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This is the Refill Revolution
As plastics prove to be problematic and household recycling programs become increasingly complex, the age of the refill is upon us, ushered in by emerging startups and global legacy brands alike.

Sustainably minded consumers are calling for circular-economy innovations, and the beauty industry is taking note. One major takeaway? Refillable products—for skincare, cosmetics, and perfumes.

Keep-forever containers are the star of the show, featuring sleek, aesthetically pleasing packaging that make an aesthetic statement when perched atop a beauty shelf—paired with budget-friendly, planet-friendly refill pouches for decanting. Gen Z reaches for refillable beauty more than any other cohort, as environmental concerns have been woven into their worldview for years (Harper’s Bazaar, WGSN).

Net Zero Beauty:
Now's the time

It’s time to rethink how we house our beauty products. Cosmetic packaging makes up 70% of the industry’s waste, and it’s time for brands to overhaul their design approach — starting with net-zero packaging strategies (WGSN).

Recycling cosmetic containers has always been complicated, due to small parts, mixed materials, and the lack of recycling bins in bedrooms. Carbon-neutral packaging is driving growth and helping to future-proof businesses—although its manufacturing demands a supply-chain premium, one that many customers are apt to accept.

Studies show that 86% of consumers under 45 years old are willing to pay more for sustainable packaging. Beauty consumers are increasingly informed about the carbon footprint of their products, a factor which is affecting their buying choices (WGSN).

The Beauty of Biotech

New manufacturing breakthroughs have opened exciting possibilities for the beauty industry. As brands move away from non-renewable product packaging in a bid to reduce carbon footprints, the use of bio-based materials is skyrocketing—along with the scope and potential of bio-based materials expanding.

Innovations such as tree-free fibers, bio-based colour, and untapped resources (including food waste and marine materials) are paving the way. In line with this growth, companies must widen their range of source materials—a strategy that may assist in solving supply chain issues while meeting consumer demand for biodegradable, sustainable buys (WGSN).

Luxury beauty is going green

As the luxury beauty space ventures into sustainable production, brands are finding ways to put an elevated spin on eco-friendly products. Refillable packaging is now used to provide customers with a timeless, iconic piece for their beauty shelf, designed to be cherished and refilled for many years to come.

This premium packaging is designed to stand the test of time, acting as its own objet d’art to be appreciated—beyond the beauty benefits it provides. In addition, minimalism is a favored approach, the quality of collectible containers is being improved, and partnerships with sustainable recycling partners are abound (Byrdie).

 

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