Sustainable beauty post-COVID needs packaging, communication and supply chain focus say experts

But ratcheted-up recycling, reuse and circular systems, joined-up communications and materials innovation (wood anyone?) are offering plenty of hope.

“Wood is natural by definition. It’s refillable,”​ said Pierre-Antoine Henry, head of categories at Spanish beauty packaging specialist Quadpack, at last month’s WeCosmoprof International’s Sustainability, For Now and Next​ CosmoTalks webinar​ elegantly moderated by CosmeticsDesign-Europe editor, Kacey Culliney.

“Of course, if you refill, it means you can go for packaging that you bring more time, love and durable materials to because you are keeping the initial pack. So, it could open up a lot of creativity because you can invest a bit more money in the initial packaging,” ​Henry said during the expert panel debate.

Reusable packaging, he said, offered the golden path to waste reduction.

“The more you reuse, you have the impact on the environment of a single-use. This, for me, is the dream. Start from the dream and work backwards.”

Stepping up to meet the new green consumer

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified wood project is one of many firms like Quadpack are engaged in to drive the kind of change beauty product buyers are demanding.

“Consumers have been demanding safe products for years but now with the COVID situation they are pushing for more sustainable products,”​ said Pedro Perez, general manager of Spanish manufacturer Laboratorios Maverick.

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed consumers to think more carefully about beauty purchases [Getty Images]

“Consumers consider not only the effects of the products that they are buying for their personal health but also the impact they are having on our soils and real-life habitats and the people that work at every level in the supply chain,” ​Perez said.

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