The market intelligence agency has predicted that sustainability will be the major focus of the beauty industry over the coming year, as consumers become increasingly aware of the environmental footprint of their personal care purchases.
"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," the company states, adding that brands that create limited shelf-life products "run the risk of consumer backlash."
"‘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," said Andrew McDougall, Associate Director, Mintel Beauty & Personal Care, in a statement. "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 and may not exist in the future."
However, there is some good news: a handful of beauty brands already have a head start on the issue. Clarins, Coty, L'Oréal and Groupe Rocher hit the headlines in late 2017 when they committed to a ‘Responsible Beauty Initiative' designed to encourage sustainability within the beauty industry by improving ethical, social and environmental performance and progress throughout the industry's supply chains. This year has seen REN Clean Skincare team up with the ocean-focused non profit Surfrider Foundation on a project to protect clean water and healthy, plastic-free beaches, while Eminence Organic Skin Care became the first skincare brand to plant 10 million trees, planting one tree for every product sold since 2012, as part of its "Forests for the Future" program. L'Oréal even jumped on the bandwagon earlier this month, revealing the results of a collaboration with the Swiss tech start-up Gjosa; a low-flow showerhead and an easy-rinse shampoo combination that significantly reduces the amount of water needed to wash the hair.