Examples of How The Cosmetic and Beauty Industry Incorporates Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability Strategies

In today’s article we are going to go over a specific niche that not only spends billions of dollars every year but is also changing its ways and the way their business model was initially set up. It is estimated that the skincare industry was worth in 2020, $39.2 Billion US dollars and that it is still growing. Now, we have to mention that this is only the skincare industry alone, if we were to add the cosmetics and beauty products into place it would easily reach $50 Billion US dollars. And to be fair, there is no surprise here, this industry was created over years by different companies or retailers and it has reached a level of very high demand. 

As a background check and having worked with cosmetic and beauty brands, we can confirm that the market is really competitive and the views of the customers are ever changing. No two cosmetic brands are ever the same and nor their customers loop, however, just as in every company, there are differentiating factors that come into play in order for the company or brand to obtain a competitive advantage and grow as a standalone beauty brand, retailer or corporation. 

With this article, we want to go over some interesting facts and numbers about the Cosmetic and Beauty Industry which started to incorporate some CSR strategies and be more responsible when it comes to their: product, packaging, environmental and social impact as well as in some cases, their ingredients. To do this, we are going to start from the beginning and go over the reasons on why companies and beauty brands started to incorporate Corporate Social Responsibility strategies and work towards being more sustainable in all aspects: social, economic and environmental. After this, we will go over some quick examples of CSR strategies that are created in the beauty space as well as our final thoughts and advice. 

What influences this change?

This shift towards a more socially responsible brand or company, is mainly coming from the consumer, which is also becoming more educated and more aware of their overall impact in the word.

The business consumer, on their end, is looking to purchase products that are good: for them, their family and the world and this trend can be seen across different niches as well. We are seeing how the consumer is actively searching and looking for different alternatives for their regular products and this includes and translates to: what the consumer is eating – reaching out to better alternatives, purchasing different household items, looking to shop more locally or decrease waste. 

If you are interested to learn more about the shift in consumers views, we have written an article about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Seen From The Customer’s Perspective which you can find here

Another reason that influences this change in customer behavior and custom purchase behavior is the continuous progress and introduction of initiatives, challenges and even regulations in order to keep up with the demand and the requests of customers as well as the ever changing progress in the beauty space.

For example, did you hear about the term “Responsible Beauty? The Responsible Beauty is also an initiative that was first introduced in order to improve sustainability throughout the entire beauty supply chain. This initiative was responsible to reframe and accelerate the beauty industry in order to be more responsible on all levels: economic, social and environmental.  All these changes and initiatives represent a step forward towards a more sustainable future for us but also for the next generations. 

Examples on how the Beauty and Cosmetic Industry Incorporates CSR Strategies and Sustainability Strategies

While we do not want to mention specific companies and beauty brands which are actively doing CSR, we are going to mention some of the efforts we are seeing in the beauty, cosmetic space when it comes to Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and how they translate. 

For example, some CSR initiatives in the beauty and cosmetic industry can be:

  • Taking a stand against animal cruelty and not testing on animals anymore (Cruelty Free International, Humane Cosmetics Standards)
  • Supporting Community Fair Trade (different programs)
  • Supporting Ethical Trade (Ethical Trade Program, Supplier Code of Conduct)
  • Changing their packing to more sustainable solutions 
  • Taking a stand on: human rights and making their products available for everyone, without relying on a “beauty standard” 
  • Taking a stand on Social Responsibility including: work/life balance, implementing policies for the welfare of employees and getting involved in the communities. 
  • Taking a stand in helping the Planet and being overall more environmentally conscious: generating less waste, reduction of CO2 emissions, electricity consumption, increasing the amount of recyclable material, decreasing useless packaging materials. 
  • Being open about their values, mission on what they stand for while also taking initiative for all of these. Examples of these values include: authenticity, respect for all parts involved, transparency. 

While there are many sustainability and CSR initiatives that the beauty, skincare and cosmetic companies started to incorporate, here is an image concluding the top topics that the beauty industry currently stands for.  

Our thoughts and advice

By now we know that customers are no longer shopping traditionally. We also know that brands and companies are working on changing their ways and becoming more sustainable conscious and also implementing more CSR strategies and campaigns in their organization. All of these changes are making us happy.

From our experience, we are seeing that even smaller changes create a big impact and our best advice for beauty brands is to not only think outside the box but also wonder what is the box made of. Even if we still have a long way to go, progress is being made and even a little goes a long way.

We always say, when in doubt, to reach out to experienced specialists in the field before making a change as even if the changes you want to implement, sound right, sometimes the audience will have a different opinion.

Another advice we have for beauty brands is to listen to their most trusted partners, which are their employees as they hold the key to the upcoming future changes. They are really an important piece and should never be neglected. 

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