Sustainable Beauty Trends: Latest Buzz Driving The Consumer Mindset

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Sustainable Beauty Trends: Latest Buzz Driving The Consumer Mindset


Soil Association Certification has launched an Organic Beauty and Wellbeing Market Report which dives into key sustainable beauty trends and consumer mindset.

Here's what's happening for organic beauty and wellbeing brands in 2022.

Francesca Brooking

Mon 28 Mar 2022

Soil Association Certification has released an Organic Beauty and Wellbeing Market Report for 2022, detailing the progress of the industry through the pandemic and what it forecasts for the year ahead.

This comes as a survey found that “48% of consumers are now more concerned about the environment than prior to the pandemic and 55% are more likely to purchase environmentally friendly products.”

Here are some quick findings from the report and what they mean for organic beauty and wellbeing going forward.

“48% of consumers are now more concerned about the environment than prior to the pandemic”

Organic beauty and wellbeing today

It comes as no surprise that the pandemic accelerated the growth of online beauty as a result of many brick and mortar shops being closed.

This is particularly true of Soil Association Certification certified brands with a quarter of them making between 31% and 40% of their sales online.

The online shopping trend has benefitted the industry as consumers have more time to research and more knowledge at their disposal to make a more informed decision when purchasing.

Sallie Berkerey, Managing Director of CEW UK explains: “We know that consumers are hungry for information, that they are researching products much more thoroughly online before buying, looking at reviews, and are highly engaged with details about ingredients and packaging.

“We also know that increasingly beauty brands are generous in education and yet don’t require consumers to compromise between efficacy, ethics and aesthetics.

“The organic beauty and wellbeing sector is in a pivotal position to capitalise on this momentum and take a leading role as the industry moves forward.”

Consumers have more time to make informed decisions before purchasing

Post pandemic trends

Post pandemic, one of the key trends found by the Soil Association is the increased demand for transparency in the beauty industry - particularly in relation to the supply chain.

A survey from Deloitte concluded that “38% of consumers have stopped purchasing from certain beauty and wellbeing brands due to ethical and sustainable concerns.”

It’s clear that the consumer mindset is changing. They expect more from beauty brands and are looking for more “purpose-driven brands with authentic backstories” that benefit people and the environment.

Clarity in messaging is key, which brings us onto greenwashing.

Brands are losing consumer loyalty over ethical and sustainable concerns

Challenging greenwashing

Thanks to COP26 and the Green Claims Code, concern about the climate has become a major discussion for practically every industry with consumers expecting brands to do more.

In fact, consumers are looking to brands to reach social and environmental targets more than governments and themselves.

Some of the biggest concerns for consumers are chemicals entering the environment and a loss of biodiversity. Another is plastic pollution.

This is a clear opportunity for certified organic brands to lead the way by highlighting the benefits of organic ingredient sourcing on the environment.

In terms of plastic pollution, sustainable beauty brands are innovating new ways to improve product packaging.

For example, UpCircle has launched a new zero waste refill service that’s saved over 5,000 pieces of packaging.

Learn more about greenwashing: What Is Greenwashing? And How Can You Avoid It?

“Consumers are looking to brands to reach social and environmental targets more than governments and themselves”

COP26 and collaboration

COP26 has also led to a bigger push for sustainability in the beauty industry with the British Beauty Council forming the Sustainable Beauty Coalition, bringing together brands and experts, including Soil Association, in the space to create a framework of action for the market to follow.

The British Beauty Council has also put together a Planet Positive Beauty Guide to help consumers understand sustainable beauty and enable them to spot greenwashing.

The guide highlights the Soil Association Certification’s standards as the “true definition of organic.”

Speaking about this new collaboration, Jayn Sterland, chair of Sustainable Beauty Coalition says: “We are delighted to welcome Soil Association Certification as an important Advisory Committee member of the Sustainable Beauty Coalition.

“We will work together to assure and ensure consumers are able to easily identify and purchase authentic, sustainable beauty, by supporting companies to become certified.”

Curious about clean beauty? We weigh up the pros and cons of the industry

More is being done to demystify the language around sustainability and beauty

COSMOS updated and standard changes

Continual improvements in the standards set by certifying bodies are also expected in 2022.

COSMOS, the fastest growing international standard for organic and natural personal care products will be updating its standards to further improve environmental impact.

Some of the biggest changes include:

  • An increase in standards for sourcing organic palm oil

  • The addition of ingredients that must be certified organic if they’re used in COSMOS certified products

  • The removal of eight mineral origin ingredients

  • Stricter packaging criteria

  • The sourcing information will be required to encourage the prohibition of monkeys used in harvesting coconuts

Visit Soil Association to learn more about the organic beauty and wellbeing market report.