The pandemic has jolted the world. Consumers are becoming more conscious of their purchases and consumption. Staying healthy has become a lifestyle decision. Personal and community well-being are strongly connected, and this awareness is influencing consumer choices as more individuals opt for sustainable products.
According to a Nielsen Global Survey of over 30,000 respondents, more than 70 percent of Gen-Z and 80 percent of millennials expect brands to become more sustainable. Consumers fully recognize this, and they have the capability to alter the world by making informed decisions.
Sanitation is essential to keep our environment clean and our health in check. This knowledge has prompted numerous individuals worldwide to purchase goods that promote good health and reduce carbon emissions.
While sanitization is an important component while purchasing products, sustainability has become a fundamental factor for customers, investors, and stakeholders. People want to promote ‘greener' products and buy more effective and affordable sanitary products.
Why Is It So?
Some of the reasons for incorporating sustainability into the personal care and sanitation segment are as follows -
Product Use and Demand - Personal care and sanitation is a consumer segment that always has a stable demand - in fact, most panic purchasing happened in this segment during the pandemic. Personal care products include menstrual care products, personal grooming products, sanitizers, toiletries such as toilet paper, soaps, body washes, etc., home and kitchen sanitary products such as cleaning liquids, disinfectants, etc. These are all products that people require in their daily lives and cannot go without. Nonetheless, many brands have undertaken measures to ensure that the manufacture of these products is undertaken to be friendlier to the environment. Some ways to do this are using lesser harmful chemicals, reducing environmental pollution, and using sustainable raw materials.
For example, menstrual hygiene care products such as sanitary pads are now being produced using organic materials like bamboo, banana fiber; brands are even promoting the use of options like using menstrual cups, to cut down on the number of pads used and disposed of by each individual.
Brand Positioning - Consumers purchase products in which they see value, and these days, the most valued products have a ‘green’ tag. Sustainability is essential to most consumers, understanding which brands have now incorporated into their business and brand statements. In keeping with the shift in consumer behavior, preferences, and ideologies, brands and businesses have begun to position themselves as sustainable and eco-friendly to remain relevant in the market. Most consumers want to associate with brands that do their bit for the environment, use ethical ways to manufacture and produce their goods and undertake activities outside the scope of their business to help the environment.
Raw Materials - Organic and natural raw materials in personal care products have a two-fold advantage - one towards consumers and the second towards the environment. Consumers are now excited about using personal care products that have natural ingredients and are made of organic materials instead of using products that are chemically preserved. Be it for hygiene or cosmetic purposes, consumers spend more time these days researching what goes into the making of a product and how harmful or helpful it is to their bodies. For example, even for something as simple as toilet paper, consumers prefer allocating their disposable income to using sustainably made toilet paper instead of using products made from cheaper materials, which may be priced lower but aren’t as environmentally friendly.
Packaging - Over the years, most products were packaged using materials like plastic, which has surfaced in the last few years as lethal for the environment. Now, most nations are doing their bit to ban plastic, and businesses follow suit using degradable packaging material to sell products. Since millions of products are sold in the personal care space, using degradable and sustainable packaging has become the norm. Several cosmetics and personal care products have also shifted their marketing online to reduce the amount of paper used in creating promotions that are sold along with the product.
Every Drop Makes an Ocean - Let’s Make It Sustainable
It may seem minuscule, but every individual consumer’s personal care and sanitation product purchase directly impacts factors like deforestation, air pollution, or plastic build-up in the world’s ocean waters. With increased exposure towards an understanding of climate change and the environmental crisis the world is in, more consumers prefer sustainable products that have a positive impact on the world around them, be it for personal health or community wellness. Consumers today want to be associated with personal care and sanitation brands that have aligned sustainability to their corporate targets and don’t mind paying those extra pennies to do their bit to clean up the environment.