Beauty futures 2019: Sub-zero waste

With sustainability front of mind for government and industry alike, it comes as no surprise that emerging trends for the year ahead are relating to this message.

2019 is predicted to be the year of Sub-Zero Waste as a significant beauty and personal-care trend.

Analysts at Mintel suggest that “zero waste philosophy is gaining momentum as more and more consumers are affected by natural disasters and dwindling natural water resources.”

They believe that ”better informed consumers will no longer tolerate egregious waste like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a direct consequence of years of indiscriminate abuse of single-use plastics.”

But they also think that companies focusing their efforts on reducing packaging isn’t enough, and that there’s “far greater potential for ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking from manufacturers and brands at every stage of the beauty supply chain”.

Therefore, we can expect the focus on sustainability to intensify. “Over the next five years, the focus on sustainability will reach new heights around the world as environmentally conscious consumers look for ways to reduce waste in all aspects of their lives, including their beauty and personal care routines,” Mintel said.

And that will put huge pressure on businesses operating in the beauty sector. The report said that “brands that purposely create limited-shelf-life products or encourage over-consumption run the risk of consumer backlash. Consumers will demand that brands be more environmentally responsible and take accountability for their actions”.

Senior Mintel analyst Sharon Kwek said: “Sub-Zero Waste is not just a trend; it’s a movement towards a ground-shaking new archetype for the beauty and personal care industry. Some companies are already discussing completely removing packaging from the equation. Whether reducing or eliminating waste altogether, if brands don’t change their approach now, they will become insignificant. Brands that place current profits ahead of making the necessary investment in zero waste and sustainability will not be around in the future”.

What could be interesting about this movement is that it will be an opportunity for indie brands to charge into the market and make an impact while bigger, more established names with much deeper pockets could be left behind if they don’t act soon.

“We’re seeing that some indie brands have the upper hand with regard to sustainable beauty as they have built their business practices around ethics and environmentally friendly practices,” Kwek added. “Larger brands must adopt new practices in order to catch up with these smaller, more nimble competitors. Consumers today are paying a lot more attention to their impact on the planet and climate change calls are more drastic than ever before. A bigger-picture focus is needed throughout the beauty and personal care industry supply chain for a true zero waste mentality”.


For more insight read out Sustainable Strategies: Beauty report.

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