The circular economy movement is based on an economic system which replaces the concept of a consumer with that of a user. The aim of this system is to replace the end-of-life concept favouring a restoration approach to reduce and, ultimately, eliminate waste. The use of renewable energy, elimination of toxic chemicals and the reuse of material are key components of the circular economy.
The beauty industry has embraced the principles of circular economy, in what has become known as ‘circular beauty’ with the purpose of transforming by-products, waste and unwanted materials into new ingredients and formulas that can make the beauty industry more sustainable.
A Belcorp executive confirmed, “Latin American consumers are demanding more conscious practices and brands are migrating towards it. Packaging, formulas, processes that take care of the planet and its resources are all becoming mainstream. Global brands had already moved in this direction but now Latin American brands are following.”
“Latin American consumers are demanding more conscious practices and brands are migrating towards it.”
An April 2021 Euromonitor International market research study showed that Latin American consumers are now the most concerned about climate change in the world. In this context, multinationals like the Brazilian Natura, South America’s largest cosmetic company, have developed a inclusive sustainable model. The company sees Brazil’s biodiversity as a source of technological innovation and offers products which rely on the country’s ‘biodiversity assets’.
A Latin American beauty company executive saw the same trend, “We have already taken the first steps, but there is still a long way to go. The recyclability of plastic in cases is already regulated in several countries and the next step will be the recyclability of formulas and ingredients. Our customers already know what sustainable ingredients to look for and ultimately if the customer demands it, the brand will be forced to supply it.”
“The recyclability of plastic in cases is already regulated in several countries and the next step will be the recyclability of formulas and ingredients.”
Executive, Latin American beauty company
However, even if corporations and consumers can play a crucial role in the development of circular beauty in Latin America, change has to be accompanied at regulatory level. Governments need to promote investment and innovation in technologies for managing waste and clean production laws will facilitate the transition towards a more sustainable beauty industry.