The luxury beauty and fragrance industry is in a period of fundamental change. The evolution of biotech is upending everything the industry understands about sourcing and the supply chain, whilst changing consumer sentiment is forcing beauty brands to rethink who their products are for and how to market them. To examine these changes and start to plot a route into the future, Positive Luxury co-CEO Diana Verde Nieto hosted a webinar with Sabrina Elba, the Co-Founder of S’ABLE LABS, Strategy Consultant & Beauty Editor Rhea Cartwright, and the Co-Founder & CEO of GFBiochemicals Mathieu Flamini.
The webinar can be watched in full below, and we have broken down the main points of interest in an executive summary. The accompanying report sets out the key themes that will define the future of the beauty & fragrance industry, offering case studies and key actions for luxury business. Download your complimentary copy here.
1.Communication and community are key
The sharp peak of interest in skincare that coincided with the Covid lockdowns may have peaked, but that period laid the foundations for fundamental change. Consultant and journalist Rhea Cartwright pointed to the communities that arose around skincare as one of the main changes brands now need to adjust to. According to Cartwright, ‘community is about more than social media posts’ and brands need to build relationships with brand advocates and facilitate communities where fans can bond with each other.
S’ABLE LABS Co-Founder Sabrina Elba built on this. In her eyes, wellness is intrinsic to skincare but in its current iteration ‘self-care can be selfish’. In her opinion, she believes that the next iteration of the industry needs to be built more around the relationships that we have with others and ethical concerns, and less about just making ourselves feel better.
2.Innovation and biotech are core to the future
In a conversation with the Co-Founder & CEO of GFBiochemicals Mathieu Flamini, the point was raised that the way culture is evolving is putting huge pressure on the chemical industry and, in turn, the beauty & fragrance industry. The ingredients that go into the majority of products are not sustainable, and increased scrutiny from regulators (especially in the EU) and from a more educated consumer base is forcing them to look for alternatives.
Biotech businesses like GFBiochemicals are looking to replace petrol-based ingredients with sustainable alternatives derived from cutting-edge science. These alternatives are safer, more sustainable, and operate with the same efficiency. These ingredients are created from waste or natural by-products, making them a key step on the road to a circular economy. Flamini drew comparisons to solar energy – he sees biotech as being in the same place as solar was a decade ago. Similarly, biotech products are currently more expensive, but they will transform the industry as they get cheaper and more readily available.
3.Brands have to evolve
According to Rhea Cartwright, the future of beauty and fragrance brands is that they need to be built with principles and values at their core, rather than as an afterthought that is tacked on to an existing structure. This lack of principles is why older heritage brands are taking longer to adapt to our ‘new normal’ but, if they don’t adapt ‘in 5 to 10 years they won’t exist’.
Our report sets out the key themes that will define the future of the beauty & fragrance industry, offering case studies and key actions for luxury business. Download your complimentary copy here.