The Silent Success of the British Beauty Industry

In 2018, the direct contribution of the beauty industry to the UK economy was £14.2 billion, whilst motor manufacturing reached only £13.5 billion. The figure comes from the Value of Beauty report; this is the first formal analysis of the UK’s beauty sector. The report was commissioned by the British Beauty Council and uses data published by the Office of National Statistics.

The beauty sector is at the heart of the UK economy

The recently-formed British Beauty Council is a not-for-profit body working to “secure a positive future for the industry under the three pillars, reputation, innovation and education.”. The Council argues that the beauty industry’s contribution to the UK’s economy remains underrated.

Also revealed in the report is the contribution of the UK’s beauty industry to our economy. It accounts for approximately 600,000 jobs in the UK and contributes £7 billion of tax every year. This is enough to employ around 250,000 nurses.

Manufacturing British Beauty

The report divides the UK’s beauty industry into five major sectors: beauty services, retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers and advertising & marketing services. Of the £13.5 billion contributed to the UK’s economy each year, £1.9 billion comes from manufacturing. This represents 12% of the industry’s total contribution.

Similarly, the value of the employment footprint of the manufacturing sector. Manufacturing is worth 11.3% of the UK’s beauty industry employment footprint; beauty services, retailers and wholesalers all outweigh the footprint of manufacturing.

The British Beauty Council’s CEO, Millie Kendall, explains in an interview that there is room for growth in manufacturing. She explains that in order to achieve growth, funding and government support for local producers needs to improve. Increased UK manufacturing will see an increase in jobs, greater contributions to our public services by British companies and further growth for the beauty industry.

Reputation & Innovation in Beauty Manufacturing

Kendal explains that we need to change the “reputation of beauty so that it’s recognised as the positive, dynamic and successful industry that it so clearly is.”. Whilst the UK’s beauty industry isn’t exactly known as a powerhouse, many of the best-known beauty brands are British.

Molton Brown

You’ll find Molton Brown products in five-star hotels, Michelin star restaurants and high-end department stores across the world. They have built an illustrious, global reputation as fragrance experts. Yet they have retained their English heritage – each product is still blended in England, their home since 1971. Brands like Molton Brown have paved the way for a new generation of brands by establishing Britain’s reputation for superior quality and style.

Whether it is introducing new and exciting ingredients into their products or releasing a range of vegan-friendly products, we have seen innovation from the largest producers down to the smallest local beauty companies.

Faith in Nature

Faith in Nature describes themselves as a natural yet affordable cosmetics company. Established in 1974, they create ethical products and their range of vegan and cruelty-free haircare, skincare and body and bath products is suited to everybody.

Rebel Roots

Edinburgh-based brand Rebel Roots produce hair oils for afro and natural hair, made with 100% natural ingredients. Their range includes products containing CBD oil; linked to many general health benefits, CBD also promotes hair growth, repair and health.

In an economy where sectors like homewares and clothes are shrinking, it is important to acknowledge and support the industries which are helping to build the UK’s economy. The Value of Beauty report has gained the public’s attention and it is now our responsibility to support the brands making this progress.

To discover more British beauty brands, check out our Health & Beauty section on YouK! All brands on YouK support the UK economy; a health and beauty brand’s commitment to UK-based manufacturing and R&D determines their YouK Score.