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Vegan Beauty Products: The New Choice Of Gen Z

Over the last two years, the Indian beauty industry has seen a significant transformation in line with changing consumption patterns. Rising consumer consciousness has led to the advent of an industry that adopts a more sustainable approach to beauty and thrives in the dimensions of ‘organic’, ‘natural’, ‘ethically sourced’, ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘vegan’. In this time of ‘ethical consumerism’, adopting vegan beauty is a purposive decision that many consumers make to lead a more conscious lifestyle. Mrunmay Mehta Head – Beauty, Grooming and Luxury Beauty, Amazon India shares insights on how the new generation is shifting to vegan products.
While on one side consumers actively prefer products that resonate with their values and ethics, we believe it also has an implied “good for me” angle – consumers are tired of the trope from mega brands which have over time lost an authentic voice, or products full of harsh chemicals to serve short term beauty needs but doing long term harm. Therefore, vegan beauty is one of the top-of-mind themes for these purpose-driven customers, who also want to achieve self-care in a more sustainable manner, with increasing awareness of potential long-term damage from “chemical brands” as they put it. Indeed, as this generation evolves and their preferences change, brands are looking to find creative ways to respond to their inherent fluidity and we see many legacy brands trying to walk the plank of organic/natural/veganism to attempt to remain relevant.
While addressing the Gen Z consumers’ need for vegan skincare, brands have started launching vegan skincare lines. Consumers are now becoming more inquisitive to understand the ingredients used and the science behind cosmetics – this is a far cry from customers of yore who would believe the brand’s word as truth – “I find the newfound confidence of making informed decisions refreshingly empowering. However, it is not just about the ingredients but also about sustainable practices, breaking the use and throw cycle and sustainable packaging that’s changing the mindset and putting vegan beauty in the spotlight,” says Mehta.
Consequently, we are also seeing a major uptick in the rise of vegan makeup brands. Consumers’ desire to make conscious and ethical choices has supplied the demand, and recent technological advances have helped create the supply. Advances in technology have allowed large and small beauty brands alike to sustainably create and ethically test products that are not only organic but that also do what they intend to do. To help consumers make more informed choices, a number of organizations have introduced vegan certifications for branding and packaging. This is still an emerging area where no distinct authority has defined what constitutes vegan, or organic and brands are therefore innovating to stretch the definitions that best work for themselves. Consumers would do well to read labels even for their “100% natural” brands!
Additionally, we have also observed that digital platforms are providing easy access to a variety of conscious brands, making sustainable beauty mainstream. Even e-commerce platforms are now observing increased growth and interest in vegan beauty brands by the consumers than regular beauty products. It is not uncommon to see “clean beauty” or “green beauty” badges on online beauty retail sites globally, and we in fact see “sustainable” marketplaces emerge as brave startups today even in India – it remains to be seen if that alone is a reason for customers to shop from a common destination – however, there is some undercurrent of awareness of the cause.

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