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How Beauty Brands Can Better Market Sustainability

sustainability messaging
(Credit: Eyecue)

With consumers considering sustainability matters in their purchasing decisions more than ever, beauty brands are offering an increasing number of sustainable products and services, as well as communicating their sustainability credentials to customers. The new Social Media Sustainability Playbook report from Eyecue Insights suggests that for industry-wide sustainability to succeed, brands must improve their messaging.

Data analysis for the Playbook was performed using Eyecue’s proprietary image and text recognition technology on a total of over 160,000 Instagram posts from January 2020 through April 2022 posted on 130 Instagram accounts across skincare, makeup and fragrance categories, as well as retailers.

The report found that while only 5% of beauty content across all of the accounts analyzed talks about sustainability, the  a subset of brands post four times more sustainability-related content than the average across all other accounts.

Not only do sustainably-led brands feature more sustainability content, they also generate up to 60% higher engagement with this content type compared to other content. Brands with better engagement tend to mention two or more sustainability topics in 44% of content and post 41% more quote and text image type in sustainability content vs all other content, providing greater depth and breadth of information about sustainability.

“Sustainability is an issue that applies to all industries, but especially beauty,” says Eyecue Insights Founder Carolina Bañales. “Given the nature of the beauty industry and the amount of waste it generates and the size of its audience, brands in this space carry an obligation to not only ensure they are taking the measures to be more sustainable, but also to educate consumers on their sustainability efforts.”

Recent sustainable efforts in the beauty sector include WWP Beauty, a full-service supplier to the global beauty industry, which has launched two new packaging collections in Eastman’s Cristal One Renew and Cristal Renew. The two companies have been working together since 2021 when WWP Beauty obtained its International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC), which certifies that the molecular recycled content of products can be traced through the entire development cycle, from creation to manufacturing. 

Another such effort is the Estée Lauder Companies’ recently implemented system that applies heat and cool technology to its manufacturing systems, which will shorten the production process and help reduce waste.

The heat and cool technology, developed by Roctool, is applied to multiple manufacturing methods and provides enhancements to surface finishes without additional steps to decorate or produce the materials. That will cut steps in making its products, ELC says, helping the company continue to make progress on its sustainability goals. 

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