Sustainable innovation starts with smart sourcing

  • January 1, 2019
  • 3 mins of read time

Sustainable innovation starts with smart sourcing

Elodie Brun - Seppic
Elodie Brun
Jerome Loueil
Jérome Loeuil

Eco-design is a practice that has become unavoidable in all industrial fields: automotive, packaging, textile ... examples of new eco-designed products are not lacking. Eco-design consists of integrating the preservation of the environment at all stages of a product's life cycle, from the sourcing of raw materials to the end of life, through the manufacturing and distribution processes.

The cosmetics industry is no exception and innovates in this field. The sourcing of ingredients occupies a central place in the eco-design approach and the use of natural and renewable ingredients has become essential. It is also a key argument in brand communication as consumers often associate naturality with safety. This craze for plant-based raw materials nevertheless has its limits since it increases the pressure on natural resources: the preservation of biodiversity has thus become a major concern for ingredient manufacturers.

Eco-design in cosmetics also involves saving drinking water. According to a recent report by the World Resources Institute, 33 cities worldwide, with a total population of over 250 million, are currently experiencing severe water stress. By 2030, this population is expected to exceed 470 million. Overconsumption of drinking water for industrial purposes is no longer acceptable.

Seppic has taken the measure of these stakes and has worked on different axes as "upcycling" and biotechnologies during its latest product developments to offer new ingredients sourced sustainably, responding to current environmental issues, and answering cosmetic market expectations.

"Upcycling", or how to valorize waste from other industries

Part of the solution may lie in a better use of resources already exploited by other industries and the recycling of their manufacturing waste. This is Seppic's bet with the launch in 2019 of the texturizing powder SEPIFINE™ BB and the range of HYDRALIXIR™ cellular waters.

Babassu is a Brazilian nut whose oil is used locally in the food industry and in fuels. Seppic uses part of its shell (the mesocarp), usually considered as a waste, to create SEPIFINE™ BB texturizing powder. Designed for skincare and make-up applications, this powder leaves a soft finish on the skin and absorbs oil excess. The babassu hull supply chain is validated by Origens Brasil, an organization that ensures equitable sharing of economic resources among local communities in the supply chain.

Press Release

HYDRALIXIR™ cell waters help to limit the impact of cosmetic formulations in freshwater. They are collected during the drying of algae exploited essentially for the dry extract by the agro-food industry in Brittany. These cellular waters can be used in cosmetic formulas: the production of 1 liter of HYDRALIXIR™ involvess 26 times less drinking water than the production of 1 liter of osmosis water generally used. HYDRALIXIR™ received the Functional Ingredients Silver Award at In Cosmetics Asia 2019: a recognition for this sustainable approach of sourcing.

Press Release

Biotechnology to reveal rare natural resources without exhausting them

CELTOSOME™ is a plant cell culture technology avoiding plant harvest since it relies on a laboratory cell culture from seeds. Especially, it allows the production of plant cells of protected species on the coast. Thus, eryngium maritimum, a protected species in several regions including Brittany, can be valued in a laboratory process. CELTOSOME™ makes this sourcing available on the cosmetic market.

CELEBRITY™ is the first world wide technology to cultivate macroalgae cells in the laboratory to offer cosmetic active ingredients. It enables the valuation of rare microscopic species that are barely available in the ocean, such as CONTACTICEL™, whose species was identified by the National Museum of Natural History before being cultivated by Wesource teams.

CELEBRITY™ also allows ephemeral and unstable life forms promotion: EPHEMER™, anti-oxidant active extracted from gametophytes, borns in the reproduction cycle of the seaweed and is maintained at this stage in the laboratory.

Macroalgae Cells Culture

Seppic is committed to sustainable cosmetics by placing human health and environment preservation in the heart of its innovation. The search for original sourcings limiting planetary resources exploitation takes part of the eco-design approach undertaken by the group.

Sources: Mintel / World Resources Institute