by Michael Lorence (https://linktr.ee/melorence1)
Cosmetic and personal care consumers nowadays care more than just about quality, packaging, and product feel and look. Instead, customers want to ensure that whatever they use comes from a sustainable and reputable source.
The French skincare brand Caudalie noticed the outcry for more sustainable cosmetics in the South East Asian region and decided to prepare and expand its operations in the region.
Who is Caudalie?
The brand has been around for over two decades and was brought to life by husband and wife Mathilde Thomas and Bertrand Thomas in 1995. They stepped into the cosmetic industry by releasing three products based on grape seed polyphenols, which are still popular and sold today.
The company's focus and pride are its vinotherapy skin care and personal care products. It was inspired by the business that originated the company, their vineyard in France. Even the company's name reminisces wines and grapes since Caudalie is the term used to measure the time the flavor of wine lingers on your palate.
Sustainability as a Core Goal
Sustainability has always been part of Caudalie's mission. So they kept innovating to mitigate their environmental impact by developing methods to reduce the impact of their operations and skincare products.
So instead of adapting to the current green wave, they were green from the start. They employed clean manufacturing processes and natural ingredients to reduce their environmental impact, making them one of the French pioneers in cosmetic sustainability.
While expensive, Mathilde and Bertrand always understood that building a lasting brand is not only about profit but about the impact their products have on the lives of consumers and their environment.
For years, the beauty industry preached that you couldn't have luxury skincare and sustainability together. However, avoiding sustainability today is no longer an option. Companies that want to appease the consumers and leave a better world behind must find ways to clean their operations.
Caudalie didn't shy away from the challenge and is bringing sustainable luxury to all that want to try their products out. The owner, Mathilde Thomas, believes that sustainability is a new luxury, not a marketing gimmick.
Supporting Sustainable Practices
Another great initiative from the company since its early days is supporting the 1% For The Planet organization. Caudalie has been a member for over ten years. During this period, it became one of the top contributors among cosmetics brands, planting over 9 million trees in the years of membership.
This initiative offset their carbon footprint by more than four times, according to the research done by Caudalie, to the point they're now carbon negative.
Another initiative the company took was to open several facilities to house laboratories, offices, and warehouses to research and improve their products. These facilities are powered by solar and geothermal energy.
Bringing More Sustainability to The SEA Region
After doing their research in the South East Asia region, the owners found out that there was a lot of work to be done to make sustainability widespread.
The couple wants to open the discussion amongst regional brands to encourage them to take a cleaner approach to their manufacturing, sourcing, and packaging processes.
The public in the SEA region is still mostly unaware of the damage that plastic pollution can cause. Therefore, the company is currently trying to set an example for others in the region by bringing their best to the consumers.
In 2020 the company launched the 100% plastic collect project in Thailand, a project that aims to recycle as much plastic as produced by the company every year. The partnership collected over 500 tonnes of plastic during the year. As of 2021, Caudalie and 1% For The Planet have already planted over 300,000 trees in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and they only want to expand from here.