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How subscription beauty boxes are approaching sustainability

Glossy | 23 April 2021

On Friday, Birchbox introduced new sustainability goals alongside a new private label brand called Re.fil, which at launch consists of a refillable universal balm for $12 (the refill is $8). Though the number of sample units produced annually is uncertain, NPD reports that the minis market (defined as deluxe and travel-size samples) grew by 13% in 2018, to a record $1.2 billion in U.S. sales. The proliferation of sample and travel-size products is now a recognizable issue within the sustainable beauty conversation because they are almost always thrown away due to their small sizes. Birchbox pledges that 10% of the products it sells across both its private label brands and brand partners will be refillable or reusable by 2023, through both brand partnerships and a diversified merchandising portfolio.

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Allure Will No Longer Call Plastic Packaging “Recyclable” 

Allure | 22 April 2021

“Sustainability” is an ambiguous, ever-evolving concept. In the beauty world, it encompasses many things, but one of the biggest concerns is the bottles, jars, and tubes that accumulate in our medicine cabinets, our showers, our makeup bags — and then our trash cans. On this Earth Day, we at Allure want to affirm our commitment to choosing our words clearly and carefully when we report on “sustainable” packaging, and we call on the beauty industry to do the same. Important strides are being made, but we need to do much more to understand and address the realities of the beauty waste problem — and a good place to start is with the way we talk about it.

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Amazon launches retail beauty salon 

Retail Customer Experience | 23 April 2021

Amazon is now a beauty salon operator having launched the Amazon Salon in London. The business strategy, according to an Amazon blog post, is to offer consumers the best technology —such as AR hair consultations, as well as hair products and top stylists in the industry. The salon, on Brushfield Street, takes up two floors and is more than 1,500 square feet. Initial customers will be limited to Amazon employees, with the salon open to the general public in a few weeks. “We want this unique venue to bring us one step closer to customers, and it will be a place where we can collaborate with the industry and test new technologies,” John Boumphrey, UK Country Manager, Amazon, said in a blog post.

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Amazon Q1 2021: Top 25 Beauty and Personal Care Products

Beauty Matter | 21 April 2021

Consider this: Amazon is one of four online giants projected to account for 65% of the global health & beauty e-commerce market by 2025, which is projected to rise to 16.5% globally post COVID-19, increasing to 23.3%. Edge by Ascential projected that Alibaba represented $43.2B in health and beauty online sales in 2020, followed by Amazon ($28.8B), and Pinduoduo ($16.8B).

“With COVID-19 driving increased demand for health and beauty products, many retailers are planning further inroads into the category via enhanced online services and product lines. However, as department stores experience a -10.9% fall in growth in 2020, more beauty brands will be forced to diversify and focus on investing in online to expand reach and boost growth,” said Florence Wright, Senior Retail Analyst at Edge by Ascential. “The rapidly developing digital outlook, coupled with the growing dominance of online players like Amazon and Alibaba, highlights how crucial it is to enhance omnichannel offerings and online capabilities. This includes strong search optimization, as well as powerful online visual merchandising as a means to recreate the in-store experience and to better engage with shoppers.”

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