Beauty Products for the Beautiful World
Faria Zafar
Last decade saw many firsts. One such was the first Conscious Beauty Awards by Harper's Bazaar India to promote homegrown conscious beauty brands. So, what are conscious beauty products? 

The idea of conscious beauty products is to make sure that the cosmetics used across the globe do not leave too much footprint on planet earth. Beauty products are not so beautiful for the environment. Zero Waste Week states that cosmetic industry produces 120 billion units of packaging annually which depletes 18 million acres of forests every year. Everything in beauty industry comes packed in plastic or is plastic – toothbrush, make up sponge, toothpaste tube, creams, shampoos – almost everything. Most of this waste cannot be recycled. Avobenzone in sunscreens depletes coral reefs. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in fragrances and hairsprays contribute to smog and air pollution. Use of palm oil in 70% of cosmetics leads to massive deforestation. 

Beauty brands are trying to respond to customer demand for sustainable and eco friendly products. Olay is testing reusable packaging. Chanel is part of a green chemistry company – Evolved by Nature. L’Occitane offers products in eco-friendly refills. There are also companies like Naturally Serious and Elate Beauty whose sole focus is on producing eco-friendly products and packaging.

According to Antara Kundu (Marketing Head, The Body Shop India), “consumers are now more aware than ever about their consumption patterns as well as the toll it takes on the environment. There is a larger discussion unfolding in conference rooms around the globe, and current practices are being put under a scanner. We are noticing that customers don’t mind spending more on brands that are kinder to the environment, as they are glad to be a part of initiatives that believe in sustainability and guilt-free indulgence.”

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