Earth Day is an important reminder to think critically about every step in product development, starting with the ingredient sourcing supply chain. Is there a way to be more sustainable? How can the process be optimized for energy efficiency? Is the supply chain traceable? While this list of questions is far from exhaustive, re-evaluating your supply chain with these questions in mind produces a better workstream that benefits the Earth.
The theme of 2021’s Earth Day is Restore Our Earth. Consumers are becoming more aware of environmental issues than ever before. Millennial and Gen Z consumers are passionate about conserving the limited resources on the planet and truly extending the lifespan of items, especially personal care and beauty products. According to the 2020 Deloitte Global Millenial Survey, 42 percent of millennials are willing to start or deepen a relationship with a brand that has a social or environmental impact. Brands can strengthen these relationships with millennials and Gen Z through incorporating the key tenets of clean beauty:
- Performance: Ingredients should always be effective, results-driven, beneficial, and of the highest purity.
- Sustainability: Ingredients should always be sustainably and renewably sourced.
- Transparency: Ingredients should always have transparent supply chains and complete supporting documentation.
- Safety: Ingredients should always enable high safety standards for final products, such as EWG verification.
Consumers want brands to take environmental responsibility
In 2021, the beauty industry is taking on one of its biggest investments yet: transparent ingredient sourcing. With lists like “Clean at Sephora,” Ulta’s Conscious Beauty, and Credo’s Clean Standard, consumer demands are evolving even further to include environmental and social responsibility for both products and packaging. To this end, brands can reduce carbon emissions and develop innovative packaging designs with cradle-to-cradle in mind. Innovative ingredients like SimplySolid™, for example, make it easier to launch solid skincare applications that reduce the need for packaging.
Reducing CO2 emissions is another critical approach. Sourcing ingredients from renewable, plant-based sources and developing strategies like purchasing carbon offsets through organizations like the Carbon Fund are opportunities for brands to make an impact. These carbon offset programs go towards environmental projects such as wind farms and reforestation projects. Many consumers look for brands that commit to reducing their carbon footprint by taking action. Brands like Bulldog Skincare have announced carbon neutrality, and Biossance announced carbon-neutral shipping and setting a goal of zero waste by 2025.
Plastic consumption remains a large problem in the beauty industry. Brands like Credo and Grove Collaborative are calling for formulators and packaging designers to create with cradle-to-cradle in mind. Products should not only aim to be plastic-free; they should also be refillable and reusable. Cradle-to-cradle design also includes consumer education tactics, such as providing clear disposal instructions on how to recycle a product at the end of its lifecycle This simple education promotes actual recyclability instead of theoretical recyclability. With that in mind, brands can evaluate technical packaging criteria to increase the recyclability of products such as avoiding specific glass treatments, mixed materials, and plastics.
Let’s make a better planet together
Clean beauty provides an open channel for information exchange between brands and consumers, built upon a foundation of trust. When consumers see that brands are making genuine strides towards environmental consciousness, the brands, consumers, and the Earth all benefit. This Earth Day, take a deeper look into your brand’s offerings and think about how to better connect with sustainability-focused consumers. How can you help lead your brand to restore our Earth?
At Aprinnova we believe in offering the best ingredients without compromising the environment, efficacy, or cost. Sustainability is at the forefront of every production decision, and circular beauty is the goal. The planet deserves it!