How Caroline Hirons' Beauty Backed Trust is helping salons reopen post lockdown

The beauty industry needs our support

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 09: Caroline Hirons attends the 25th Anniversary of the Estee Lauder Companies UK's Breast Cancer Campaign at the US Ambassadors Residence, Winfield House, Regents Park on October 9, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Estee Lauder Companies)
(Image credit: David M. Benett /Getty Images)

Caroline Hirons' Beauty Backed Trust has been set up to help the beauty industry when it needs it most.

It's an understatement to say that the beauty industry has been struggling as a result of COVID-19's social distancing measures and no fewer than three lockdowns. To help salon owners not only stay in business but see their business' thrive again post lockdown, Caroline Hirons launched Beauty Backed. Now, it’s been awarded Trust status. 

Often the unsung hero of the business world, the beauty industry contributes on average £28 billion to the British economy each year, which is more than the much-lauded car industry.  

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And yet beauty businesses have not been given much by way of financial assistance during the pandemic as we reported in our piece Save Our Salons: What You Can Do To Help.

According to the British Beauty Council, 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.

After seeing the difficulties experienced by her peers, beauty industry expert, blogger, author of Skincare, and advanced aesthetician, Caroline set up Beauty Backed in August 2020. In eight short months, it managed to raise over £600,000 and played a pivotal role in helping the British Beauty Council and BABTAC lobby to get the industry reopened on 18 August 2020.

Speaking about the inspiration behind Beauty Backed, Caroline explained on her Instagram site, “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 specializing 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.”

Now the Beauty Backed Trust has launched its Back to Work campaign in time for the easing of lockdown rules on 12th April. This initiative will help independent beauty businesses that are in need of stock, PPE, tools or financial support. Alongside the announcement, Beauty Backed unveiled its board of trustees.

“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."

“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 asking that any beauty business owners in need of help or support fill in a form on its website. And if you want to play your part, pre-book an appointment at your local salon for after the April 12th reopening or purchase a gift voucher so that they can look forward to a brighter business future.

Fiona Embleton is a beauty writer who is now Acting Beauty Editor at Stylist. She is obsessed with Isabel Marant and cats.