BEAUTY TECH CHECK: Ohana & Co., the independent investment bank, held a hybrid digital-physical winter tea on Thursday in its Paris headquarters for executives from the beauty and fashion tech, wellness and consumer goods spaces.
Guests included company founders Natalia Vodianova of Masuku, Vanessa Barboni Hallik of Another Tomorrow, Melanie Bender of Versed and Justine Hutteau of Respire. Their hosts were Karine Ohana and Ariel Ohana, who run the bank with their brother Laurent.
Sustainability was a main topic of concern.
“This whole journey of sustainability continues to be one of the strongest metrics and measurements for human health and planetary health,” said Susan Rockefeller, founder and chief executive officer of Musings Magazine, who recently launched an organic CBD topical roll-on product, called Muses Neck Potion No. 9. “It allows us to be more conscientious about our thought process about what we purchase and why, and also what it means to be in relationship to our earth and our resources.”
Rockefeller explained she started the Muses brand after identifying “a white space of opportunity to create a product that was made safe, which means [with] organic green chemistry and verified ingredients that would actually address pain.”
Erika Fogeiro, founder of French dietary supplements brand Combeau, set out to positively impact people’s daily life “by providing them efficient, smart, yet natural solutions. The second thing we knew is we could have a very positive impact on the planet.”
The brand launched one-and-a-half years ago with one product: L’Essentiel Peau, or Skin Essential, chockablock with seven active ingredients. Combeau debuted last week in the U.K. in Selfridges and it already has sold out there. The brand will hit The Webster in Miami in January.
In 2018 — five years after launching her dermocosmetics brand — Chiara Sormani, founder and CEO of Face D, started using more natural product ingredients and changed her product-development approach to be more eco-friendly.
Face D gives online clients the possibility of saving 1 euro on a purchase by not buying a product’s outer box. Seventy percent of people opt to go boxless.
Premium clean facial care brand Exertier gives clients full traceability on its signature ingredients culled from the French Alps.
“We are really about making clean skin care for everyone,” said Mélanie Bender, founding president of Versed, who added that for 30 percent of the brand’s consumers Versed is the first clean skin care they’ve ever purchased. And for 50 percent, it’s the first time they have bought sustainably minded skin care.
Sustainability is key for the “climate-first brand.”
Addressing attendees, she said: “We’ve known about climate change for 30 years now, and we have been far too unambitious about doing something about it. We’re at a point now that we’re running out of time. If we don’t take action within the next 10 years, we’ll see 1.7 billion people exposed to water insecurity, 1.3 billion people exposed to extreme heat events and 1 billion children impacted by climate change. Those are huge, huge numbers.”
Barboni Hallik explained Another Tomorrow is building “a technology-enabled and digitally native luxury brand that we think is really going to continue to lead the movement in sustainability. Not just from a sourcing and transparency standpoint, but from a holistic business model standpoint — really taking a technology-first approach to digitalization that fuels not just transparency but circular economy and this revolution of bridging the digital and physical product divide.”
Each piece Another Tomorrow creates has its own digital identity. That is starting off as a QR code, which reveals the entirety of the item’s supply chain. “Early in the first quarter, you’ll be able to activate that for our owned and authenticated resale channel,” said Barboni Hallik.
NFCs could be next. “We’ll see the direction the market takes us,” she said.
Johann Boedecker, a cofounder of circular design and tech company Pentatonic, created the joint venture Masuku with Vodianova, the supermodel, philanthropist and investor.
Masuku face masks are made with not only 100 percent washable, recycled and recyclable materials, but also with a fully compostable air filter.
“The environmental component is just as important as the performance,” Boedecker said.
He and Vodianova spent two years developing Masuku masks. “We always thought beyond COVID-19,” she said, “And always with a focus on sustainability from the beginning.”
Other entrepreneurs to speak during the gathering included: Julie Exertier of Exertier, Sophie Allouche of KOS Paris, Paul Berkmann of Guillotine Vodka, and Remy and Patricia Debrand of Monshampooing.com.
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