The world has been gradually moving towards creating a more sustainable culture. The organic beauty industry is projected to reach $25.11 billion by 2025, and nearly 80% of Canadians have been found to pay more attention to everything from a brand’s packaging, production, and its environmental impact before buying. Moreover, the younger generation has become more particular about checking product ingredient lists and supporting cleaner, ethical brands. But besides being one of the top beauty trends of today, here’s why both brands and consumers should care about making beauty products more sustainable.
Creating Sustainable Beauty Products
Survey results from Canadian buyers could explain why brands have been clamoring to implement more sustainable practices in the last four years. Consumers now support brands that provide environmentally-friendly packaging (77%), ban animal testing (72%), stick to all-natural ingredients (72%), and share their values (62%). Despite this, 64% of consumers today find it difficult to buy sustainable products. They admit that they struggle to tell whether a beauty product is ethically sourced and produced just by checking the packaging. This could also be attributed to the sheer amount of brands and products on the market.
For instance, many companies could simply slap on “clean” and “sustainable” on the packaging of their products. However, they could still be using petrochemical ingredients derived from petrol, which is a non-renewable and economically volatile resource. Furthermore, 20-40% of beauty products, depending on the category, end up as waste. And it’s not just the packaging; expired, unsold, and discontinued products are all extremely hard to recycle, and almost always end up in landfills.
This is why clean beauty brands have been turning to oleochemicals to produce sustainable products. Some common sources include natural oils like palm and coconut, agricultural plants such as soybeans and corn, and bacteria as a renewable source of aromatic ingredients and pigments. These sources also represent a potential market value of millions of dollars, if they are sourced and managed correctly. For beauty companies, creating such products can upgrade their product quality, improve worker health, enhance brand reputation, and of course, lessen their environmental footprint.
Developing Sustainable Consumer Habits
Consumers, on the other hand, need to practice what they preach. This entails developing more sustainable consumer habits such as donating, recycling, and sometimes even refraining from buying products that you’ll just end up hoarding. One way to eliminate your waste as a consumer and support companies’ green initiatives is to bring with you a basket or tote bag when shopping in physical stores. Lots of buyers and brands don’t notice that plastic or paper bag packaging from beauty stores accumulates and becomes eventual waste over time. Some stores even offer discounts or incentives if you come with your own bag.
It’s also a good idea to try to stick to products that omit packaging such as a shampoo bar or refillable bath products. You could also eliminate single-use products from your everyday routine. Makeup remover pads can be traded in for reusable bamboo rounds, and sheet masks can be replaced with overnight or rinse-off face masks instead. More importantly, consumers should do their research on the brands that they patronize and make sure that their claims to eco-friendliness are provable. Brands, on the other hand, should be transparent and value their customer’s demands and earn their trust.
Companies and consumers have a part to play in contributing to a more sustainable and ethical beauty industry. Fortunately, both parties have become increasingly aware of this responsibility, and have been making conscious efforts to incite positive change.
Written by Xiomara Pena for thetruthbeautycompany.com