Sustainability and the Beauty Industry: The Unexpected Role of Inventory Management

August 23, 2023
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Sustainability and the Beauty Industry: The Unexpected Role of Inventory Management


The beauty industry is undergoing a transformation. As we transitioned from 2022 to 2023, a palpable shift towards sustainable beauty trends emerged. This isn't just a fleeting fad; it's a reflection of a deeper alignment between brands and consumers, both of whom are increasingly prioritizing environmental protection. With the US cosmetics market valued at a staggering $60 billion, it's noteworthy that 64% of 2023's shoppers are honing in on sustainable beauty products1.

What does "sustainable beauty" truly mean?

It's a holistic philosophy that intertwines environmental stewardship with individual well-being. This approach champions the use of eco-friendly ingredients, emphasizing the importance of waste reduction. Beyond the product itself, packaging is a pivotal component. The industry is innovating with materials like biodegradable glass, paper, and bamboo, responding to the growing consumer demand for eco-friendly packaging. Minimalist designs, refillable containers, and even plantable packaging options are becoming more prevalent.

However, there's an often-overlooked aspect of sustainability in the beauty industry: inventory management.

How inventory management help improve sustainability?

The beauty sector, driven by ever-evolving trends, often falls into the trap of overproduction.This not only leads to waste when products expire or go out of season but also has a profound environmental impact. To put it into perspective, overproducing just 5% of a popular lipstick shade equates to the carbon emissions of 175 cars driven for an entire year2. Even with sustainable packaging, the beauty industry churns out over 120 billion units of packaging each year, with a significant portion ending up in landfills3. Moreover, the sourcing, production, and distribution of these products deplete vast amounts of natural resources and energy.

While sustainable packaging and raw materials are crucial, inventory management can be the unsung hero of the beauty industry's sustainability journey.


Progressive brand founders are increasingly recognizing the immense potential of efficient inventory management. As this trend is still in its nascent stages, brands that harness effective inventory management strategies will undoubtedly lead the charge towards a greener future.

1. PopSugar; 2. CEW, 3. PopSugar