For anyone who hasn’t yet accepted it, let me reiterate that global warming is real, and the negative effects on our earth are getting worse with each year. From sea levels rising, to bushfires followed by cold fronts, dying bees and ozone depletion, people are starting to really look towards how they as individuals can make a positive change. Now, I’ve worked with large corporations in my time, and the entire marketed guilt where you personally are supposed to feel like your actions directly affect this disaster is completely fabricated. Even a chum like me in the finance office knew what they were up to. Because the reality is, it is companies with huge mounds of cash and a personal-gain agenda are causing the bulk of the issues… From coal power, to oil in the ocean, unregulated cruise industry and air pollution, it is the choices big political powers make which choose the course we are on. Many companies don’t want to make positive change, because it is expensive, and this is true in the cosmetics industry. Packaging made in the UK, for example, over China is much more costly, even if the shipping across the two countries adds to their carbon footprint. Plastic is cheap. Some synthetic and poorly sourced ingredients are very cheap.
So when we think about what changes the consumer environment, it is a combination of what customers buy, and what companies sell. If there were only four moisturiser companies in the UK, and they all had equally unsatisfactory sustainability goals, then people might complain about the industry as a whole but they would certainly keep buying regardless. When a more ethical brand enters the scene, and consumers are present with choice, then that becomes a different story. Ethical trends, and then suddenly the other companies are incentivised to follow suit. Admittedly, sometimes only in performative actions, but progress is progress.
So we’ve seen in the last few years a real push towards organic and sustainable skincare. According to the Soil Association, there is a 23% growth year on year for certified organic and natural beauty and wellbeing products, with a total of £106.4 million in 2019 in sales. 64% of consumers are also looking for recyclable packaging, like this eye serum, and 79% look for organic products to buy.
It’s a global trend we’ve seen building for yea
rs, and I have to say I’m glad to see it as public as it is now. Keep cups are becoming standard tools for a coffee out, if we ignore the current pandemic, and paper and metal straws have finally trumped plastic. Small changes, whilst not that impactful on a global scale, can snowball into large change. That’s what’s important.
Do you think about sustainability when you shop for skincare? I hope so, because now it’s as important for the environment as it is trendy!