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Biossance’s Catherine Gore on Sustainable Sourcing, Product Education

At Fairchild Media Group’s 2021 Sustainability Summit, Biossance president Catherine Gore unveiled the brand’s creativity in ingredient sourcing.

As beauty brands grapple with minimizing environmental impact and resonating strongly with consumers, beauty brand Biossance says the two efforts share the same solutions.

At Fairchild Media Group’s Sustainability Summit, Catherine Gore, president of Biossance, said unconventional sourcing alternatives are encoded in all of the brand’s touchpoints with suppliers, fellow brands and consumers alike.

Read more stories from the sustainability summit by clicking here.

“We’ve always had an open-source policy wherein we share our ingredients, our resources and our packaging ideas, but we have renewed interest in building camaraderie amongst the industry in total and just amongst our teams, and rising in the face of adversity,” Gore said in conversation with Emily Dougherty, special correspondent, Beauty Inc.

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Biossance is a founding member of the #WeAreAllies campaign, in collaboration with Ren Clean Skincare, Herbivore, Youth to the People and Caudalie, as part of which the brand promised to be zero-waste by 2025.

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“It really starts with packaging,” Gore said. “The campaign is kicking off with a packaging effort, but one of the benefits of the alliance is that we’re sharing resources with each other, whether they be manufacturers for sampling or new ideas for components. We have formed a beautiful friendship as teams and there’s a lot of nice camaraderie around it, and we want to be extremely welcoming to other brands and consumers in the industry who want to sign on to the same commitment.”

When conceptualizing the brand’s new packaging, Gore thinks about the full lifecycle of a product, not just producing and shipping it.

“I personally like aluminum because aluminum is infinitely recyclable. Eighty percent of the world’s aluminum is still in play today. So it’s a really beautiful material to use for beauty,” she said in a live Q&A with Allison Collins, senior editor, beauty of WWD and Beauty Inc.

The brand’s efforts touch on other pain points in the supply chain. One of Biossance’s hero ingredients, squalane, traditionally came from marine life, but Gore explained the brand’s plant-sourced alternative has a much lower environmental impact.

“Unfortunately, historically, squalane was harvested from sharks because a lot of deepwater sharks have a large amount. We save over 2 million sharks per year by doing it our way,” Gore said. “We also share it with the industry, we sell it back so that we can help other brands make better choices around this ingredient as well.”

The benefits are twofold: Biossance’s discernment toward ingredients lends itself to more efficacious — and resonant — products.

“We have a philosophy overall that rounds us out. We don’t think more ingredients means better. We actually think that less is more efficacious, and you don’t necessarily need all those filler ingredients,” Gore said.

Lastly, the brand tries to make product information as accessible to consumers as possible, most recently with its partnership with actor Reese Witherspoon. “She is a wonderful partner because she is interested in learning more about the science behind clean beauty, she’s incredibly intellectual and that she cares about what’s behind all the claims,” Gore said. “She’s a friendly authority, and in addition to that, she has her production company, Hello Sunshine, who will be partnering with us on a few initiatives to just really get the word out there.”

For more from WWD.com, see:

Biossance to Award Sustainability and Environmental Innovators