A move towards activism for the Spanish fragrance market

By the end of 2018 Spain had positioned itself as one of the leading nations within the fragrance market, becoming the second biggest global exporter right after France, and surpassing countries such as the USA and Germany. It’s been four years of steady cosmetic consumption expansion for the country, with the sector registering 2% growth last year.

According to Stanpa (the Spanish Cosmetic, Toiletry & Perfumery Association) this growth is in part the result of a more diverse model of society that transcends stereotypes, including options for different skin tones, likes and needs. The fragrance category stands out: representing 20% of the total beauty industry, it enjoyed 4.6% growth during this same year. It’s worth mentioning that a part of this has also come from the men’s market, where fragrance consumption has been growing year-on-year during the last three years.

Here at WGSN, we have been talking about how the new generations are reshaping the beauty market. Gen Z-ers prize brands that offer them moments of calm, and sensorial products and experiences that support their emotional, mental and physical wellbeing. This cohort is championing a spirit of activism and inclusivity with brands that deliver positive messaging. Sustainability is non-negotiable for them. It’s not enough for a brand to just negate any impact its production has on the world: leaving a positive legacy to make the world a better place is increasingly important to this generation. This is not just about tokenism: these consumers are discerning and are looking for brands who don’t just talk about doing good, but actually walk the walk.

In this context, and beginning in 2016, one of the most emblematic Spanish brands with a clear youth vibe returns to its origins to revive attributes that had been blurred due to the commercial success of each fragrance. Loewe Perfumes launched its rebranding project seeking to bring its four core values back to the consumer: nature masters, universal art, beyond the skin and Spanish lifestyle.

To reinforce its values even more, this year, Loewe took the next step in drawing attention to the issues of sustainability, introducing the Agua 44.2 fragrance. A limited run of 44,200 bottles were created, to raise awareness of the problems that ocean waste causes. More than 12 million tons of waste enter into the seas and oceans every year, directly and negatively impacting marine ecosystems, the economy, and people’s own safety and health.

With the profits obtained from sales of this limited-edition fragrance, in collaboration with the European Environment Agency, Loewe Perfumes is supporting the International Coastal Cleanup project. To extend its reach, the brand launched the fragrance with an activation that gathered together a group of influential volunteers from Spain and Portugal with the purpose of cleaning up their beaches, sending a positive message and setting a clear example.

The fast-growing beauty market is one of the most waste-generating industries, and is being challenged by a new generation that is much more informed and demands sustainable solutions and action from companies. In such a climate, it remains to be seen how Spanish brands will begin to play their part in implementing genuine change. How do you think this trend is going to evolve? Will this generation continue to call for progress through activism?

If you want to know more about the beauty market trends and evolutions, subscribe to WGSN Beauty and take a look at our Sustainability content on WGSN Insight.

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