From clean beauty to green beauty

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From clean beauty to green beauty

Sunday, 10 October 2021 | Shikhee Agarwal

From clean beauty to green beauty

Green Lifestyle concept is not just exclusive to major industrial practices but also a part of our daily life. People are now considering it while choosing beauty products for themselves, writes Shikhee Agarwal

The interest and need of consumers for a sustainable lifestyle practice has increased significantly in the recent times. Though the concept is old enough, it has gain more popularity since the past year. Now, the ‘Green Lifestyle’ concept is not just exclusive to major industrial practices but is also a part of our daily life. Given this, people are now considering it while choosing beauty products for themselves. Stepping back from using the chemical-based products, consumers are now more interested in the products based on natural and organic ingredients. Seeing this change in consumer preference, the beauty brands and manufacturers are now adopting methods to enter the rising market of sustainable beauty to make future better.

Among the majority of consumers which is 63%, the products made of 100% natural ingredients are more popular now-a-days. Not wanting to expose their delicate skin to harmful chemicals, they now want all the products to be environment and skin — friendly which includes not just the ingredients in a product but also its packaging. People are now more aware of the affects of these harsh chemicals and about the benefits of nature-based commodities.

Comparing the two, the inclination is more towards the one which is more beneficial not just for people but also for their surroundings. Since we now know how toxic these elements are to our skin, people have now started looking for products for natural ingredients in the products among which Centella Asiatic also know as Cica, Green Tea extract combined with latest technology are the most popular choices because of their amazing benefits. So, as a result, the term ‘Clean Beauty’ has been coined and is on a boom. Many new vegan and cruelty free brands are stepping up in the competition and seeing this the already established brands are now trying to step up the efforts to tap the trending market.

Adding more to it, the packaging of these products is also being based on natural renewable resources like soya ink, bamboo bottles etc. The reason for the changes are three major factors which consumers are taking seriously in the current scenario. These are responsibility towards the environment, the effectiveness of the products and long-term benefits after use.

Since the brands are putting efforts and capital in the manufacturing of sustainable products, selling these is also a big task which they look forward to. For this they try to look for the most profitable and preferred media among the consumers. Since a few years the most preferred medium has been online stores or e-commerce websites. Customers like to shop their favorite products from the comfort of their homes instead of venturing out to visit a store in person. And now, when the situation is such where, due to global recession and pandemic has made some businesses rolldown to the drawing board and when people are wary of any kind of physical contact with others, this medium has become the only concrete choice for not just consumers but for the brands as well.

The businesses which never had an online presence are now considering or have shifted to the world of e-commerce in order to boost their sales even in this difficult situation. Same has happened in the Beauty Industry. Now, all beauty and skincare brands have an online presence which has made easier for customers to buy the products from the choice of brands they always wanted. Seeing pathway ecommerce has led the sales on it are expected to see a steady growth by the end of this a year including the big players Amazon and Flipkart.

According to professionals, the number of people shopping online and the variety of categories they shop for is certainly beneficial for the growth of online business. And, since the process of online shopping has becomes more accessible and easier with the mobile applications where it’s just a matter of few clicks and slides, the customers who enjoy the convenience of shopping from the comfort of their home along with discounts and cashbacks will certainly continue to buy the products online. Irrespective of the category.

If we take in account the current situation, there are certain developments in the consumer behavior which are the foundation for the change in sales strategies for the brands. First among the trends is ‘Digitalisation of buying process’ where consumers are heavily using the e-commerce touch points available at their disposal. It is said to rise given the strong rules of distancing. Thus, the digital platforms are said to play a great role in reaching out to wide audience, buzz creation to boost sales, convenience of payment with various payment modes and gaining customer loyalty. Next up is the ‘Change in purchasing behaviour’ where people are now interested in buying products which are value for money and are essentials in the lifestyle due to the shift towards sustainability.

Another part in these changes is ‘improvisation’. This happened to be a thing due to the shortage of certain commodities and resources which led people to do the best out of what they could easily source. These creative ways and methods led towards the shift towards simple and convenient buying patterns which led people to discard excess consumption and focus only on the basic needs instead of luxury goods. In other words, the focus is more on the essentials rather than leisure.

With this being said, we can now talk about what the future has in store for the beauty industry along with others in terms of consumer behavior and how the consumers’ preference is going to change more with time. There are a few trends forecasted for the upcoming years which the businesses are already looking up to. These trends are:

Increased requirement for transparency: Since all the consumers are heavily relying on online mode of shopping, there are instance where they’ve met with some fraudulent claims. This eventually will lead to a constant rise in the demand for transparency from the end of the brand or online store.

Shift towards and Omnichannel presence: to aid the consumers in convenient shopping experience. There will be a greater shift where more businesses will have a presence online along with an offline presence.

The DIY approach: The changes caused due to the pandemic are here to stay. People have become more habitual in doing the tasks on their own. Whether it’s cooking, makeup, selfcare, taking care of their home, everything is being done by the people. Therefore, the brands might have to look into providing DIY products to customers. In terms of beauty industry, products like, mani-pedi kits, skincare kits and many more such kits have already made their way in the market.

Green Products: As mentioned, the focus will be heavily on the green product category that is the naturally derived products which cause least harm to the skin. Though the demand for Clean beauty is already present, it is said to grow rapidly in the coming years which will lead to more production of clean beauty products by different brands.

Knowledge of the trends in consumer behaviour before hand can give the business a boost and can turn out to be a great advantage over the competitors. Along with that, the knowledge of the trends can also act as rough framework based on which steps can be initiated to keep the brand ready for any of the emerging changes in the future. Reading the customers’ mind is one of the crucial things for a business in order to tap the market effectively and it becomes even more of a crucial step in the time we are currently living in.

Coming back to sustainable beauty, the sector holds a great potential and is expected to grow rapidly in the future. The sector has already seen a growth of 15% and has surpassed the existing cosmetics and personal care market. Still the sustainable beauty sector is yet to see the expected significant growth estimated for the upcoming years.

Beauty and skincare are a booming industry and is going to reach a six-figure industry by 2026, The packaging of each product can lead to ramifications that would lead to deteriorating the environment. At times consumers discard bottles that are half used and it’s up to the brands now to use the waste in the best way. Recycling would play an essential role in making the best of reuse waste that has been created at every stage of manufacturing. At times brands are making product bottles in glass bottles and they can be reused as a centerpiece on the table or as a flower vase.

In the product ingredients they need to be sustainability sourced right from the base oils to ingredients that would act as active ingredients in making the skin supple. From brands to consumers all of them have started becoming more environmentally conscious, from making subtle changes in packaging to starting loyalty programs to encourage recycling of products. Nature based skincare is less prone to allergic reactions to the skin and oils like glycerin is a humectant that would keep the skin hydrated and also keep irritation at a bay.

Hence right now it’s the current time for brands to take the correct step to help in saving the environment.

The writer has 19 years of cross-functional exposure in Beauty, FMCG, Media, and Fashion. She is AVP, Kiehl’s India

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