The beauty industry is changing as more consumers demand natural products with less chemicals. They want to know what is in their products and what they are buying. They also want to cut down on excess packaging and plastic in particular.
The cleaning and laundry household market is seeing similar demands with the growth in reuse and refill options. However, what is in the containers is important too with the wide incidence of allergies like asthma and eczema.
These trends offer a number of opportunities around packaging and ingredient choice.
If you are inspired to find out more about starting on your sustainability strategy, book a free Sustainability Audit.
Plastic is a real area of focus with consumers. We have all been influenced by programmes like Blue Planet and seen that our marine life is being choked by plastic and microplastics.
Today's young people are stongly attached to social media and influencers. It is important that brands are using their reach ethically and considering the online safety of their customers.
Beauty and household products are dependent on the cultivation of plants and herbs for their ingredients. The agricultural practices used can have a severe negative impact on soil health, access to water and wildlife.
Many ingredients are cultivated overseas and often by local people who may not be paid a decent wage or enjoy safe working conditions. There is also the issue of transport of these ingredients and deliveries to the consumer.
For the average person it is virtually impossible to understand all the ingredients on a beauty label. For household products there is no legal requirement to even list all the ingredients.
Thousands of chemicals are used in beauty and household products. Many have not been tested for safety and usually not in combination with others. Cultivation of many ingredients involve pesticides and insecticides which are harmful to wildlife.
I am your potential customer. I have been seeking out safe, natural beauty and household products for over 20 years. Now I am one of the many doing that not one of the few. There is a huge opportunity for the industry to offer the features that consumers are demanding.
Beauty products and health
From the early 2000s I began to actively learn more about ingredients in our everyday products and the benefits of organic cultivation. I discovered the links between certain chemicals and breast cancer risk. I then became a breast health educator and I talked to women about prevention and wellbeing. The views I expressed then are widely accepted today.
At that time, I became a non-executive director for prevention charity Breast Cancer UK (BCUK) and was introduced further to the science and research behind breast cancer risk.
I then went on to work as a freelancer for BCUK and worked with their CEO to set up an Ambassador programme to share empowering information with women in the workplace and the community. Unfortunately, the programme became a victim of the pandemic.
For my blog, I have interviewed inspirational sustainability leader, Anna Brightman of UpCircle Beauty.
Organic household brand
The household industry faces very similar challenges as the beauty industry in terms of ingredients and packaging. I developed a marketing strategy for organic cleaning and laundry company, Greenscents. I worked with the founder for 4 years to implement the strategy and move the brand forward. I have never met such loyal and enthusiastic customers! It was always my mission to educate people that the ingredients are just as important as the packaging.
During my time with Greenscents, I built up a strong relationship with the Beauty & Wellbeing team at the Soil Association and know many of the brands who are active in that space. As a result of that, I set up collaborations with a number of well-known organic businesses.
I have worked in wide range of mainly consumer-facing industries. When I moved on from live events, I worked in the fashion industry before joining my husband to run his landscaping business. Alongside my breast health work I spent 4 years with campaigning organisation Fashion Revolution. The fashion industry has many connections with the beauty industry as well as sharing many of the same challenges. The hospitality industry is another industry which aims to inspire and is starting to address single use plastic and chemicals used inside properties. I freelanced for sustainable tourism company, Wayaj, to re-evaluate their brand, launch their new online booking engine, Alight, whilst developing content such as blogs and webinars . This broad experience means that I have seen the best sustainable solutions in a number of different industries. I can share this knowledge and best practice with you.
As I have worked in the ethical arena for over 10 years, I have built up a substantial list of contacts. I am a Blue Consultant for Oceanic Global which means that I can help businesses remove single-use plastic as well as having access to a network of vetted suppliers. And if I don't have a specific contact, then I always know where to find one within the sustainable communities I am part of.
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