Beauty brands on the road to sustainability

The beauty industry is witnessing a seismic shift. Sustainability and cruelty-free have become the watchword, and beauty brands are also doing their best to incorporate these practices for a better tomorrow. We speak to Ruth Calvo Rubial, spokesperson for L’Occitane India International, and ask her how she is changing her beauty brand over time. Here is an excerpt from the interview.

Can you tell us about the recycling initiatives in India?

The recycling program is the first in India to accept PET beauty vacuums from any beauty brand along with all L’OCCITANE vacuums. The main goal is to mobilize more people to have a big impact on the environment with small changes. As part of our commitment to waste reduction, we believe that recycling will keep the environment free from pollution and help achieve a circular economy where every material can have a second life.

Tell us about Eco refills and how they help preserve nature?

L’OCCITANE develops products that are increasingly respectful of man and the world in which we live. We produce eco-refills and most of our packaging is made from recycled materials or uses renewable resources or from sustainably managed forests. Over the past decade, more and more companies have reduced the amount of plastic they use and we are proud to say that we have always been at the forefront of the movement. Our Eco-Refills help to save 78% to 97% of the packaging material compared to the standard product. Each eco-refill prevents the equivalent of approximately 50 plastic cups, 300 straws or 3,000 cotton buds from entering our oceans. Switching to eco-friendly refills is an eco-friendly alternative that helped save 251 tons of packaging this year. By 2025, 100% of our bottles will be made from 100% recycled plastic.

Let’s talk about the challenges you faced while managing the sustainability and recycling program?

Our sustainability strategy has evolved significantly over the years. Our commitment to protecting nature or related initiatives did not really materialize into a true competitive advantage until we organized our efforts into a customer-centric strategy. Since 2008 we have embarked on the journey to integrate sustainability into every part of the business, with adequate resources and organization. In the current structure, we firmly believe that it has become one of the Group’s competitive advantages and sets us apart from other brands.

What is your opinion on the steps that industry needs to take to tackle the problem of waste ending up in landfills?

Recycling is an important step in ensuring that beauty voids get a second life instead of ending up in landfills. Encouraging the client through such programs to consciously dispose of empty containers should become common practice not only in the beauty industry but in other sectors as well.

A tip for the beauty industry regarding waste management?

An important tip would be to recognize the problem and work on every step from product design through the supply chain to the retail level. We continuously evaluate our actions and impacts on nature. We focus on ensuring that our operations, such as manufacturing facilities and packaging, have minimal impact on the ecosystem. We closely monitor the resources we consume and the quality of the wastewater discharged from our factories. We are also progressively reducing waste by using a higher percentage of recycled materials, developing refills and wholesaling, facilitating the selection of recyclable materials and gradually eliminating unnecessary single-use plastics. But we don’t just focus on minimizing negatives: our Group develops positive actions that help restore and regenerate ecosystems as stated in our new biodiversity strategy, prioritizing nature-based solutions that benefit biodiversity and the reduction of carbon emissions. In the long run, we also aim to promote new consumption patterns to move closer to a positive world for nature.

Skincare trends for the season

With a growing concern for health and wellness amid the global pandemic, 2021 has seen an increase in beauty care made from natural ingredients that are primarily driven by their formulation and effectiveness.

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