She-conomy Drives Circular Economy

Carina Legl

Sure enough, summer vibes revive our spirits. And the lust for beauty. We women – finding ourselves in the same pattern. In a similar position this year to the one we had last year. And likely, to the one we will have next year: Hooked up in the beauty cycle. Once again trying to get our body in shape for the summer. Once again taking care of our looks. For beautiful hair, skin, and nails. Once again trying to get ready for the summer, to shine from the inside out.

Women: The big spenders

Great caregivers, raising children and taking care of the elderly. Strong relationship builders. Good communicators. A talent for organisation. And a sufficient way of working. Women: The most powerful consumers.

And not to be ignored any longer. #MeToo, #EqualPay and International Women’s Day: 2018 was the year of the Woman. Rightly so, according to The New York Times. We women are driving the world economy, through a combination of purchasing power and influence. Driving 70 to 80 percent of all consumer purchasing. As demographics are changing: Our purchasing power is gaining momentum. Women are delaying marriage and childbirth for the sake of education, career, and independence. As the world moves towards greater equality: female purchasing patterns are changing rapidly.

Obviously, it would be foolish to ignore or underestimate the female factor. Especially when it comes to food, fitness, fashion, – and beauty: Women are the big spenders – increasingly invest in appearance and well-being. In these industries lies the greatest potential for businesses – in targeting women.

Figure 1: The value of beauty and personal care is anticipated to peak at USD 505.9 billion in 2019 (Source: Euromonitor International, 2019.)

In 2018, the global Beauty and Personal Care industry: Skin care (USD 134.6 billion), hair care (USD 77.3 billion), colour cosmetics (USD 69.9 billion), fragrances (USD 51.0 billion), and other beauty and personal care (USD 155.6 billion) – including sun care (USD 10.5 billion), adds up to: USD 488.2 billion.

But all that glitters is not gold. Turning on the news. Seeing the damage, the packaging of beauty and personal care products does to the beauty of nature: Waves of trash, plastics, and dead animals – washing onto our beaches. Filthy trash floods, turning hot summer spots into a hellish goop of trash and disease.

The downside: Packaging of beauty and personal care products that accounts for 142.6 billion units in 2017, including: Rigid plastic (61.1 billion units), flexible packaging (43.0 billion units), paper-based containers (27.0 billion units), metal (6 billion units), glass (5.5 billion units), and other packaging types (1.1 million units). The reality we face isn’t shiny – as the way we take care of our looks impacts the ocean, beach, and summer vibes.

Women’s mission to care for the world

Fifty-four percent of women want to make a difference in the world. In protecting and taking care of ourselves, our loved ones, and our planet – for us women: Beauty and personal care products promote a sense of emotional well-being. Even more when we talk about: Clean and ethically sustainable. Both key trends are shaping the beauty and personal care industry, even more so as the ethical female consumer accelerates the pace of change.

A pioneer in post-consumer recycled packaging, AVEDA: The brand’s way is cruelty-free – no animal testing, using naturally derived ingredients and pure-fume aroma. And more brands are joining the green movement, such as Soaper Duper, making naturally-derived products that are 100 percent recyclable, 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free. Or the German natural cosmetics company eco cosmetics, offering a wide assortment of environmentally friendly sun care products that are certified according to strict ECOCERT guidelines for ecological and organic cosmetics.

Speeding up the conversation around clean beauty: Last year, Unilever partnered with Bio-on to green the personal care sector to answer the call for completely natural products and solutions that respect the environment. The new brand, My Kai is set to enter the beauty and personal care market with the first line of eco-friendly sun creams made of bioplastic micro powders, respecting the ocean and beaches.

Being green, going blue

In vogue with mineral sun care products. And be kinder to coral and marine life. Where chemical sunscreen absorbs ultraviolet radiation like a sponge, mineral sunscreen acts like a mirror containing titanium dioxide or zinc oxide reflecting back from the surface of the skin.

In light of this: Would you agree to reconsider your choice for sun protection this summer? 

A quarter of applied sunscreen ingredients ending up in the water. Watch out for: Oxybenzone and octinoxate in sunscreens causing a lot of damage. In making their way through rivers, streams, – out into the ocean to the delicate coral reefs. This is not just relevant to the Ones who are going snorkeling in Hanauma Bay or Great Barrier Reef. The Ones staying home for the summer, going to the beautiful glacier lakes surrounded by the alps or else – have to rethink. Too.

To make a difference, go for blue beauty: Paying back environmental debt. Jeannie Jarnot, Founder of Beauty Heroes, an online retailer shifts the focus from being green to – going blueProject Blue Beauty: Puts a spotlight on brands who use their business to create a better, bluer planet by planting trees, investing in ocean clean-ups or else. Creating a positive brand image – for the clean beauty brands that we women choose.

Clean, green, blue beach vibes

Chilling, lying in the sun with eyes closed. Sky above. Sand below. A gentle breeze blows from the sea, feeling a slight tickling sensation. The warming rays of the sun, touching the eyelids. The eyes are opening spontaneously. Dazzled by the beauty of nature: Are you still dreaming? – Or are you already helping to protect and take care? Of our world: the beach, the ocean, wildlife, and nature. Your kids, your family and yourself?

This article originally appeared on Forbes SAP BrandVoice

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Carina Legl

About Carina Legl

Carina Legl is a solution manager at the Retail Industry Business Unit at SAP and a PhD research student at Edinburgh Napier University. Carina guides retail and fashion ecosystems in their shared mission for a sustainable, circular economy as she combines theoretical understanding with best practice to drive strategic customer relations and C-level engagement.