Thai Beauty & Fashion: How Thailand is leading innovation in SE Asia

Far away in Southeast Asia, the humble developing country of Thailand has become a hub for innovations in beauty and fashion. From silently making waves, to now having the statistics to prove its continued ascent, the  US Commercial Service of the US Department of Commerce has reported that the beauty and personal care market has grown between a figure of 7.2–7.9% annually in the past six years. In fact, by 2022, it’s projected to hit $ 8 billion. A good number of this demand comes from tourists who purchase these products to bring back home. While this is great for Thailand’s economy, it also means international recognition for homegrown brands –– already a feat in itself.

A conscious shift

The beauty trends in Thailand may change like every other fad, but with the growing shift towards sustainability, natural and herbal products are being favored –– especially those with anti-aging properties. This is driving product development as well. There are a lot of products made from these ingredients these days, and Thailand has become the  source of these products. In Pretty Me’s review of the popular AR Vitamin E Cream from Thailand, they talk about how the product is enriched with sunflower seed oil, vitamin E, beeswax, and other natural oils, and how the product’s popularity in Thailand has helped it reach international audiences . Similarly,  Lifestyle Asia covered the cult favorite Siam Botanicals which likewise features a range of all-natural, chemical- and preservative-free products that source their ingredients responsibly and sustainably. Slow fashion

While big commercial chains have saturated the number of shopping malls in Thailand, indie brands are entering the scene as well. Channel News Asia has featured young designer Vitchapong “Boom” Hutasuwan  who runs the bespoke denim service Selvedgework. Growing up surrounded by his parents’ work in their denim factory, Hutasuwan created his own label for custom made premium Thai jeans akin to works of art –– a first of its kind at its launch. Elle Men Thailand had already named it one of the best denim brands in 2014 and 2015, and with the international movement towards slow fashion, it shouldn’t be too far off for it to become a worldwide fashion name.Eco-friendly fashion brand Taktai has followed the same path in carefully curating clothing through upcycling plant fibers. The Bangkok Post has remarked on the fine craftsmanship , creativity, and innovation behind the hand products which are of world-class quality. A step in the right direction

While we’re used to fixing our gauze at Western names, perhaps we should look a little further. The Thai beauty and fashion industry are now at the forefront of innovation, which actually encompasses all of the 4 Consumer Shifts in Fashion  (and beauty, too). It’s about time we give them the recognition they deserve. At the end of the day, we’re one in our purpose.

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