After seeing the beauty industry struggle under the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, Caroline Hirons launched Beauty Backed. Now, it’s been awarded Trust status. Here’s how the initiative is helping business owners.
The past year has been devastating for the beauty industry.
Despite contributing over £28 billion to the British economy each year (more than the car industry), beauty businesses have not been given enough financial support to make ends meet during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The British Beauty Council reported that two-thirds of their members’ salons have run out of cash reserves and are in debt. Additionally, half of business owners have been forced to use up their personal savings over the past few months. For the 88% female workforce in beauty and 82% female beauty business owners, it’s fair to say the impact has been devastating.
After seeing the difficulties experienced by her peers, beauty industry veteran and advanced aesthetician Caroline Hirons set up Beauty Backed in August 2020 to fundraise for those in need of support. Over the months, Beauty Backed has done incredible work; it raised over £600,000 and played an instrumental part in helping the British Beauty Council and BABTAC get the industry reopened on 18 August 2020.
Of course, subsequent lockdowns have seen the industry forced to close its doors for months, again with little support from the government. But thanks to its industry-driving work, Hirons has announced that Beauty Backed has been awarded Trust status.
Alongside this announcement, Beauty Backed Trust has also launched its Back to Work campaign. This initiative will help independent beauty businesses who are in need of stock, PPE, tools or financial support as they prepare to reopen on 12 April.
Posting about the Trust on her Instagram page, Hirons explained: “Last summer I was watching the news with rage as beauty was once again passed over financially by the government and there were rumours that we wouldn’t be allowed to open like everyone else in August.
“Most of my friends couldn’t work. Freelancers like beauty therapists and makeup artists were so badly hit that I had friends using food banks and the hair and makeup artists specialising in the wedding industry saw their working potential decimated.
“I texted @mrsalexforbes - my work wife/right hand woman and said these words and seven minutes later she replied.
“Thus @beautybacked was born.”
Alongside the announcement, Beauty Backed unveiled its board of trustees, which includes Hirons, Alexandra Forbes (who helped Hirons set up the initiative last year), Dija Ayodele, Lesley Blair and Lisa Potter-Dixon.
It also has a team of 20 industry leaders, covering all areas of beauty.
“Over the last year, we have witnessed much of our industry struggle to stay open and viable,” Beauty Backed’s trustees said in a joint statement. “As a sector representing an 88% female workforce, with 82% of business owners as women, we need to stand together and make a change.
“We see ourselves in our colleagues and as past and present beauty business owners, we understand the hardships Covid-19 has created alongside the repeated delays in reopening our sector and lack of individual sectoral funding support.
“As trustees, we are truly passionate about the beauty industry and are delighted to be instrumental in taking Beauty Backed from a movement to a Trust. Our initial goal is to support as many beauty professionals as possible to get back to work.”
Beauty Backed Trust is inviting any beauty business owners in need of help or support to fill in a form on its website. Watch this space for more news from Beauty Backed Trust.
For more information on Beauty Backed Trust, visit beautybacked.com.
Main image: Getty