Why you should support indie brands

Indie brands have been on everyone’s mouths lately. To be fair, it has been that way for a while, but now more than ever, social media is making it easier for brands to get started, grow and reach new audiences; something only attained by bigger labels a few years ago. But what is indie beauty really? Is it safe and reliable? If you want to know more, keep reading!

In a Forbes article, contributor and judge at 2019’s Beauty & Money competition Richard Kestenbaum pointed out that clean beauty (which usually refers to vegan and toxic-free), direct-to-consumer and, essentially indie brands, were trending among new start-ups.

Indie brands are more popular than ever…

…but what does indie beauty even mean?

Let’s start from the beginning. For what we’re talking about in this article, this term is used to refer to independently owned businesses that are not backed by fundings from corporations. Most of them are managed by their founders entirely, and their beliefs are a huge part of the company as well, with some of them being organical, zero-waste, handmade and/or entirely vegan. And cruelty-free!

As a consequence, these brands play in a different league when it comes to marketing, production and values; for better or for worse. This means that they can’t promote their products like L’Óreal (not cruelty-free), Rimmel London (not CF) or Estée Lauder (you guessed it – not cruelty-free either), to name a few, but that they have also leaned towards new and fresh options to stay afloat and succeed in their own right.

Some brands have created more personalized and niche products that we wouldn’t see coming from big names, which leads to my next point.

The best indie brands for you

When it comes to this question, the answer is that you don’t have to look too far. I bet you have some stores specialized in natural and eco products near you, or that you can find drugstore or high-end stores that sell such brands. But if you don’t, I’m here to help!

I will go into further details and my very own experience another time, but here are some truly fascinating and innovative brands to take a look at.

As I just mentioned, some brands have especialized in providing customizable solutions for every individual, like Function of Beauty (hair-care) or Curology (skincare), for instance. And not only that: they’re also 100% cruelty-free and vegan!

Photo by Laura from What Laura Hearts (find it on Instagram)

Most independent brands, especially the local or Etsy ones, don’t have huge labs and large manufacturing processes behind them, plus some of them are pretty eco-conscious with their packaging and ingredients. I highly recommend you check Organically Becca‘s post on sustainable and eco brands to get to know a few more: in the end, natural beauty is a significant part of indie beauty, which is why in most cases, they are linked almost by definition.

Are indie brands safe, though?

Indie products aren’t necessarily bath bombs made in a random person’s kitchen – though it can be possible and it doesn’t have to be unsafe. It can mean Gerard Cosmetics, Pixi Beauty or Colourpop as well!

But I get the worry: what if the brand I’m buying products from doesn’t know what they’re doing? What if the ingredients aren’t safe? Most small brands provide certificates, and most of the ingredients used should pass the country’s manufacturing guidelines. You can also ask the owner for assistance.

But as always, there are some cases in which even large companies have found their products to be dangerous and have pulled them out after they went on sale. In the end, it doesn’t have to do with how big the brand is, but it is important to see the red flags in ingredients and shops beforehand.

How can you support indie brands?

Now one of the reasons why I was inspired to write this post was this year’s Indie Beauty Expo in Los Angeles, which took place last week and will be followed by the Berlin edition in late March. It reminded me of how mainstream and easy-to-find, for a lack of better words, indie beauty is becoming, and how relevant it is compared to years ago, when the investment in this type of brands was probably unthinkable.

Participating in these events, getting to know more indie brands and following them, buying their products… everything helps. I named a few earlier that are pretty well known and big, and while it’s good to have them as an option, local products and smaller brands should also get some spotlight as well.

Beauty events and publications

As I just mentioned, independent beauty has seen immense growth in representation, which has led to them having an important role in beauty events and even the creation of specific events based on them solely.

Indie Beauty Expo is growing to be a really succesful event in beauty | Source: Indie Beauty
Indie Beauty Expo is growing to be a really successful event in beauty | Source: Indie Beauty Expo

Moreover, there are many publications and especially blogs focused on this way of living, like Indie Mag, Working With Monolids, The Indie Mood and more!

Even Amazon has jumped on the indie beauty bandwagon

Did you know that one of the biggest (if not the biggest) e-commerce companies in the world right now, Amazon, has an Indie Beauty section now? Things like these are very helpful and make it easier for customers to find great products.

I feel like buying from lesser-known brands fights the concept that supporting bigger companies usually only help rich people get reacher. Moreover, the environment benefits from smaller brands! It is no secret that the bigger ones equal big productions of stock, which inevitably has an impact on the environment.

Overall, I feel like they are a breath of fresh air for the beauty industry and its community. The products are way more unique and distinctive than any other big brand’s and they actually make a change, which is why I’m trying to buy more from some of them this year. We need to realize that the way we consume clothing, beauty products, food, even entertainment, changes a lot of things.

I know I’m not one to speak, but lately I’ve been trying to change my way of buying and this is one of the directions I want to go in.

Hope you enjoyed today’s post! I know it was a bit extensive and not the easiest to read, but I really didn’t want to leave loose ends for people who aren’t familiar with indie beauty and don’t know what and how to search for it.

Before you leave, don’t forget to follow me on social media. I try to be more active there, and it’s an easier way of seeing my follow-ups and updates! ♡

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