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Samir Kumaar Modi, Founder & MD, Colorbar Cosmetics
Samir Kumaar Modi, Founder & MD, Colorbar Cosmetics
Samir Kumaar Modi is the Founder and Managing Director of Colorbar Cosmetics Pvt Ltd. With a grit to dominate the cosmetics industry, he initiated the Rs 450-crore venture, the fastest-growing cosmetic brand in the country and the closest to his heart. He is also the Managing Director of Modi Enterprises, a Rs 10,000 crore conglomerate, founded by his grandfather Rai Bahadur Gujarmal Modi in 1933.

Expert Opinion: Transitioning to a sustainable beauty industry

India’s beauty and personal care market was estimated to be $24.53 bn in 2022 and is expected to reach $33.33 bn by 2027. With beauty enthusiasts deliberately choosing eco-friendly and sustainable options, popular brands can be seen enhancing their sustainability quotient in sync with long-term green goals and integrating sustainability as a key brand tenet.

As the Cop27* outcome reveals, spearheading environmental change by integrating sustainably innovative practices and introducing eco-conscious technological advancements is the need of the hour. Keeping the incremental environmental concerns in mind, sustainability is no longer an option for the world – it is imperative. In fact, it is now top of mind for many brands, with the beauty industry being one of the frontrunners.

Within the last year, we’ve seen an industry-wide push towards developing more sustainable packaging and sourcing eco-friendlier ingredients. This call to action has been consciously ignited by the success of small and local eco-brands built on the ethos of sustainable practices.

India’s beauty and personal care market was estimated to be $24.53 bn in 2022 and is expected to reach $33.33 bn by 2027. With beauty enthusiasts deliberately choosing eco-friendly and sustainable options, popular brands can be seen enhancing their sustainability quotient in sync with long-term green goals and integrating sustainability as a key brand tenet.

Appealing to eco-conscious consumers With environmental challenges like climate change and pollution continuing to pose a monumental threat to the industry ecosystem, it is time for brands to analyse and re-evaluate their outlook towards sustainability. There has been an upsurge in consumer demand for ethically sourced, cruelty-free, and toxin-free beauty products with sustainability turning out to be a key factor in discerning how consumers choose brands they want to associate with. According to industry estimates, the global clean beauty market is currently pegged at $11.5 bn and is growing at a CAGR of 12.07 percent to reach $2 bn by 2025.

While certain brands have previously been singled out for greenwashing claims, the upcoming clean beauty movement stands on the foundation of transparent communication. Brands can no longer maintain a holistic outlook in the industry by casually throwing around words like compostable or recyclable into narratives. Companies must thoroughly re-evaluate their stance on sustainability by inculcating these environment-friendly practices in their ethos and not superficially lace the covers. With increased focus from consumers toward brands advocating sustainability practices, there’s been an increase in ESG investment as well. Companies with programs toward decreasing carbon emissions and pollution regulation are given more points on the ESG scale which is an added incentive for investors.

Consumer awareness about product formulations and ingredients has increased tremendously in the past five years. It has been noticed that consumer trust in certain brands has been declining since 2017 as the awareness of the lack of standardized certifications, elusive descriptions, and rising greenwashing tactics come to light. With this cultural shift subliminally becoming a part of the company, a lot of beauty brands are now voluntarily disclosing the ingredients in their beauty and personal care ranges. With the change in consumption patterns, brands are increasingly becoming conscious of their responsibility by going the environment-friendly route and becoming transparent about the products they use. Under the concept of ‘conscious beauty’, consumers are focusing on the wider ethical and environmental impact of purchase with the same gravity as personal priorities.

Leveraging Eco-Friendly Innovative Practices

With the exponential rise in demand for green cosmetics, brands are increasingly focusing on creating products that are more diverse, inclusive and authentic. A gradual shift has been witnessed in beauty trends with an inclination towards an ‘au naturel look’. Nowadays, many brands are investing heavily in sustainability initiatives with a commitment towards product innovation. For instance, some brands have partnered with independent farmers to make natural products accessible to the masses. Engaging with biotech firms that develop plastic recycling technologies is one way for brands to create a difference since minimizing packaging waste and using more biodegradable materials is bound to create a major difference in the current beauty ecosystem.

To cut down on industrial packaging waste, we at Colorbar Cosmetics, have launched India’s first-ever refillable lipstick line. Delivering on the promise of eco-consciousness, the sustainable, vegan matte lipstick is encased in 100% recyclable aluminum packaging. The idea is to promote a modern approach to self-expression by creating a lipstick range which can be customized, refilled and reused according to individual preferences. In terms of packaging, Colorbar’s patented and award-winning Vegan Nail Lacquer also offers eco friendly packaging where the bottles are made using a unique combination of glass, fastened with 50% wooden-built caps.

Companies ranging from big corporates to small entrepreneurial beauty start-ups have adopted a sustainable and green orientation in business and have incorporated sustainability initiatives in the company’s leadership model and mission statement.

Efficiency in supply chain Management is important to a sustainable beauty product business. It requires a comprehensive look at the direct and indirect members of the supply chain collaboratively to seek sustainable solutions. Leading the change with safe ingredients While small-scale brands may have led the push for more sustainability initiatives in the industry, established brands are surely catching up introducing interesting industry-wide developments. With the changing consumer sentiments, brands need to re-establish themselves as environmentally conscious by using raw and natural ingredients.

As per a recent report from Bain & Company, at least 60% of consumers in the country are ready to pay a premium for sustainable products. This indicates that sustainability is not just a rising trend, but the future of brands is entrenched in innovative solutions that promote ideas of sustainability. With the mission to promote eco-consciousness, Colorbar Cosmetics has recently launched its personal care sub-brand Co-Earth. The product range includes sustainable, performance-drive products that are gentle on the environment.

Additionally, the products come with the Clean Beauty Promise – 100 percent naturally derived, vegetarian, cruelty-free, and zero toxins. Every Co-Earth product purchase contributes to animal welfare through associations with Wildlife SOS and Wildlife Trust of India. Initiatives like these are a welcome change as consumers become more conscious about the implications of their choices on the world.

A Greener World

Brands fixating on capitalising on this steadily rising trend must make note that going green cannot be viewed as a quick fix policy. Rather, the ethos and values of sustainability should be embedded in the brand, products, processes and operations.

While there is no answer to the ongoing sustainability issue, converting to completely sustainable practices will take some time. These sustainability eǹ orts will only work if they are delivered in a clear, consumer-friendly way. For example, there might be large-scale customer demand for sustainable packaging. However, the packaging still needs to be functional and convenient. Similarly, brands opting for safe ingredients in their formulations must ensure that they deliver the required consumer benefits. Going forward, beauty brands should focus on minimising their environmental impact while striving to strike a balance between sustainable thinking and realistic actions.

*Cop27: Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, with a view to building on previous successes and paving the way for future ambition to effectively tackle the global challenge of climate change.

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