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Sustainable trends in beauty and fashion industry

April 09, 2020

As people’s awareness of environmental and social issues has risen considerably, players in these fields must take action and follow sustainable beauty and fashion trends if they are about to survive.


Sustainable beauty trends


Consumers are turning their attention to environmental issues

Consumers are turning their attention to environmental issues / Ph: Pexels


The recent years have seen the rise of the sustainable beauty and fashion trends as consumers are putting much attention in environment and sustainability issues in the fashion industry. Brands have been turning their concentration on these issues and sustainable beauty and fashion influencers are trying to use their images to affect consumers positively. Here are the most noticeable sustainable beauty trends.

Biodegradable ingredients


The sustainable beauty and fashion industry witnesses the domination of products containing biodegradable ingredients. Tackling microbeads, face wipes or fine lines are no longer the only things that consumers want to see from sustainable beauty products. They are demanding more than that because many consumers nowadays have realized the importance of environmental protection as well as sustainable development.

That is the reason why the use of biodegradable ingredients is one of the emerging sustainable fashion and beauty trends. The term biodegradable is often associated with environmentally friendly products and it is what consumers want beauty products to be. The products should be as environmentally friendly as possible, not only about the substances but also the packages.

Companies in sustainable fashion and beauty industry are desperate for ways to use these biodegradable ingredients in their beauty products. They have to make sure that they take care of the planet because it is what consumers expect to see from them. Sustainable ingredients are being used more widely and replace the conventional ingredients which can cause harms to the environment. This is what all players in the beauty market have to do if they want to survive.


Sustainable packages


Since consumers are defending for the planet, they have refused the excessive use of plastic. Therefore, they are turning to use products from beauty brands with sustainable packaging instead of their normal or even interested brands. The packaging sustainability in the beauty industry is diverse, from no-waste bottles to recycled and recyclable boxes.

An outstanding name in sustainable beauty industry must be Unilever. The company is going ahead with its plan to become more sustainable. Dove, a brand under this name, announced the switch of its Dove, Dove Men + Care and Baby Dove packaging to 100% recycled plastic bottles by the end of 2019. This plan is carried out first in North America and Europe and the brand also plans to expand it globally by the end of 2020. This goal aims at reducing the use of virgin plastic by roughly 20,500 tons every year. More than that, the brand is implementing the plan of plastic-free Beauty Bar single packs and stainless-steel Dove deodorant sticks.

LOLI Beauty is a typical example of top sustainable beauty brands. This beauty brand has eliminated water from its manufacturing process and cycled organic ingredients from food supplies. Now, it has applied sustainable packaging on all of its products. In this plan, all products are packaged in recycled and recyclable boxes with 100% certified compostable labels and bags that deteriorate in 180 days.

Lush is a beauty brand that is well-known when it comes to ethical, fresh, environmental-friendly and vegan beauty field. In winter 2019, the brand has made a remarkable decision of launching packaging-free product range. Until now, nearly 80% of the brand’s seasonal products are sold without any packaging.


Lush is selling their products without packaging

Lush is selling their products without packaging / Ph: Pexels


Pursuing the sustainability in beauty industry, Lush got into a problem with the storage of their products. And they came up with an idea of formulating their products with little or no water. This helps their shower gels, lip scrubs and body conditioners to stay solid at room temperature and to be self-preserving. In addition, the brand also replaces water in products with ingredients such as cocoa butter so that bath side bacteria are kept at bay in order to protect your products.

Refillable beauty products


Refillable product trend is not too obvious in the sustainable beauty market. However, there is no doubt that its potential for improvement is huge. And as consumers are more aware of what is happening on the planet, this trend promises to be emerging in the next few years.

Following this trend, the top sustainable beauty brands no longer sell the same packaged products over and over to consumers. Instead, they sell refillable products. It means that consumers will keep the original dispenser, then go to the stores, shops or retailers to refill them. This act helps to reduce a huge amount of dispenser released every day while saving the cost of packages for manufacturers.

Sustainable marketing


Along with sustainable beauty packaging, beauty brands are applying sustainable marketing strategies. It is understandable why top sustainable beauty brands have to do so. According to a 2014 Nielsen research, roughly 50% of global online consumers are willing to pay more to buy products and use services from brands with positive social and environmental impacts.

Following sustainable beauty trends, beauty companies need to promote their sustainability performance through not only its manufacturing process but also all business activities. However, if they are engaging in unsustainable practices, they cannot claim that they are developing sustainably. This is because once consumers find out the truth behind their lie, for instance, making employees work under poor conditions, the reputation and credibility of them will be immediately ruined.


The Body Shop is a Leaping Bunny – approved brand

The Body Shop is a Leaping Bunny – approved brand / Ph: Pexels


A famous name in the sustainable beauty market is The Body Shop and its effective green positioning. The brand never tests their beauty products on animal. In fact, The Body Shop is a Leaping Bunny-approved brand which received Leaping Bunny Certification. Moreover, this noticeable name in sustainable fashion and beauty industry also has social responsibility.

Its Tea Tree Oil’s materials are from the Kenya Organic Oil Farmer’s Association. KOOFA is actually a cooperative which is made of 380 small-scale farmers. Most of them are women who are forced to be the main labour of their families due to the AIDS-related mortality in Kenya. That the brand buys input materials from KOOFA helps farmers to have steady income to make ends meet.

The Body Shop is also dedicated even with their advertisements with no images of degrading women. Moreover, it also forms a fund named Learning is of Value to Everyone initiative, aiming at providing training courses, events and health treatments to its staffs and employees. No need to say, The Body Shop is one of the most eminent names in sustainable beauty and fashion industry.


Sustainable fashion trends


Along with sustainable beauty trends, the rise of sustainable fashion is grabbing the attention of fashion lovers the recent years. The excessive development of fashion industry for years has posed serious environmental hazards on our planet. Every year, thousands tonnes of clothing are gone to the ground, causing soil pollution. Besides, the collective failure caused by a considerable increase in the number of collections released a year also leads to “nearly disposable” goods. And we have to mention the fact the production of clothes releases million tonnes of CO2 emissions and causes the shortage of water in certain areas such as India and Pakistan.


Fast fashion poses a great threat to the environment

Fast fashion poses a great threat to the environment / Ph: Pexels


This is the reason for the emerging of innovative sustainable fashion ideas and sustainable fashion trends, which aim at reducing the waste of clothes in order to protect the environment and save limited water resources.

Capsule wardrobe


In the situation that environmental issues are gaining much attention, there is no doubt that a capsule wardrobe will be the future of sustainable fashion.  This trend started several years ago but is gaining much momentum in 2019 as being promoted strongly by sustainable fashion and beauty influencers, bloggers and Instagramers. Generally, men have long been followed this trend of capsule wardrobes. However, it just started not for long among women and third gender community.

This idea aims at paring your closet down to only essential items that can be mixed and matched well. Not only can you lower the cost of new items, but also you can contribute to protecting the environment. There should be no stress in daily decisions of what to wear as you just have a small number of basic items. So, just grab and go.


Second-hand items are fine


The top sustainable fashion brands list calls The RealReal and ThredUp, a major player in the sustainable fashion market. The two consignments have taken it paces in the resale market and made it a trend. The resale market is valued at $41 billion in2022 and is expected to continue to grow considerably. By buying second-hand items, you get a chance to find unique clothes that might not follow the latest trend but perfectly suit your style. Moreover, it cannot be denied that this idea will help you save a particular amount of money, enabling you to invest in high-quality pieces that wear well over time.

Renting clothes


Renting clothes instead of buying all new items

Renting clothes instead of buying all new items / Ph: Pexels


This sustainable fashion innovation of renting clothes comes from the fact that four out of five clothes in average American woman’s closet are worn three times or even less. This is such a huge waste and is harmful to the environment as well. Therefore, there is no surprise that women are turning to use rented pieces instead of wasting their money on new-buy items.  The sustainable fashion facts are that more and more women are showing their great interest in this kind of business, making it sustainable fashion in the future.

A rental pioneer Rent the Runway is doing their job very well as consumers are turning to rent their clothes not only for evening looks but also to everyday wear. This one of the best sustainable fashion brands also added mainstream brands, such as J.Crew and Levi’s to their wardrobes. This way, Rent the Runway gives consumers more choices so that they can outsource their entire wardrobes.

According to a representative from this brand, its 10 million members show the rise of sustainable fashion while the environmental issues are more serious than ever before. And obviously, this trend will be strengthened.


There is nothing wrong with rewearing


Most women are always put under the pressure of having something new to wear for every different occasion. This is due to the strong gender bias, making women never want to repeat a look. Michelle Obama once talked about this. She always under pressure to constantly be seen in new looks, whereas her husband, Barack Obama was able to go around with the exact same tux for eight years.

Arianna Huffington urged women to repeat their outfits to counter the competitive advantage of men have when it comes to dressing. However, more important, repeating your outfits is a way to lessen the serious effects the fashion industry has on the environment. Never repeating your outfits is nothing to be proud of. And it is nothing compared to what the human being has to suffer if they continue to degrade the environment.


New material


Is it true that cotton is green because they are made from a plant? Actually, the World Bank says no. Cotton is responsible for 16% of total global insecticide releases. This amount is more than any single crop and of course, causing permanent harms to not only the environment but also to plants, animals and human beings. So, there is a trend of using organic cotton among best sustainable fashion brands to eliminate the negative impacts on the environment.

Besides, scientists and designers are looking for different materials to replace the harmful conventional ones. Many fashion brands are coming up with the innovative sustainable fashion ideas of using bamboo, soy, corn and wood pulp in this field. Their attempts are to create environment – friendly alternative materials to cotton fabric and get rid of using the traditional and harmful one.




Producers with sweatshop working conditions are under criticism

Producers with sweatshop working conditions are under criticism / Ph: Pexels


According to sustainable fashion industry statistics, animal cruelty and sweatshop labour have been permanent issues in fashion industry. In recent years, as impacted by the sustainable beauty and fashion trends, consumers started to realize the real problems associated with these issues. They aware that clothing should not be produced in sweatshops and they also think about the origin of the raw materials.

Many manufacturers, especially in less developed countries, are using child labour in their production process. Their act is against the law and cruel but has been ignored for years. However, nowadays, designers and consumers want to be sure that their pieces are free from violence and cruelty. They will refuse to buy products or materials from these irresponsible producers and even boycott them.

Besides, fashion manufacturers are required to fulfil worker rights, including paying fair wages and ensuring safe working conditions to their employees. Corporate policies, transparency, training courses and entertainment are also are emphasized so to create a vast improvement for workers and the company as a whole.

Sustainable beauty and fashion trends are dominating the market in the recent years. Any company in this field has to follow these trends in order to survive in this saturated market.

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