squared we use several social media platforms to increase our brand awareness. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram offer many different options.

Fair Squared uses Twitter as a platform to promote its product range:

Source: Twitter/Fair Squared UK

What needs to be considered when planning social media campaigns?

As with all kinds of marketing strategies, in the first place, it is important to determine the aims and your target group to achieve what you aim for. In our opinion, the combination of high-quality content on your website and the distribution through social networks is a good base for the digital recognition of a brand.

On its Instagram-Account, the brand Fair Squared raises awareness for ecological and soical standards, such as the Fairtrade label:

Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an

Myth number 3: ”Fairtrade and organically produced products have nothing to do with each other.” Fairtrade encourages organic farming and additionally has an organic pricing differential as an incitement for Fairtrade-certified producers to convert to organic farming. The diffierential pricing means that producers that also have an organic certification receive a higher price on top of the already existing minimum price and the Fairtrade premium. The meaning of the differential pricing is that it should cover the costs that producers have to produce a product that is certified organic. To convert to organic farming can mean a great cost to farmers because there is a demand of new techniques and education. If basic rights, such as a payment that covers the costs of living, cannot be achieved, has organic farming usually not been a priority. It usually starts with Fairtrade. If the producers have a monthly salary that they can life of and other basic rights is the leap to a conversion to organic farming not as great. #Fairtrade #4change #humanrights #rights #equality #socialjustice #dogood #dobetter #begood #bekind #ethicalchoices #makingadifference #makeadifference #worldhunger #poverty #fair #organic #ecofriendly #bio #sustainablebrands #sustainability #ecofriendly #motherearth #green #activism

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Fair Squared (@fairsquared_) am Feb 12, 2017 um 9:23 PST

Source: Instagram/Fair Squared

Especially online, the concept of sustainability has found its way into many areas of product marketing. It is becoming increasingly difficult for consumers to distinguish between greenwashing and companies that actually act in a sustainable way regarding social, ethical, environmental as well as health matters. As a leading brand for sustainable organic cosmetics: Do you notice such developments?

Yes, the fact that many producers of goods claim to act ethically correct, but do not demonstrate the validity of their promise by using significant labels, is one we are aware of.

How do you deal with these conditions?

As Fair Squared we don't only talk about acting ethically and sustainably. We furthermore demonstrate our ambitions and achievements for goals like a fairer global trade by carrying official certificates like the Fairtrade mark, the label by the Vegan Society and others, such as the Natrue certificate. In this way, we differ from many competitors who claim to act ethically. We therefore send a clear signal to all those consumers who want to support the fair trade idea and want to directly affect the global market.




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