With the digital world moving at lightning speed, there has been an ever-increasing demand for the next shiny new thing to shout about on social media. As a consequence, companies are obliged to constantly churn out ‘newness’ at pocket money price points; we’ve seen this most blatantly with the rise of ‘fast fashion’ but ‘fast beauty’ is another big culprit. Alongside the fact that 8 million garments a year end up in landfill, more than 120 billion units of packaging are produced every year by the global cosmetics industry, the cardboard required contributing to a loss of 18 million acres of forest annually.
Thankfully, the tide is turning with more people making environmentally conscious choices – even if they have to pay a little extra. Recent research showed half of U.K. customers are willing to pay more for products to avoid plastic packaging.
“Our product development is driven by innovation and long-term efficacy,” remarks founder and CEO Natanel Bigger. “Everything we manufacture goes through strict, rigorous testing processes to ensure ingredients are both safe for your scalp, but also the environment.”
While the ‘slow beauty’ movement is gaining traction in areas like skincare, Bigger and his team at MONPURE noticed that the world of haircare was lagging far behind. “I feel that the industry is owned by a lot of big players stuck in their rules,” he comments. “In order to increase profit margins, some tend to cut corners when it comes to things like packaging – one of the biggest sustainability issues the beauty industry is currently facing. For example, only 5% of the industry actually use post-consumer recycled plastic, as virgin plastic is cheaper and easier to produce. It’s a Catch 22 situation: low demand for sustainable packaging means a low supply. And what is available is more expensive.”
But thankfully, customers are cottoning on to this and voting with their feet – and wallets – by investing in slow beauty brands like MONPURE. “The whole industry needs a ‘reset’ where sustainability is concerned. And things are slowly changing” Bigger notes. “But given the bureaucracy of these big corporations, they can’t move as quickly as independent companies like us. Every needle you move ever so slightly drives up costs. For example, the post-consumer recycled plastic we use to house our shampoo and conditioner costs around 35% more per bottle to produce. I can’t imagine a large conglomerate making this switch so easily.”