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The Future of Beauty

By: Leslie Benson and Jeff Falk
Posted: October 9, 2008, from the October 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 5 of 8

Brazil, expected to grow by $10 billion by 2012, will join China, India, Russia and Japan as Euromonitor’s forecasted top five beauty industry. Euromonitor predicts the beauty market will experience an average annual growth of 3%, reaching global sales of more than $337 billion by 2012.3

Sustainability in Business is the Next Step in Eco-evolution

In “Brand Green: 10 Features for Success” (, authors Chris Sherwin and Lena Staafgard—the forum’s head of innovation and senior sustainability advisor, respectively—note that the era in which sustainable and eco-conscious business is “cool, sexy, aspirational and even profitable” is upon us. Notably, this era has also seen businesses taking leadership roles in sustainability.

And the beauty industry is at the forefront—at both the marketer and supplier level. The aforementioned article cites P&G’s announcement for plans to generate $20 billion in cumulative sales from “green brands” by 2012, and stories of other marketers efforts abound—in both consumer and industry press. In the U.S., Burt’s Bees and Aveda immediately come to mind because of both the size of the companies, in terms of both sales and general reach, and the efforts that reinforce a message beyond natural products and niche-only status. Burt’s Bees, for example, partnered with the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign to address the faltering honeybee population. Aveda demonstrates its commitment to cutting waste and avoiding virgin packaging materials, when possible, through its reuse of misprinted packaging of already recycled paperboard for its candles, making the misprint the inside of the new box—an effort recognized with an Institute of Packaging Professionals award.

Efforts such as these are not simply cool, sexy, aspirational and profitable. They are smart efforts that have an impact that is far more reaching. Therefore, GCI magazine editors predict sustainability will be one of the greatest forces on the future of the beauty industry—not because it is a trend, or marks an era or even because it is cool and sexy. It is a model that makes the most sense in a big world that is growing smaller in terms of value exchanges and markets—particularly in the industry, where there is an intimate connection, both physically and emotionally, with products. The sustainability that will impact the future goes beyond labels, ingredients, processes, etc. It is a vision and mission that companies strive to meet, and it is good business.

All that said, it doesn’t take a special level of clairvoyance to predict this future; so much of it is happening in the present. However, it does require some filtering of labels, seals and finger pointing to get to the heart of the matter.

Widening the Scope