The beauty industry has undergone a significant transformation in recent years, with an increasing emphasis on sustainability and environmental responsibility. As consumers become more conscious of their choices’ impact on the planet, the beauty industry is adapting to meet these evolving demands.
Examining it from the standpoint of both consumers and beauty product companies, the adoption of sustainable beauty products emerges as the central axis around which they aim to contribute to and foster an eco-friendly beauty product market and practices. It also involves intertwining eco-conscious practices that prioritize personal well-being and environmental health and championing ethical ingredient sourcing.
According to an Economic Times report in 2022, the clean beauty(chemical-free) product market was around $ 0.84 billion in 2022, or about 5 to 10 % of the total cosmetic market share, with a prediction for consistent growth in the coming years. It means this sector is profitable from a business standpoint.
However, one noteworthy trend within this shift is the rise of eco-friendly skilling, a concept that goes beyond products and encompasses the entire beauty education and training process. But why is there a requirement for promoting eco-friendly skills along with clean beauty products? Let us understand.
Why Eco-Friendly Skilling Matters in India
- Environmental Woes: India’s beauty industry contributes significantly to environmental issues. Plastic packaging, chemical-laden products, and water-intensive practices leave a hefty footprint. Eco-friendly skilling equips professionals with the knowledge and tools to minimize this impact, adopting sustainable alternatives like biodegradable packaging, water-efficient techniques, and natural ingredients.
- Thriving Green Market: Indian consumers are increasingly eco-conscious. A 2022 Nielsen survey revealed that 73% of Indian consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products. This presents a massive opportunity for beauty professionals who champion sustainable practices.
- Responsible Business Growth: Sustainability isn’t just feel-good; it’s smart business. Salons embracing eco-friendly practices attract loyal, environmentally conscious clients, boosting brand trust and profitability. Reducing waste and resource consumption also translates to significant cost savings.
Even The Indian Government Wants to Push Eco-Friendliness and Sustainability
- The Indian government actively encourages eco-friendly beauty products through initiatives like the Ecomark certification, the Green Credit Program, and proposed amendments to cosmetics regulations. This creates a supportive environment for encouraging skilling programs that align with such initiatives.
- The Indian government actively promotes India’s rich tradition of Ayurveda and herbalism, which offers a treasure trove of naturally derived ingredients and sustainable beauty practices. Eco-friendly skills can integrate these traditions, promoting local businesses and reducing reliance on imported products.
Suggested Method for Eco-friendly Skilling
1. Learn From the Adoption of Sustainable Salons and Academies in Other Countries
Beauty salon companies like Green Circle Salons and the Academy of Professionals in the US educate salons on reducing water and energy consumption and choosing eco-friendly products. Such salons and academies encourage implementing recycling programs, minimizing single-use plastics, and adopting sustainable practices to reduce their environmental footprint significantly.
Moreover, utilizing energy-efficient tools and appliances in beauty laboratories contributes to lower energy consumption and a greener learning environment. Similar steps and initiatives can be taken in India.
2. Sustainable Curriculum Development
Incorporating modules on sustainability, eco-friendly practices, and ethical sourcing into the beauty training curriculum can raise awareness among students about the environmental impact of their profession. Moreover, encouraging the use of eco-friendly products and techniques in beauty training, such as cruelty-free and organic products, helps instill responsible practices from the beginning of a beauty professional’s journey.
Furthermore, students undergoing training in these programs can learn to manage beauty waste, including hair clippings, used foils, color tubes, excess hair color, paper, plastic, and more. Additionally, they can inform their clients that they play a role in environmental protection, and by choosing them as their beauty service provider, they can do their bit.
Moreover, forming alliances with beauty brands dedicated to sustainability guarantees exposure for students and ensures their training aligns with values of responsibility and ethics in beauty skilling.
3. Integrating Virtual and Remote Learning Wherever Possible
It is another step that may help promote eco-friendly training in the beauty sector. Wherever possible, integrating virtual and remote learning options reduces the need for students and instructors to commute, thereby decreasing the carbon footprint associated with traditional classes. Furthermore, utilizing digital platforms for instructional materials and resources reduces paper usage and promotes a more sustainable approach to education.
4. Encourage Salons That Promote Eco-friendly Procedures and Use of Products
As mentioned earlier, a rapidly expanding market is advocating for eco-friendly products and services. Salons and spas endorsing such practices should be encouraged, as this will contribute to a rising demand for professionals well-versed in utilizing environmentally friendly products and providing associated services. Consequently, this heightened demand will drive beauty academies to implement more programs aimed at producing such skilled professionals.
Eco-friendly skilling represents a crucial step in the evolution of the beauty industry toward sustainability and responsibility. By integrating environmentally conscious practices into beauty education and training, the industry can cultivate a new generation of professionals who are not only skilled in their craft but also committed to ethical and sustainable principles.
Furthermore, the academies that practice will do their part to reduce waste footprints and conserve energy. As consumer awareness continues to grow, the demand for responsibly trained beauty professionals is likely to increase, making eco-friendly skill training an essential aspect of the beauty industry’s future.