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Second Nature

By: Lisa Doyle
Posted: May 4, 2011, from the May 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

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“We are proactive in communicating to our customers how we put into practice our sustainable development approach,” explains Stewart Warburton, global marketing director of home and personal care for Rhodia Novecare, an international ingredient supplier that emphasizes sustainability throughout its operations. “We published a Sustainable Solutions Guide to promote our various ranges of key products that fit particularly well with the sustainable approach, covering a set of different criteria and benefits for both customers and end consumers. The objective of the guide is to help the [product development teams] create consumer products with more eco-friendly profiles while maintaining outstanding performance.”

Arizona Chemical is a supplier founded on renewable resources. “As the world’s largest bio-refiner of extracts from the pine tree, Arizona Chemical strives to use raw materials that have the highest amount of bio-renewable carbon in our manufacturing process,” says marketing specialist Tammy Gaffney. In fact, the extracts refined by the company are by-products of the wood pulping process used to produce paper, so they go into beauty formulations rather than going to waste—a fact that beauty brands can emphasize in their marketing.

Mutual Benefits, Mutual Credit

When the relationship between brand and supplier is strong, the brand is proud to tout the source of its ingredients. “Nature’s Gate and Bayliss Ranch, both pioneers in the natural personal care industry, established their long-standing relationship more than 20 years ago,” says Jennifer Schweitzer, brand manager for Nature’s Gate. To this day, each bottle of Nature’s Gate product includes the following paragraph on the back panel: “Our Certified Organic Extracts are fresh from the field, locally grown in California on land dedicated to growing Nature’s Gate botanical essences. At the family owned Organic farm, each plant receives individual care, ensuring the highest purity and quality. The farm’s water source is derived from the winter rains and snow pack of the Sierra Nevadas.” The website for Nature’s Gate also includes a special section to explain its commitment to sustainability and the role Bayliss Ranch plays in achieving it.

And in some cases, the benefits delivered to both the brand and the supplier go far beyond advertising. “We are very proud to be involved in supporting The Shea Butter Project by incorporating them into our products,” says April Westley, creator of East Sussex, UK-based Cupcake Organic Divine Skin Care. “Georgina Koomson started this project in Ghana and organized several hundred women in a community that has a capacity of over 1,000 tons of shea butter production of the highest quality. All the shea butter is delivered in beautiful handwoven baskets, the making of which supports several dozen more families.

“And, our organic shea butter has just received Fairtrade International certification, so we can now offer the first and only organic fair trade shea butter in the world,” claims Westley.

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