Sustainable Beauty: Why I Believe Green Is the New Black

Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Rolling Stone editors or publishers.

The sustainable beauty trend has been growing in popularity for years, but it has become even more popular during the pandemic. There are many reasons why sustainable beauty is trending now, and one of them is that people are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Consumers are drawn to sustainable beauty because it allows them to feel good about themselves knowing they’re using products that don’t harm animals or ecosystems in any way. From my perspective, sustainable beauty could be considered a form of protest against companies that try to profit at all costs without considering future generations’ needs.

With younger generations more aware than ever before, companies and governments alike need to consider what they can do about environmental issues. The Deloitte Global 2021 Millennial and Gen Z Survey findings tell us social media has become the outlet where younger generations speak up against these concerns, influencing worldwide awareness on a more sustainable future.

A First Insight 2020 study found that 62 percent of Gen Z and Millennial participants prefer buying from sustainable brands, over Gen X surveyed at 54 percent. Furthermore, respondents were asked if they would be willing to spend more money on these products when given both choices — 73 percent of Gen Z and 68 percent of Millennials stated they would. These studies show us they are taking action through their purchasing decisions and voicing their concerns about the future of our planet. As a parent and grandparent, I can’t help but be proud of Gen Z and Millennials for their dedication to sustainability.

As we cautiously reopened, I watched my business substantially increase as new clients flooded my doors with a newfound focus on their health. I am grateful for this influx in attention and demand from both current clients and potential ones alike, but I struggle with finding employees to fill the need. I often wonder where they have gone.

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The Deloitte 2021 global study showed that Gen Z and Millennial participants are eager to regain the freedom they lost during the pandemic as soon as they feel safe. More than one-third expect to see a more altruistic world emerge. As each day gets us closer to that, sustainable companies are becoming more popular than ever before. This leads me to believe Gen Z and Millennials will be selective when returning to the workforce and searching for companies practicing sustainability.

CB Insights 2021 research brief states three sustainable beauty trends: biosynthetic ingredients, “waterless” products and sustainable packaging. The report also says how L’Oreal and Estee Lauder, two of the largest companies in the beauty industry, are announcing goals to reach carbon neutrality. But what about the companies that have always practiced sustainability?

I believe being transparent about sustainable practices is the first step toward a better future. When making decisions in the beauty space, I always look for companies that have developed their business models around sustainability.

My biggest concern lies with ethics and transparency from companies claiming to be sustainable. However, I have found a few brands that are honest about their sustainability practices, which makes me feel more at ease when supporting these companies within my business and personal life. As someone who knows what it is like to be impacted by harsh chemicals often found in beauty products, I encourage you to investigate sustainable options not only for your business but for yourself. You never know — sustainable beauty may become the new trend you love.

Fashion has always been about creativity and experimentation. Surprisingly perms and the mullet made a comeback, but I predict there’s something special about this time, and it’s no wonder that the latest trend has become sustainable beauty. I believe green is the new black, now and forever the future of the beauty industry.

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