Podcast 113: Beauty influencers vs sustainability

Beauty influencers and sustainability

It is hard to imagine that beauty influencers barely existed a decade ago. Now though, hundreds of thousands of influencers take to social media platforms each day to talk about the latest beauty launches and offer their opinion on the promise and performance of products.

Those who dominate social media are as influential and competitive as ever, and perfecting their presences on TikTok, which is the platform of the moment. Few influencers make a full-time living on social media, but all have one thing in common: their attraction to shiny new beauty products to test and talk about.

But, with new products comes a tidal wave of samples as well as tens of thousands of units of unrelated, often unsolicited promotional merchandise which cosmetics brands think will influence the influencers. As we discussed in our recent episode with responsible beauty retailer Credo, samples’ packaging is mostly not recyclable and comes laden with plastic.

In this episode, podcast host and Formula Botanica CEO Lorraine Dallmeier discusses the business model of influencers with the school’s Education Manager, Ana Green. Ana, once a beauty blogger herself, has valuable insights into influencer and brand relations and suggests how both parties can foster a more sustainable beauty industry as they partner to promote products.

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Can beauty influencers change their content model to focus more on sustainability in an industry that thrives off new product launches, the @FormulaBotanica podcast asks? #sustainblebeauty #beautyinfluencer #beautypodcast Click To Tweet

In this episode on beauty influencers, you will hear:

  • That while the life of an A-list beauty influencer looks glamorous, behind the scenes the influencer works hard to build a loyal follower base and keep up with fast-evolving social platforms.
  • How beauty influencers, vloggers and bloggers measure influence in follower numbers, subscribers, views and likes. They need something new to talk about to sustain their clout. Until the beauty industry itself adopts a different metric for success from constant new product launches, influencers will continue to follow their lead.
  • That beauty companies rely on PR and marketing agencies to identify and build relations with influencers. This model can result in mass mailouts and waste of product samples. Big brands are more likely to take this approach than indie brands who target influencers closely aligned to their ethos.
  • How times are changing compared to the early days of influencers. With ever more brands keen to grow and show their sustainable credentials, we are seeing the influencer world take note and talk about brands’ sustainability not just about their products.

Key takeouts include:

  • Beauty influencers have a difficult balancing act in their content output. The sustainable message to give is that we should buy less. But there is only so much they can talk about without mentioning new products in a product-driven industry.
  • Beauty brands and their agencies need to shift perspective and spend their promotional budgets wisely on fewer, key influencers who are in strict alignment with their sustainability goals.
  • Big brands are slowly building sustainability into their businesses, however PR and marketing is mostly run along traditional models. We are still seeing extravagant budgets for samples and branded promotional goods, and, pre-pandemic, large-scale lavish events too.
  • Consumers, and some influencers are getting wise to the mismatch between brands’ words and actions on sustainability. Some influencers are making a name by calling out brands for wasteful, unsustainable practices.
Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed listening, please share, subscribe and review this episode on iTunes, Spotify or Youtube so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Lorraine Dallmeier

Lorraine Dallmeier is a Biologist, Chartered Environmentalist and the CEO of Formula Botanica, the award-winning online organic cosmetic science school. Read more about Lorraine and the Formula Botanica Team.

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