The sustainability movement is gaining momentum across a wide range of industries, including the beauty industry. Many beauty companies are taking part in a variety of eco-friendly trends in an effort to spearhead change. In particular, beauty brands are switching to sustainable packaging and eco-friendly ingredients, as well as embracing innovation to expand their sustainability efforts.
But at the core of sustainability in the beauty industry is beauty tech. Going virtual is a huge way for beauty brands to be more sustainable. Beauty tech can allow for virtual product sampling, which eliminates the need to waste physical products, create packaging and shipping materials, and transport items to the customer. With the help of augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI), brands can recreate the real-life sampling experience while saving the planet.
Sustainability: Not a Mere Buzzword
The vast beauty industry certainly affects the environment. The packaging alone requires the industry to create 120 billion units a year. And shipping products to and from customers leads to 1 billion tons of CO2 a year (Sicardi). In other words, the beauty industry has its toll on the world’s resources.
If sustainable practices are not integrated into the supply chain, packaging, and sourcing of ingredients, the damage will be irreversible. Luckily, more beauty brands are making sustainable choices, including turning to beauty tech to reduce their environmental footprint. This is mainly done in three ways:
- Personalization services
- Reduction of overconsumption
- Reduction of sample packaging
Personalization = Less Waste
One way sustainable beauty can take the helm is through personalization. By personalizing services and products, it becomes more likely that the customer will be satisfied with the final result and less likely that they’ll need to return a product.
Beauty AI & AR technologies offer an astonishing level of personalization to give brands the tools they need for zero-waste beauty. Customers can virtually try on multiple products in real-time, finding the options that are right for them. They’ll know for sure which products work best for them, meaning they won’t need to order several and then send back the ones they don’t want.
In turn, this leads to less waste and a lower eco-footprint.
Since beauty tech allows consumers to find the right product easily and effortlessly, shoppers won’t need to buy as much and will focus on the products that suit them, reducing the waste. Instead of testing out five different foundations, once they find one that works, they’ll just stick with it and will purchase it over and over again. Sustainable beauty favors quality over quantity because it helps to reduce consumption. This will also help brands build up a more loyal customer base because they know they can trust the products.
Overconsumption has long been a problem in the beauty world, with customers buying several products just to find one they like. By reducing superfluous purchases and helping customers find the right products that meet their unique needs, brands can positively affect sustainability in the long term.
AR virtual makeup and hair try-on helps tackle the plastic crisis as well. There are currently five trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean, and while the beauty industry isn’t responsible for all of it, it still plays a large role (La Pompe-Moore). The production of countless sample products and packaging greatly contributes to this, as these are often single-use products intended to allow customers to test out the product to see if they like it.
Perfect Corp.’s AI and AR beauty tech solutions eliminate this. It allows brands to partake in zero-waste beauty by reducing the production of unnecessary samples. Instead of mass-producing sample products, brands can curate makeup products and hair colors for customers virtually to find their best match.
Beauty tech helps the beauty industry be more sustainable by:
- Generating less waste thanks to virtual try-on
- Reducing overconsumption by delivering personalized beauty experiences and product recommendations
- Increasing packaging consciousness
While the beauty industry does have further to go when it comes to eco-friendly practices, this is a great starting point. In addition, customers will take notice of brands pushing for these changes. They may be more likely to support beauty brands that are trying to change the status quo when it comes to the environment.
And not only that, but they’ll love the improvement in user experience. They’ll be able to find the best products for them without any of the hassles, all thanks to eco-friendly beauty tech from Perfect Corp.
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La Pompe-Moore, Giselle. The Beauty Industry’s Plastic Problem: What Exactly Is Being Done About It? Byrdie, 2019 April 30, https://www.byrdie.com/plastic-packaging-beauty-industry
Sicardi, Arabelle. A Deep Dive Into the Confusing World of Sustainable Beauty. Teen Vogue, 2020 March 9, https://www.teenvogue.com/story/a-deep-dive-sustainable-beauty