More glitter pollution this summer

Most glitter is made of micro-plastic, which is something  Bude’s conservation groups are working very hard to reduce.

Therefore, it is not great news that summer festivals and Love Island has seen shoppers buy 60,000 more glitter products.

Glitter season is seemingly in full swing with sales of glitter cosmetics worth more than £300,000 to retailers during the four week period 25th June 2018 to 21st July 2018 and up 321% compared to the same period last year. This is according to the latest data analysis from IRI, a leading provider of big data and predictive analytics for  manufacturers and retailers.

Festival goers, party lovers and fans of the ITV series Love Island, the final of which was aired on Monday, have boosted sales with more than 60,000 more glitter products sold this year, which rather puts my using my refillable bottle in the shade.

Top sellers include face glitter, which have contributed 51% to the growth of glitter in 2018 and worth £126k in value sales, and eye glitter, worth £138k in sales, contributing 50% to the growth in overall glitter in cosmetics sales. However, nail products, the mainstay of glittery cosmetics over recent years, have fallen, down 5% since last year.

“We are seeing something of a revival in glitter from the glam rock days and discos of the ‘70s and ‘80s, but with a new twist,” comments Kaajal Bhatti, Senior Insights Manager, IRI. “The glitter craze we are seeing this season really kicked off last year when the Love Island contestants had a glitter party. Last year’s glitter cleavage trend has turned into this year’s glitter craze with no body part untouched, including glitter lips, eyes, brows and even tongues! It seems that viewers are rushing out to copy the sparkly antics of Georgia, Megan and Samira.” I’ve never watched Love Island so haven’t a clue what that’s all about but it doesn’t sound good!

While Love Island is now finished, the summer festival season is still going strong with top temperatures set to boost crowds at major music festivals, including Reading and Leeds, RiZE, Bestival and Creamfields during August. Bude’s own Leopallooza sported some glittery individuals, too.  IRI predicts further spending and growth in cosmetics with the sparkle factor.

IRI’s Kaajal Bhatti adds a note of caution: “Although glitter is a bit of fun, we have to consider that it is a micro-plastic and similar to plastic microbeads, and having a detrimental impact on our environment. Manufacturers are beginning to respond and there is already a cosmetics brand that has launched a biodegradable glitter. We expect more to follow suit and we hope to see other environmentally-friendly products trending across retailers in the near future.”

In March, IRI revealed that new government legislation banning the manufacture of products containing plastic microbeads saw manufacturers respond by developing new products using more natural ingredients, including clay, sugar, salt and fruits – adding £1.4m in sales of facial scrubs in the last year. Let’s hope the same can happen with glitter!


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