LONDON, United Kingdom — A Sustainable Beauty Coalition has launched in the UK to better cater to consumer values including tackling the global climate change emergency.
Formed by The British Beauty Council, the initiative aims to lead in sustainability by championing best practices and industry collaboration. Its launch is the culmination of a year’s work that began with an independent sustainability report commissioned by the British Beauty Council to analyse the beauty sector and the consumers it serves.
Called Courage to Change, the report found that one in seven consumers wanted to buy an environmentally friendly beauty product and highlighted that 88% of people want brands to use less packaging and display clearer information on how to recycle products. It also found that one in five people don’t know how to check a product’s sustainability credentials and one in three don’t understand the ingredients in the beauty products they use, underlying serious gaps in the market.
In response, it lays out a vision of how the beauty industry can move forward collectively by better catering to consumer values and concerns, and in doing so create new benchmarks.
To help make that vision a reality, the coalition includes a 10-strong steering group helmed by chair Jayn Sterland, UK Managing Director of green beauty pioneers Weleda. Its members include Jo-Anne Chidley Founder of The Beauty Kitchen, Michelle Feeney, Founder of Floral Street and Sian Sutherland Co-Founder of A Plastic Planet.
Speaking about the coalition Sterland explained: “We believe the UK beauty and wellness industry must play its part in bringing about bold, urgent change. We have a strong voice, reputation, and reach and we need to use it.”
She continued: “Consumers are keen to see this happen, and they are looking to us to clean up our act by addressing the many climate-related problems we have created, such as non-recyclable plastic packaging, chemicals contaminating the oceans, and unregulated, misleading product claims. Whilst a growing number of brands are taking significant steps to reduce their negative impact on the planet, these efforts are patchy and uncoordinated the coalition seeks to address this.”
In addition to the steering group, the Sustainable Beauty Coalition will also be supported by an extensive advisory panel, made up of industry experts, brand owners and industry body representatives, all of whom will report to the British Beauty Council’s executive board with a remit to:
- Develop a clear strategy and roadmap to accelerate sustainability in the industry
- Strengthen links across the industry, communities, voices and professional bodies to accelerate collaboration, knowledge and bolder collective efforts
- Work with the government to champion the work of the industry and support the agenda in the Race to Net Zero campaign
- Act to create stronger frameworks and policies for the UK’s beauty sector
- Monitor the roadmap’s progress and keep the execution of initiatives under review
The end goal is to create an industry that nurtures and protects the planet.
“The beauty industry needs to be transparent, accountable and make changes now — we will lose the respect of the consumer if we don’t,” commented Millie Kendall MBE, Chief Executive at the British Beauty Council.
“Surveys show that 95% of consumers believe their actions make a difference. If our customers believe that, what are we as an industry doing in response? We can and should do better — the beauty industry’s purpose is, after all, to encourage the intrinsic beauty of people and our planet to shine,” she added.
With an array of British talent leading the charge, the Sustainable Beauty Coalition has the potential to make real, tangible change.