From campaigns with the government to sustainability initiatives, the British Beauty Council has led the revamp of the beauty industry in the pandemic
Cast your mind back to March 2020, when all we could do to tame our manes is trust our families and flatmates with kitchen scissors. Meanwhile, other treatments were wholly off-limits, we had to say goodbye to eyebrow appointments, waxes and great lashes too.
As the case rates fluctuated, so too did our access to everyday treatments. Our beauticians didn’t welcome us back without a fight – remember that broadcast in June when it was announced that barbers were opening but nail bars couldn’t?
The British Beauty Council provided a voice for the industry throughout this period, pushing grants through government and working tirelessly to support our beauty community. Last week, the council dropped its 2021 annual report. Aptly named “Paving the way for beauty’s bounce back”.
What does the report say?
Millie Kendall MBE, CEO of the British Beauty Council, says: “Our international profile is growing and we are pleased to see the recognition that our sector so deserves from the most senior levels of Government and key business leaders. We have created action-orientated committees across policy, diversity and inclusivity, and sustainability to ensure the industry maintains its momentum. 2021 was a success, the next phase will be one of future-proofing to ensure we bounce back with strength and agility.”
The extensive manual spotlights the £500 million government-backed support and further investments that the body won throughout the pandemic. These investments prevented loads of our services from closing and made sure that the industry could come back with a bang.
Lisa Oxenham, Beauty and Style Director at Marie Claire says: “Despite Covid-19 being front and centre in nearly everyone’s minds this year, the British Beauty Council went above and beyond in numerous other ways. Centred around its key pillars; reputation, innovation and education, the industry disruptors launched initiatives to make the British beauty industry more inclusive, impactful and successful than ever.”
These included the formation of the Sustainable Beauty Coalition and the release of the Planet Positive Beauty Guide, the industry’s first eco-dictionary. On top of busting greenwashing myths, the group started to work closely with the government to kick start beauty’s journey to net-zero.
Protecting the planet wasn’t the council’s only infatuation, they also launched British Beauty Week. The seven days celebrated the power of the industry and increased accessibility to beauty and cosmetics with live masterclasses and panel talks.
As well as shouting about better regulations within the cosmetics industry, the British Beauty Council nurtured and encouraged conversations around diversity too. Thanks to the “Breaking Down Barriers” beauty town hall meeting, afro and textured hair cutting and styling are now an integral part of the National Occupation Standards. This means that catering to all hair types is the minimum requirement in hair salons and barbershops.
In a year that the industry ground to a halt, the British Beauty Council has fought to keep things moving. By adapting to the digitalisation of the industry and harnessing the power of British beauty institutions, they have put their foot down so that we can all bounce back.