The impending launch of British brand BullDog Skincare’s environmentally-friendly bamboo razor highlights the growing pressure brands in this category and the wider personal care sector are under to offer high performing, effective products which are also kind the environment.

Set to be launched in the UK over the summer, BullDog’s razor features a bamboo handle replacing the traditional plastic often characterising the disposable razor space. The launch follows the brand’s move to sugar cane-based bioplastics in all is tubes late last year.

BullDog’s strategy is indicative of a wider shift across the personal care industry. In light of the growing concern and attention sustainability-related issues are receiving, brands in the personal care space are under pressure to innovate into products which deliver effective results without compromising on sustainability.

For brands operating in male grooming, and the wider personal care space, this creates new challenges as the war on single use plastics continues to gain traction. While much media attention has focused on the impact of food and drink packaging, personal care products face similar packaging challenges from a sustainability perspective. The pressure is on for these brands to showcase their proactivity and awareness of the issue in their own product ranges and innovate accordingly to provide more responsible eco-friendly solutions.

On the other hand, this also creates an opportunity for brands to take advantage of the media spotlight on plastic packaging, and in turn provide innovative offerings which can tackle the issue. More importantly, this can offer an angle to premiumise and deliver additional value through the product offering by being both environmentally-conscious but also providing superior performance.

This gap exists in many categories, male grooming being one of them, and the appeal of purchasing a responsible product for just slightly more than a traditional one is significant – in 2016 alone 35% of consumers globally agreed they would be willing to buy luxury products if they were environmentally-friendly (GlobalData’s 2016 primary consumer research).

Globally, being recyclable, reducing unnecessary packaging, and being biodegradable are the top three factors consumers perceived to be extremely important in environmentally-friendly packaging according to GlobalData’s 2017 primary consumer research.

Exploring innovative packaging solutions which can incorporate these elements will be a key consideration for brands seeking to explore more responsible packaging. In turn, if brands can get the balance between sustainability and effectiveness right this could both give it the competitive advantage in appealing to a widening eco-conscious base as well as justify a “responsible luxury” positioning.

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