The environmental impact of the beauty industry

by Team Conscious Carma

The world over, beauty standards have changed drastically over the past few years. As millennials and GenZ consumers enter the consumer bracket, there is a rising demand for transparency when it comes to the environmental impact of beauty products. As the detrimental effects of rampant deforestation, oceanic pollution and global warming come to the fore, beaubrands are also taking conscious steps towards reducing the impact on nature and its vast bounty. 

New-age consumers are looking for beauty brands that do not contribute to environmental degradation through toxic ingredients, ingredients from endangered sources, cutting of trees for their packaging. In fact, buzzwords like natural extracts, organic, ethically sourced, and environment friendly are of the utmost importance to today’s consumers. Therefore, brands, too, are increasing their efforts towards achieving the highest levels of sustainability. 

Climate protection 

Many sectors in the industry are introspecting their role in climate change. To reduce or offset the impact on climate, brands must relook and change their processes including manufacturing at factories, to packaging their products, to delivering their products to consumers. Leading brands such as Oriflame are using renewable energy at manufacturing facilities, renewable electricity sources across offices, etc can, for instance, as a great first step towards protecting the environment. This can also be done by installing solar panels at factories and manufacturing units to reduce the dependence on non-renewable resources. 

Since CO2 emissions contribute a great deal towards climate change, brands can also reduce their dependence on traditional logistics and switch to environment-friendly logistics options when it comes to transportation of their products between facilities or to consumers. Through careful consideration and well thought through changes, the impact of the beauty industry on the climate can be reduced by a great margin. 

Moreover, Oriflame has planted 6 million trees and protected them in reforestation projects. In doing so, the brand is reducing CO2 emissions while allowing individuals to breathe in fresh air. 

Keeping the oceans clean 

Most beauty brands across the globe, thus far, used harmful plastic microbeads in their scrub and harmful chemicals in their foaming products which would end up in the oceans, deeply harming marine biodiversity. Maintaining the balance of the oceanic ecosystem is crucial for sustaining human life as well. 

Considering this reality, new-age beauty brands such as Oriflame are putting a halt to such harmful practices by using 100% natural origin exfoliants like almond shells, fruit seeds in their scrub products and bio-degradable formulations in rinse-off products to ensure that everything that ends up in the ocean is broken down safely and naturally.  

Reducing the use of water at manufacturing units, and collecting rainwater are also great ways to save precious water. Furthermore, Oriflame’s wellness factory in India reuses 100% of its water.

Conserving forests 

In the past, brands used palm oil in their products which led to deforestation. Further, trees were also cut down to prepare packaging, catalogues, etc. The harsh truth is that, according to the World Wildlife Fund, we are losing around 18.7 million acres of forests annually to deforestation. Addressing this problem, brands like Oriflame use 99% of their paper, board packaging and catalogues from credible, certified sources or recycled materials. 

It is not an overstatement to say that natural is the veritable future of the beauty industry. For brands that have understood the need of the hour, there is no looking back. Only sustainable brands that check their impact on nature will be able to survive today’s competitive market that is dominated by consumer’s demand for environmentally sustainable products. Natural extracts, organic ingredients, ethically sourced and overall responsible beauty will be the mainstay of this industry going forward. Humans and the planet will reap the benefits for decades to come. 

Naveen Anand, Senior Director, Regional Marketing-South Asia at Oriflame

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and CONSCIOUS CARMA does not necessarily subscribe to it. CONSCIOUS CARMA will not be responsible for any damage caused to any person or organisation directly or indirectly.

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