Read on to know why beauty brands are choosing sustainable practices in their business strategies in recent times and their impact on the planet.
The beauty sector is a highly dynamic field that experiences constant and rapid expansion. It is projected that the global market size for the beauty and cosmetics industry will reach US$571.10bn by 2023, with an expected annual growth rate of 3.80% (CAGR 2023–2027). One of the most notable changes occurring within the industry is the increasing emphasis on sustainability.
The impact on the environment
Unfortunately, the beauty and personal care sector has a negative impact on the planet. This is due to using ingredients that harm delicate coral reefs, testing products on animals from different species, and utilizing non-biodegradable and non-recyclable packaging. To provide some context, the amount of beauty packaging that ends up in our oceans and landfills annually is approximately 120 billion units. Furthermore, a significant proportion of this packaging is composed of plastic, which is omnipresent in the beauty industry. Even though it is virtually impossible to eradicate all plastic packaging overnight, the fact that the majority of it is not recycled or repurposed is catastrophic for the environment.
In recent times, sustainability has become ingrained in the minds of consumers. They are gravitating toward brands that conduct business in a responsible manner. Consumers scrutinize a brand’s fundamental principles and tactics and opt for those that prioritize the well-being of both their customers and the planet.
Importance of a Sustainable Label
As sustainability increasingly becomes a way of life and practice, rather than a fleeting trend among both consumers and brands, the beauty industry is gradually overhauling its approach. Nevertheless, it is crucial to acknowledge that a substantial proportion of brands in the market are merely jumping on the sustainability bandwagon without genuinely comprehending the essence of the concept.
“Greenwashing,” is a tactic where products are misleadingly advertised as being environmentally friendly, to attract more consumers. As a result, trustworthiness and accountability are valid concerns, particularly from the consumers’ point of view.
Transparency should be at the core of brands’ strategies and business practices, particularly in the present era when 66% of consumers are willing to pay a premium for products that align with their values, such as being environmentally friendly and not tested on animals.
Steps to be Taken for Becoming Truly Sustainable
- Brands can utilize eco-friendly and reusable packaging, such as jute or cotton bags.
- They can implement recycling programs for both glass and plastic packaging.
- They must take conscious steps to reduce the usage of single-use plastics and opt for a plastic-neutrality scheme. By adopting plastic neutrality, a brand can remove the same amount of plastic it uses through its packaging and business activities. Some leading beauty brands in India like BodyCafé, mCaffeine, and Juicy Chemistry have collaborated with The Disposal Company to go fully plastic-neutral. These brands are leading sustainable action by reducing plastic waste in the environment and contributing to the welfare of ragpickers.
- Brands can give a “Cruelty-Free” label to ensure no inhuman practice like animal testing is done for their products.
- Moreover, it is vital for brands that are intentionally changing their approach to also take into account other critical factors, including the ethical sourcing of ingredients, social responsibility, and environmental protection to meet the goals of corporate sustainability.
The Bottom Line
There are brands in the beauty industry that have led the way in sustainability. They are serving as change-makers and advocates for the protection of the environment and the empowerment of marginalized communities. While sustainability remains an ongoing process, development in this area is promising, and the increasing number of brands adopting sustainable practices is a positive sign. After all, every journey begins with a single step.