A Few Words On "Zero Waste" Beauty
The sustainable buzzword on everyone’s lips extended from the eco-conscious consumer merging a minimal lifestyle with cleaner living. And it now extends its weight to brands. Most notably, is REN Skincare’s pledge to become a zero waste brand by 2021.
Photo courtesy of deathtothestockphoto.com
[This article is an excerpt from Chapter 4 "The New Labels" of our latest macro trend report: Sustainable Futures]
BUT WHAT DOES “ZERO WASTE” REALLY MEAN?
Essentially, for a beauty brand to identify as such they would need to fully close their supply chain and adopt solutions that collect and reuse post-consumer packaging. The investment required in a service like this beyond local areas is not feasible for small brands. Instead, adopting “naked packaging” solutions and waterless delivery systems are a worthy innovation to fuel sustainable futures. Pretty Analytics sees the push towards zero waste as an aspiration to steer us as consumers and a responsible industry towards more sustainable living. At the heart of it, the quest should be to reduce waste in as many areas as possible from packaging to production in a way that's feasible long term and scalable. Even if you're not "zero waste", 50% less waste is definitely a step in the right direction and can only fuel a positive impact.
Feminine hygiene products are championing the zero waste approach with the rise in menstrual cups. Most disposable options such as tampons and sanitary pads cannot be recycled or composted. The few brands providing 100% cotton, non-bleached alternatives that are suitable for composting still pose problems for those without access to facilities to do so (unless you happen to own a composting toilet). Brands such as Organicup, Tulipcup and Mooncup are encouraging women to make the switch to menstrual cups. One of the questions that came up when discussing this at 2018’s Natural & Organic Product Show Europe was "how do you encourage the consumer to switch to something so new and outside of their comfort zone?" Education and demonstration will be key in whether a mainstream uptake in these products surfaces. A great example of this is Organicup’s 5 minute YouTube video explaining various ways to insert the cup and how to clean it.
We’ve also seen a rise in tampon and sanitary pad brands providing safer options (non-bleached pads) and packaging made from corn starch rather than plastic so at least the outer packaging is fully biodegradable. FLUX has recently completed crowdfunding to get their “period-proof” panties into production. The aim is to remove the need for
pads or tampons entirely with do it all, leakfree, eco-friendly and machine washable underwear.
Highlights from the ZERO WASTE DATA STORY
- Distribution of the product categories influencing "zero waste beauty" in the last 12 months (captured April 2018).
- Highlighting the top areas in which "zero waste" approaches are adopted.
- Instagram hashtag performance growth.
- Highlighting the topics most discussed when it comes to packaging and zero waste approaches.
- Top 10 themes that categorise how zero waste beauty is discussed across digital content + predictions on emerging consumer trends.
[Data story + all data visuals and explanations available in the full report.]