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The New Era of Slow Cosmétique

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Following the success of fast food and fast fashion, consumer behaviors are trending toward slower, healthier consumption meant to reduce environmental impact. Consuming less – and consuming better quality – is the standard behind these new “slow” movements, as explained here by Pascale Brousse, Director of the Trend Sourcing agency, expert in green, clean, and sustainable themes.
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Slow fashion, Slow Cosmétique – what are they?

“Slow fashion” developed in response to “fast fashion,” which entails a rapid turnover in collection – several times a season – to push customers to consume, even to overconsume. The term “slow fashion” means the exact opposite way of doing things: The clothing sold is of high quality, so customers can keep the articles for as long as possible. Furthermore, the brands are conscious of, and focused on limiting the environmental and social impacts of their production processes.

This concept of slow fashion, which encourages quality over quantity, has reached beyond ready-to-wear. In 2012, in light of “the abuses of conventional cosmetics,” driven by the same dynamic as fast fashion (monthly product launches, products offered in dozens of colors that are not always appealing), Julien Kaibeck published the book Adoptez la Slow Cosmétique. This led to the founding of the Slow Cosmétique® association which works diligently to promote ecological, healthy, more sustainable cosmetics by supporting the manufacturers committed to this approach. The movement now has 200,000 people behind it, indicative of a substantial desire to shift toward rational, responsible consumption.

Slow Cosmétique’s influence on packaging

The Slow Cosmétique Charter specifies that both formulas and packaging must be designed with an intent to reduce impacts on the environment. But designing and manufacturing responsible lipstick packaging is not an easy task. Whether the packaging is made of aluminum, wood, or cardboard, the most important technical functions require a small plastic part, thus producing a mix in materials making the package more difficult to recycle. And even if consumers are demanding more responsible containers, they seem not to be prepared to give up the sophisticated side of packaging, not the traditional ‘twist’ gesture! It is therefore up to the brands to find the most workable compromise between environmental impact and design. The lipstick brand ZAO makeup, for example, which has been certified “Slow Cosmétique”, chose refillable lipsticks as a solution to match sustainability with ease of use.

Brands carrying the Slow Cosmétique award must also make life as easy as possible for consumers. Moving to responsible consumption should not involve complications or restrictions.

At the Freedge Beauty pop-up store that stood in Paris’s Le Marais district in December 2019, the brand showed off its newest products created with an environmental consideration and zero-waste approach: The packaging is made of glass and aluminum containers that can be used for two to three weeks. Once empty, they can then be returned by consumers, free of charge, to be recycled and reused by Freedge.

Pro-environmental efforts can also be found in conventional cosmetics. In 2019, the Lush brand introduced full metal lipstick on the market, enabling a longer use over time. Initiatives such as this can also be brand status boosters, helping them avoid being perceived as “low end.” Well-known brands like L’Occitane have long offered a refill system. Today, that practice has become common, including in luxury: One example is the Cha Ling brand from the LVMH group, ecodesigned and “infusing beauty with the spirit of tea.”

Alexis Robillard’s All Tigers: a responsible brand in slow lipstick

The Alexis Robillard “slow lipstick” is making a mark for being a more sustainable lipstick choice. In his lipstick collections, he invites consumers to get back to basics. His brand is introducing ranges made up of colors chosen by the All Tigers Instagram community. He would never inundate his product ranges with increasingly marginal shades that few consumers could see themselves wearing! Responding to consumer demand with a responsible methodology has been the success-generating choice made by this swiftly rising DNVB

Inspired by slow makeup, this maker of natural, organic, and vegan lipsticks stays true to a wholesome mission and philosophy. While standing up for ecological values and remaining committed to reducing impacts to the environment, All Tigers also extols the advantages of a return to minimalist makeup. Gone are the three moisturizers before the four layers of foundation – it’s now time to get back to the kind of simplicity that’s good for the skin… and the planet.

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