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The revolution will not be televised – but it may still happen in unexpected places. In today’s uncertain sociopolitical landscape, beauty brands aren’t content to just sit and look pretty anymore. Whether they’re donating huge chunks of profits to charity (Charlotte Tilbury and Women for Women International), helping to raise awareness (Evo and The Eve Appeal) or using their platforms to campaign for change (LUSH and, well, quite a few causes, really), 2019’s beauty is seriously switched on.
“Consumers are as passionate about the value a brand and product can bring to them as they are about the quality of the product itself. The onus is now on brands to impress consumers with a human-like personality that’s relatable, personable, and sincere,” explained Andrew McDougall, Associate Director of Beauty and Personal Care at market insight firm Mintel. “Consumers are increasingly open with their opinions and what they stand for and they increasingly expect the same from the brands they choose; to stand for something and align with them.”
Indeed, there’s never been a better time for brands to put their money where their mouth is. Here’s six brands making waves now…
The cosmetics brand has partnered with supermodel Noella Coursaris to support her Malaika foundation with a new collection. The “Aksanti” range – aksanti meaning “thank you” in Swahili – will be donating 25% of profits to the foundation, which provides a free education for some 314 children.
Since being founded in 1948, Dr Bronner’s has been committed to a variety of charitable efforts, and founder Emanuel Baron was a known environmental activist. Today, Dr Bronner uses social media to campaign for climate change action and raising the federal minimum wage in its native US – something the brand take into direct action by paying workers nearly £5 higher than the state minimum wage.
The Body Shop
Long associated with a number of planet-friendly causes, next up for The Body Shop is the Community Trade Recycled Plastic Programme. In Bengaluru, India, 1.5 million people work as “waste pickers”, sorting through litter to keep the streets clean. Since the price that litter pickers can receive for their finds dropped some 60%, The Body Shop will be partnering with Plastics For Change to buy plastic at a fair price, which they can then use for packaging products.
Often outspoken, Lush has pioneered a number of causes, most notably the ‘Naked Shops’ the brand opened this year, which showcased packaging-free products such as the Slap Stick Foundation and shampoo bars. Lush has also removed natural mica from its products altogether, for fear that unethical labour practices might be involved in its harvesting, and replaced it with synthetic mica instead.
Sana Jardin makes essential-oil based scents free from phthalates, artificial colours, and parabens. What’s more, the brand partners with female entrepreneurs in Morocco who hand-pick the flowers for its scents. Along with non-profit partner Nest, the brand help bring transparency to global supply chains and advocacy for the community who help make the well-loved fragrances.