Reducing packaging, increasing refill options and being more transparent with communications are some of the key actions that feature in The British Beauty Council's first sustainability report - The Courage to Change - which launched last week. This crucial piece of work clearly sets out the challenges in the sector and includes clear actions and practical steps that businesses can take to move forward with sustainability. 

Covid-19 has significantly changed consumer shopping habits. With more of us spending time at home and on video calls all day, people are looking at themselves more than ever before. This has led to drastic increase in sales for skincare this year.  

New research conducted by Hubbub for the report, which surveyed 3,000 UK adults, identifies consumers top environmental concerns and shows substantial demand for products and brands that are environmentally friendly.   

Building on the results of the polling, the report calls on the industry to: 

1. Join the Sustainable Beauty Coalition

For a coalition to work it needs businesses to get on board and commit to sharing success in the industry. 

2. Review business models

Companies need to reassess their business models, so they are more sustainable. The scientific evidence of a climate and environmental crisis is clear and the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for resilience and more considerate business decisions and supply chains 

3. Be clearer with consumers

Some beauty industry communications confuse consumers. Engaging consumers with more transparent communications builds trust that is vital for long-term success. The public polling revealed that 90% of people want clearer information on how to recycle products when finished; 88% want information on how to use products in a more environmentally friendly way and 86% want information about ingredient supply chains. 

4. Meet consumers where they are

The polling has revealed that consumers seem ahead of businesses in their drive for change, with 91% wanting less packaging and 88% wanting to be able to refill their cosmetics. Companies should meet this need head on, providing these options or risk falling behind.  

Individuals are also starting to hold brands to account. 1 in 7 who were surveyed who had changed beauty products from April to July 2020, had switched in search of a more environmentally friendly product or brand. 39% of those surveyed thought brands were most responsible for reducing the environmental impact of beauty and grooming products.  

Consumers are also willing to do their part. The polling highlighted that many are taking positive environmental action themselves: 70% of those surveyed are already turning off the tap when brushing their teeth or washing their face, 40% are using reusable cotton pads to remove makeup and 23% are using refillable products.

Following this researchHubbub will be exploring this topic in more depth over the coming months, bringing individuals and brands together to help drive change.  

Find the full report from the British Beauty Council below. 


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