Sustainability in cosmetics: today, fortunately, a matter of course
In the beauty industry, sustainability has long since ceased to be an issue that only takes place one day a year. For a long time now, it has not only affected natural cosmetics brands, but also the large corporations have made sustainability a top priority on their to-do list. We met Caroline Nègre, Sustainability Director at Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, for an interview.
GLAMOUR: In your opinion, what are the most important qualities of a Global Sustainability Director and how do you live these qualities?
Caroline Nègre: In my eyes, time and patience are of the essence when it comes to bringing about change. Often we have to say goodbye to old habits and do things differently. It takes perseverance and perseverance to progress along this path. The trust and expertise of the team also play an important role. I see my task as sharing my knowledge and experience with them in order to grow and improve together. All of this takes a lot of time, patience, mindfulness and resilience, but it’s worth it when we reach our goal.
What does sustainability mean to you?
I think that sustainability in the beauty industry, especially in the luxury segment, can offer a timeless experience. We can go back to our luxurious roots and still make products that have less impact on the environment. It is important to convey to consumers that each of us can play a role in reducing our ecological footprint. We should offer incremental solutions that help reduce our impact. For example, we can offer the same type of product with refill packs, or work with our fragrance bottle designers to redesign bottles without making them look less appealing. It’s important that we make products that are visible to consumers and that we help them lead sustainable lifestyles.
In your opinion, what is special about the Yves Saint Laurent brand’s approach to sustainability?
The gardens in and around Marrakech, in which we grow plants in a sustainable way, which are then processed into the products, are definitely a very special approach. Almost ten years ago, Yves Saint Laurent had the ambition to have at least one ingredient in all products from the Ourika Gardens by 2025. The ingredients from the gardens are now used in every skincare and make-up, and now only the fragrances are missing. Overall, I think using ingredients from our own gardens is unique and makes an important contribution to sustainability.
What are your biggest challenges when it comes to sustainability?
It’s not always easy to make choices that meet both our sustainability goals and consumer needs. Sometimes sustainability measures can also be more expensive and it can be difficult to pass these costs on to customers, especially if they are not necessarily willing to pay more for more sustainable products. It is therefore important to make a balanced decision and gradually implement sustainable measures when it makes sense for the company and the customers.