British beauty braces for ‘turbulent trading period’ in 2023

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

The British Beauty Council will be supporting industry members in 2023 amidst the ongoing cost of living crisis, political uncertainties and continued need to drive sustainable change [Getty Images]
The British Beauty Council will be supporting industry members in 2023 amidst the ongoing cost of living crisis, political uncertainties and continued need to drive sustainable change [Getty Images]

Related tags British Beauty Council Uk Cosmetics COVID-19 Brexit cost of living crisis Personal care sustainable beauty inclusive beauty

Following many milestones and achievements in 2022, the British beauty sector is bracing for a turbulent trading period ahead that it plans to tackle collaboratively, says the CEO of the British Beauty Council.

The trade organisation British Beauty Council released its annual 2022 report at the end of December, outlining key business movements and achievements from last year and forecasting opportunities and challenges ahead for the British beauty industry.

Millie Kendall OBE, CEO of the British Beauty Council, said industry had certainly achieved plenty of its goals and made strong strides towards becoming a more “inclusive, equitable and sustainable beauty industry”​ in 2022.

In the report, Kendall said: “This year, our network and stakeholder community has continued to grow and our relationship with the government becomes more secure on all sides of the political spectrum, across all the government departments.

“We have achieved some incredible milestones this past year despite the challenges, and we look to support industry over the coming years as we brace ourselves for a turbulent trading period.”

Cost of living crisis and trade support

The report said 2022 had seen the cost of living crisis “rise at its fastest rate in 40 years due to increasing demand for energy and goods” ​but the British Beauty Council was heavily engaged in this space. Following collaboration with several sector-specific organisations in March 2022 to assess the seriousness of the situation, the trade association lobbied government and worked with the UK’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to ensure beauty-related business owners could prove impact and be included in relief schemes.

“The British Beauty Council will continue to work with policymakers and stakeholders to lobby for business support into 2023,”​ it said.

Beyond this, the British Beauty Council would continue to evolve its Trade Hub, a trade directory developed in collaboration with the UK’s Department for International Trade designed to support UK brands looking to enter global markets with new and innovative products. This was especially relevant today amidst “increased red tape post-Brexit, post-COVID, and during this sustained period of economic uncertainty”, ​it said.

“…Over the coming year, the Council hopes to expand the resources beyond the current offering as their overseas network continues to grow.”

Meribeth Parker, chair of the British Beauty Council, added: “The cost of living crisis, energy prices, and political uncertainty has kept the team very busy alongside our ongoing four key focus pillars of environmental social and governance (ESG), talent, growth, and policy and influence. We have a clear roadmap with exciting launches and initiatives planned for 2023.”

Beauty talent for a sustainable, inclusive future

The British Beauty Council’s continued effort to communicate the value of the beauty sector would continue into 2023 with its ongoing Future Talent Programme designed as a beauty-specific career development resource to inspire and educate young people on opportunities in the field. Work in this area was being supported by a Memorandum of Understanding with UK organisation STEM Learning that was dedicated to driving engagement and education across science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Major beauty brands including Estée Lauder, L’Oréal and Deciem were also supporting this push and the British Beauty Council was looking for beauty professionals to become STEM Ambassadors in 2023 and beyond.

“These industry leaders will visit schools and colleges across the UK once a year to spread the word about the power of beauty. This initiative will ensure that all sectors of the industry will have a pipeline of new talent for years to come, thus sustaining the British industry as a key leader in global beauty.”

The British Beauty Council said it also remained sharply focused on creating a more sustainable and planet-friendly industry, much of which would be driven via its recently formed Sustainable Beauty Coalition​.

Under a wider focus on environmental, social and governance issues, the trade association would also continue to work on amplifying and celebrating “voices of all the communities that the industry serves”, ​it said. ​Under five unique taskforces – inclusive customer experience, education, inclusive product and service design, policies and practices, and supplier diversity – the British Beauty Council would develop campaigns to “identify and tackle key issues across the beauty supply chain”.

Looking ahead, Kendall said collaboration would be key in achieving this array of important goals in 2023. “A key learning that we all take away from the past few years is that standing together makes us stronger and, our resilience is built on this ability to support each other.”

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