Water conservation part I: Where beauty meets sustainability

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Water conservation in beauty
Water is now being seen by the beauty, cosmetics and personal care industries as a scarce luxury that must be conserved.

To use this commodity far more sparingly, brands are increasing designs and developments that help consumers proactively and effectively change their daily routines without sacrificing beauty results.

As UK-based market research company, Mintel, released its report on Innovations in Beauty & Personal Care, we asked Sharon Kwek, Senior Beauty and Personal Care Innovation and Insight Analyst at Mintel about the part that water sustainability is set to play in these leading APAC sectors.

Mintel reported that by 2025, “1.8 billion people will experience absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world will be living under water-stressed conditions”.

Water accessibility dominates APAC

"Water is set to become a precious commodity as consumption outstrips supply,”​ emphasised Sharon Kwek, Senior Beauty and Personal Care Innovation and Insight Analyst at Mintel.

“The more consumers become aware of this, the more beauty brands will need to change how they manufacture and formulate products to limit their dependence on water."

Although 70% of consumers in China say they are very concerned about water pollution, Mintel highlights how currently “water conservation isn't yet considered an issue in Asia Pacific”.

Instead, the priority is accessing clean water rather than water shortages. In addition, as pollution continues to affect mass consumers, water pollution is expected to become prominent on sustainability agendas.

Preventing pollution

The report went on to say that water pollution will be a particular priority for Southeast Asia, where “monsoons, typhoons and seasonal flooding restrict fresh water supplies”​ are prevalent.

As certain growing economies including the Philippines, India and Bangladesh are at a higher risk of experiencing water shortages, mid-to-long-term plans that include water conservation may be created.

Changing consumer attitudes

In a bid to change the way we use water, Mintel is “seeing companies, brands and governments aiming to educate children from a young age on the importance of water conservation”.

Singapore’s national water agency, for instance, has initiated water conservation education for primary school students to raise awareness about the importance of clean water. The agency also provides pro-bono design services for non-profit organisations,”​ Kwek went on to say.

"Brands can innovate to help consumers save water through product design, strategic partnerships and educational marketing,”​ added Jamie Rosenberg, Senior Global Household Analyst, Mintel.

As a result, beauty brands and personal care leaders are seeking new ways to restrict the use of water through innovative concepts, novel designs and research programmes to revolutionise the way consumers use water in their everyday regimes.

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