Melissa Juried Kriebel
Last week, CTPA chief Dr Emma Meredith said sustainability and essentiality would drive “everything” industry worked on and achieved in 2023, as human and planetary health continued to remain central. But Meredith said there was another movement set to continue to gain momentum over the next 12 months too: “inclusion in innovation”.
Asked what this meant, Meredith told CosmeticsDesign-Europe it encompassed efforts across three facets of the cosmetics industry: the internal employee side; the consumer-facing product side; and public communication.
“People’s attitudes on inclusivity and diversity have improved; we’re not afraid to have those conversations now,” she said. And as industry continued its way into 2023, it would remain vital brands and businesses stayed “bold and brave” with this openness, she said.
Creating beauty careers ‘for all’
Internally, inclusion in innovation was about ensuring beauty was “an industry for all as a career”, Meredith said.
“Generally, people tend to fall into this industry as a career, without seeing it as a valid and exciting career. So, making sure the opportunities within industry are available for all is one side of it,” she said.
And Meredith said the trade association British Beauty Council was already doing a lot to promote STEM education for beauty and non-profit UK Cosmetics Cluster had conducted surveys to find out how and why individuals had landed jobs in beauty, so focus was there on the career-side of beauty and building this out further.
The British Beauty Council said in its 2022 annual report it would continue with its Future Talent Programme, for example,designed as a development resource to inspire and educate young people on opportunities in beauty. Work in this area was being supported by a Memorandum of Understanding with UK organisation STEM Learning and several big beauty brands, including Estée Lauder, L’Oréal and Deciem. The British Beauty Council said this initiative would ensure all sectors of the beauty industry had a “pipeline of new talent for years to come, thus sustaining the British industry as a key leader in global beauty”.
A ‘products for everyone’ approach
Meredith said the other side of inclusion in innovation for the beauty industry was on the product development side, portfolio offerings and marketing strategy.
Industry already had many brands taking a “products for everyone” approach, engaging with consumers irrespective of social class, ethnicity or ability, and this was something every business had to continue to champion in the year ahead, she said.
“The CTPA really wants to help its members, and industry as a whole, collaboratively with sister associations, to make sure we’re having these discussions and making sure we’re open and proud to say we make products for all.”
While plenty was being done in product development terms, industry was perhaps not communicating it as visibly as it should be, Meredith said – an aspect companies also had to improve on with sustainability efforts. On the green side, many companies thought they were at the beginning of their sustainability journeys and therefore resistant to communicate, when they were, in fact, much further along and ought to be communicating efforts in real-time with consumers, she said. The same could be said, she suggested, for inclusivity.
Navigating a ‘beauty for all’ approach
‘Beauty for All’ was one of CosmeticsDesign-Europe’s top five beauty trends to watch in 2021 and in March the same year, data analytics and consulting firm GlobalData said getting beauty inclusivity right was difficult but vital.
Amira Freyer-Elgendy, consumer analyst at GlobalData, said at the time: “Any initiative to make marginalised shoppers more comfortable or feel more included is commendable.” Brands just had to ensure inclusivity efforts were not perceived as a “backtracked decision” or “motivated by money”, she said.
Looking ahead, Meredith said: “For 2023, overall, I think there’s a huge amount of optimism and opportunity in the scientific, sustainability, innovation and personal side of the industry. And CTPA is here, leading on many of these topics and certainly helping support the industry.”