April 28, 2022

Focus on bulk cosmetics: the new eco-friendly trend‍

Whether you're a fan or not, you've probably already heard of bulk grocery stores, don’t you ? 

This concept of ecological stores has developed greatly over the last few years and is now attracting a large audience. 

Firstly used for food and beverage, It is now the turn of cosmetics to join the movement. Let's zoom in on this new trend that is bulk cosmetics.

The concept

The principle of bulk is simple: allow users to fill their containers through self-service dispensers, as much as they want. First democratized thanks to organic food stores, the idea is now spreading to other fields.

For the beauty sector, retailers are offering liquid cosmetics and skincare products available in fountains; consumers simply need to fill reusable glass bottles of the capacity of their choice. 

In-store dispensing machines allow consumers to choose the right amount of product and thus avoid waste and unnecessary plastic packaging.

The products offered for filling by the stores are often organically produced, vegan and cruelty-free. 

A pioneering company in this movement is CoZie, for Cosmétiques Objectif Zéro Impact Environnemental, a Nature & Progrès certified brand. 

Its very strict charter ensures, among other things, that the raw materials of agricultural or plant origin are organically grown, that the products do not contain GMOs, palm oil, parabens or petrochemical ingredients and that the raw materials and finished products have not been tested on animals.

In this same perspective, many stores support this idea and flourish on the Hexagon. You can go to the organic shops Nature Source, Aroma-zone, The Naked shop or Muzzû, with your different bottles to fill.

Some luxury brands (Chanel, Guerlain or Lancôme) have also launched fountain refills for their perfumes. The concept, initiated in 1992 by Thierry Mugler with his Angel perfume refill fountains, with relative success at the time, is more than ever relevant. Chanel, Guerlain or Lancôme are now launching their own perfumes.

So, the success of this concept is certain and seduces more and more brands, in different sectors, but what does this initiative really allow?

A positive impact

As proof of its success, the bulk approach has been included in the French Consumer Code since February 2020, which defines it according to three principles: no packaging, free choice of quantity, use of reusable containers - most often, in the cosmetics sector, these are glass bottles, hygienic and infinitely reusable, with the brands' colors.

According to Réseau Vrac, the overall turnover of the bulk sector in France is expected to reach 3.2 billion in 2022, with cosmetics accounting for up to 25% of the sector's overall turnover.

The government also supports these initiatives, in particular through the anti-waste law of February 2020, which sets the main objectives of zero plastic packaging for single use by 2040. 

Thus, the bulk meets a real need from consumers in a context of high ecological awareness. The WWF has also conducted a study showing that if the French population used a reusable container for their shower gel for one year, the savings would be 20,000 tons of plastic waste, 34,500 tons of greenhouse gas emissions and 260,000 cubic meters of water.

A significant difference that could lead to savings of 20 to 30% per consumer. Ecological and economical, the concept is thus fast becoming a real pillar of French consumption habits.

Thus, despite high and very strict requirements from the sector's control bodies to ensure the best quality, bulk cosmetics have a bright future.

The current trend may well become a habit. One more reason to test!

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