Karine Ohana, managing partner of independent investment bank Ohana & Co., hosted a soiree on Wednesday dedicated to sustainability. The evening was the latest in her series to showcase “Brands With a Mission,” alongside Susan Rockefeller, and marked the return of a fully physical edition of the event. Ohana held the cozy cocktail and dinner event at her private home.
Guests including Natalia Vodianova of Love Air, Vanessa Barboni Hallik of Another Tomorrow, Johann Bödecker of sustainability consultancy Pentatonic, Stephanie Rosier of Augustinus Bader and Chiara Sormani of FaceD cosmetics were among those who turned out to learn about independent, sustainable brands in the beauty and wellness space.
For Rockefeller it was a celebratory return to Paris after years of restricted travel, and a bit of a family affair as she was accompanied by husband David Rockefeller and mother Barbara Cohn. She spoke passionately on the need for sustainable solutions in light of the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine and its impact on the global food system.
“The idea of building trust and valuing friendship becomes so important,” she remarked. “I think what’s so interesting in terms of what’s happening in the world is this notion of mining philanthropy and entrepreneurship for social impact. So many of the brands here are really looking at how to take a problem and solve it using the power of business.”
Rockefeller is also the founder of “Musings,” a digital magazine focused on sustainable ideas and innovation. She hinted that the publication may be acquired soon in an effort to boost its reach and amplify its message.
Guillaume Zarka spoke about his enhanced water brand, Drink Waters, cofounded with French comedy star Kev Adams, which comes in reusable aluminum bottles. “We’ve been talking about the problem of plastic for years and years and years, we talk about the continent of plastic [in the ocean], but no one is doing anything,” he said, citing bottled water companies who continue to use plastic.
Sustainable clothing brand Another Tomorrow founder Hallik spoke about how the fashion industry needs to change following in the footsteps of the organic food and clean beauty product trends. “It’s really remarkable how far fashion is behind other consumer verticals. I think we realize that you start with food, what we put in our body, then what we put on our skin. And I think we’re just in the very beginnings of really understanding that when it comes to fashion, how to recharge ecosystems, people and animals very far away from us,” she said. “We take ‘farm to table’ to ‘farm to closet.'”
Hallik said the biggest challenge for sustainable fashion brands is supply chain scalability but as more brands look for solutions and new suppliers the industry will transform.
Other speakers included Pierre Lagache from French intimate products brand My Lubie, and Franck Ladouce and Charlotte Puech Catton from French personal care brand What Matters. The latter makes toothpaste and lotion in refillable glass packaging, and will launch later this month in new markets of Dubai and Taiwan.
The evening concluded with a moving performance from Yann Antonio, a local hip-hop dancer who has adapted his style to classical music.