July 22 - The British beauty industry has long felt it isn't awarded the same status as fashion, despite being worth £17 billion to the UK economy each year. Now the industry wants to sell beauty to politicians in order to win a bigger slice of a growing global beauty market. Joanna Partridge reports
A salon experience - you can also take home. Percy & Reed is a hairdressers' and a haircare brand. After years of styling celebrities' locks, Paul Percival and Adam Reed opened their first salon in London in 2007. 4 years later they launched their own products - and found it a big challenge. SOUNDBITE: Adam Reed, Co-Founder of Percy & Reed, saying (English): "It's a saturated market, there are thousands of salons, there are thousands of product ranges, and it's having belief in yourself that what you're going to do, people will want. That it's different enough that people will see it as different and pick it up and try it." SOUNDBITE: Paul Percival, Co-Founder of Percy & Reed, saying (English): "Doing a retail or a shop is relatively straightforward, but to predict what your sales are going to be in a year, twelve months to eighteen months around the world is a tricky thing." Getting involved in the beauty industry is certainly an attractive prospect - it employs 1 million people in the UK, contributes £17 billion to the economy each year and, unlike many industries, is growing. By 2017 the global industry is expected to be worth 487 billion euros. PTC Percy and Reed products were first used and tested in their salons. Now the brand's British heritage have made them popular internationally. But they're not the only British product range trying to grab a slice of the global beauty market. Industry body Cosmetic Executive Women has been lobbying parliament It believes beauty has been overlooked in favour of fashion Its UK President Caroline Neville says Britain should learn from its neighbour France. SOUNDBITE: Caroline Neville, President, Cosmetic Executive Women (UK), saying (English): "They have a long history of having the couture houses with their fashion and their beauty and their fragrance. Look at the names they have, Chanel, Givenchy, Dior, you have LVMH there, you have L'Oreal, the biggest beauty company in the world is there." One way to boost beauty could be giving businesses more help at launch. SOUNDBITE: Paul Percival, Co-Founder of Percy & Reed, saying (English): "It would have been great to have had someone or a panel of people that could have helped us and given us advice right at the start. But we've learned as we've gone along." Having won awards at home, Percy and Reed's British-made products are already sold in 9 countries outside the UK. And they'll soon be rolling out to half a dozen more. They're not yet challenging the likes of L'Oreal - but this is one market where there is plenty of opportunity for all important growth.