A new age of responsible consumerism is upon us, and shoppers are no longer making their purchase decisions based simply on price and a few benefits. It’s not just about personal health either. Consumers are savvier than ever, and are now shopping with a conscious, not just considering the benefits to them personally, but weighing in factors like corporate responsibility, carbon footprint, recyclable packaging, animal cruelty, and the sustainability of the ingredients used.
Buyers want to feel good about what they’re buying, and they want their chosen brands to stand for something, particularly younger generations. We’ve seen the huge emergence of skincare, body and personal care products that boast natural, vegan ingredients, sustainably-sourced materials and cruelty-free processes, but we want more than that. The industry’s answer to this? An increasing number of big names in the beauty industry joining the philanthropy game.
We’ve seen this type of thing on the market before with brands like thankyou Water, or beauty brands offering limited edition runs around specific times of the year, such as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But in the race to become the industry’s most ethical brand, we’re witnessing a rapid increase in the number of businesses making large-scale, socially-conscious changes and giving back to charities on a more permanent basis.
It’s a clever decision for businesses in the beauty game – it’s very simple for consumers to switch their eating habits if they wish to follow an organic, sustainable lifestyle, but changing their beauty or cosmetics routines? Not so much. Customers are able to give back to a worthy cause without changing their routines or budgets in the slightest. Talk about an easy sell!
The Body Shop
Front of mind in the consumer beauty industry is of course the Body Shop, who regularly run campaigns for various charitable organisations, and aims to be the world’s most ethical and sustainable global business by 2020.
“Our ground-breaking campaigns were ahead of their time and changed laws on animal testing, domestic violence and human trafficking. We were the first in beauty to use community trade and we still have the strongest programme in the industry. We are small, but we lead. Today for all of us, the greatest challenges lie ahead,” says Jeremy Schwartz, chairman of The Body Shop.
Benefit is another big beauty player that springs to mind, with regular international philanthropy projects like ‘Bold Is Beauty’ where profits from every brow wax goes straight to charities like Look Good Feel Better, Sister2Sister and Fitted For Work (Australia alone).
Jurlique recently committed a whopping $30 million to open their manufacturing, research and development farm in the Adelaide Hills, where they grow their very own plant ingredients for their products. They also enjoy an annual tree-planting day, and follow a five-year plan to reduce energy, water and waste by 20 per cent.
And then there’s Indigo and Iris, a new brand on the scene, who will donate 50% percent of profits from their Levitate Mascara to the Fred Hollows Foundation, in an effort to cure treatable blindness in the Pacific.
So how can spa and clinic owners and beauty professionals get involved? There are a few professional ranges that are committed to giving back too, so you know that every client you treat, you’re also supporting a great cause!
HydroPeptide – currently has a charity partnership collaboration with Charity Water, where donations from each Eye Authority product purchase goes to bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries.
Skeyndor – is currently offering Think Pink Beauty Packs, containing their CC Age Defence cream and Hydra Glam Extreme Glossy Lipstick, from which all profits will go to the amazing work that Think Pink does for Breast Cancer sufferers.
Kester Black – whose nail polishes are cruelty free, palm oil free and vegan, donates $1 from every purchase to i=Change; an organisation that funnels donations to a group of deserving projects around the world, including domestic violence shelters, sight restoration, support of underprivileged children, asylum seeker resources and so much more.
While you’re at it, why not extend your ‘giving back’ initiatives to the rest of your spa or clinic? Pop some thankyou handwash in your bathroom and help those in extreme poverty, or burn some candles form a brand like Urban Ritual, who work with a variety of charities around the world.