Fashion brands like Stella McCartney are entering the ever-growing and highly competitive beauty industry
- Stella McCartney launches Clean Beauty line with support from LVMH
- Fashion brands are discovering the cosmetics industry as a lucrative business model
- Sustainability as a USP in the highly competitive beauty market
Whether protecting wild animals and the rainforest, upcycling or luxurious leather goods made from vegan mushroom leather - when it comes to sustainable and ethical commitment in the fashion industry, there is no way around Stella McCartney. The high & ethical designer is considered a pioneer of sustainable fashion. Transferring your philosophy to the beauty industry is in view of the inflationary use of the unprotected and therefore often misleading term clean beauty one thing in particular: important.
Stella by Stella McCartney: beauty care with a new sustainability standard
The skincare line Stella by Stella McCartney was in close collaboration with LVMH is in development and will be available on August 29th. The special feature: In contrast to other brands for natural cosmetic products McCartney relies not only on natural ingredients, but also on minimalism. The range curates only three products. A cleanser, a serum and a moisturizer. The British activist is making a clear statement against the excess of beauty care products. Basic formulas designed to work effectively, rather than profit-driven trendware. Speaking of profit, 1% of Stella's profits go to Wetlands International, an NGO dedicated to the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands.
Thanks to natural ingredients such as squalene, a by-product of the olive oil industry, or phytosterols, chemical compounds found in plants, the care line is cruelty-free and vegan. The resources are also produced with low emissions or through recycling processes. All products are refillable and their packaging is designed in line with sustainable standards. The bottles, jars and boxes are made of recycled wood and glass, and the beauty care products are primarily to be transported by ship to avoid flights and CO2 emissions.
The new rules of the beauty world
Stella by Stella McCartney is not the designer's first excursion into beauty. In 2006 McCartney launched together with Yves Saint Laurent Beauty Care - a purely organic unisex care range. However, this was discontinued fairly quickly. Perhaps because the critical beauty cosmos was not yet ready for a progressive approach with regard to sustainability and gender neutrality was. And Stella McCartney was way ahead of her time.
Today this way of thinking is outdated. Supposed challenges such as sustainability have now become conditions for success. Which is why not only conscious fashion but also clean beauty is experiencing a boom. The problem: Greenwashing does not stop at the care sector. And that's exactly why it is Stella so important. McCartney's reputation as a credible agent of change can instill confidence in the purity of its products, while also encouraging competing brands to adapt to new beauty sustainability standards.
It is precisely this cross-industry wake-up call that is crucial today. In addition to Stella McCartney, more and more fashion brands are expanding their range to include beauty care - mostly to increase sales. Traditionally, the strongest players in the luxury segment, including Chanel, Dior and YSL, have exploited the lucrative beauty market to their advantage. However, a new dynamic is currently developing: more and more small and young brands that operate in the high-end sector are trying their hand at cosmetics. Which is why it's worth taking a closer look at "Why" to throw this development.
Why beauty is a lucrative business for fashion brands
While the pandemic has weakened entire industries, there are also winners. For example the beauty sector. This has not only survived the last few years, but has even recorded growth. The reason: Beauty is a stable business with non-seasonal products that are used every day. And the self-care trend of the pandemic has also contributed to the boom in care products. In short, it is a crisis-resistant business that brands can rely on even in difficult times.
However, a beauty line is an interesting business case, especially for luxury houses. Why: High margins, brand value, customer acquisition. This means that beauty care brands can take advantage of high gross margins and scale their distribution to the masses. And without losing brand value. Rather, such a business model strengthens brand equity because brands can prove that they can function within different industries and offer high-quality products in different price ranges. If they do this successfully, they attract new customers who cannot afford the traditional luxury goods or to emerging ones Next Gen of luxury buyers belong. The goal: brand loyalty and ultimately upselling to higher product categories.
Real sustainability as a USP in the highly competitive beauty industry
Despite promising prospects, experts assume that entering the beauty market is currently more difficult than ever. For the simple reason that the attractiveness of the sector means that more and more players are entering the market, thus intensifying its complexity. This creates an advantage of scale for established and financially strong brands that can rely on their brand value, productive marketing budgets and proven know-how.
It is therefore all the more understandable that newcomers - or returners - like Stella McCartney can be supported by large corporations such as LVMH. Due to the competition and the variety of brands that are based on luxury conglomerates, however, more is needed: A USP. Unique selling points that capture the spirit of the times and can differentiate products of the same quality from one another with modern values. Values like sustainability and ethics - why Stella has a lot of potential to assert itself in the competitive market.