Sustainability in Beauty & Fashion amid Covid-19
15 May 2020
This month’s Fashion Friday podcast series by Euromonitor International examines sustainability in the beauty and fashion industries amid Covid-19. Sustainability was undoubtedly the hottest topic in the beauty and fashion industries. Consumers, especially the youngest generations, have become increasingly aware of the industries’ negative impact on both people and the environment in recent years. Therefore, brands, both young and old, have been vying to keep up with consumer demands for more sustainable business practices and products.
While brands’ sustainability efforts have taken a backseat in recent weeks as their attention is on coping with the current crisis at hand, the consumer-led sustainability movement has not and will not go away. We can mostly expect the continuation of many of the changes underway before the onset of the crisis, although accelerated or decelerated as a result of the many new habits and values that consumers have formed in its midst.
One of the key primary ways that brands have sought to make their business practices or some of their products more sustainable is by sourcing raw materials that will have a minimal negative impact on the environment. Several beauty brands have been at the forefront of ensuring that their ingredients are sourced in ways that minimises waste. Eminence Organic Skin Care has expanded the ‘farm to face’ concept and incorporated sustainability through small-batch processing and by choosing ingredients that are not only beneficial to the skin but can also be grown with minimal impact. Euromonitor International’s Beauty Survey in 2019 found that aspects of sustainability are becoming more influential among global consumers including not testing on animals, being cruelty free or being 100 percent vegan.
Regarding fashion, many brands have begun to assess the short and long-term implications of their fabrics and other source materials and have sought to replace some of the most damaging with more sustainable alternatives. As an example, the start-up fashion brand Reformation publishes a scorecard on its website that rates the environmental impact of different types of fabrics and gives itself a final score at the end of the year based on the fabrics it used to create its products.
While Covid-19 has temporarily taken brands attention away from their sustainability goals in recent months, it has also brought them increased scrutiny as consumers asses their handlings of the crisis. Thus, with consumers and media outlets alike now quick to judge brands based on their adherence to the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit, moving forward they will not only have to meet demands to reduce their environmental footprints, but also demands to make a positive impact on society as a whole.
Written and created for FashionUnited by Euromonitor. Euromonitor International is the world's leading independent provider of strategic market research.
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