Regenerative practices have become the upper echelon of sustainability practices, from increasing soil biodiversity to empowering local communities. YSL Beauty has joined the ranks of brands looking beyond the surface level.
The prestige cosmetics brand has partnered with global NGO Re:wild on the Rewild Our Earth initiative in a bid to revitalize damaged ecosystems. Headed by a group of conservation scientists and Leonardo DiCaprio, Re:wild has an impressive track record for change, conserving over 180 million acres of land, creating 47 conservation areas and benefitting more than 16,000 species thanks to its work with 400+ partners across 88 different countries to date.
Rewild Our Earth specifically focuses on the 100,000 hectares of land that provide the star ingredients for YSL Beauty’s products: pomegranate, iris, marshmallow, jasmine, walnut, and saffron from Morocco’s Ourika Valley; vetiver from Haiti; vanilla and geranium from Madagascar; and patchouli from Indonesia. The company aims to restore these vast stretches of territory by 2030, increasing biodiversity while empowering local communities.
It’s also an extension of current projects the French house has established, such as the Ourika Community Gardens Project in Morocco, which provides local women with entrepreneurial opportunities through a co-created co-operative while fostering biodiversity through the growth and harvest of over 200 botanical species. “At YSL Beauty, we believe in giving, not just taking; restoring, not just consuming; and most of all, empowering the world around us,” comments Stephan Bezy, International General Manager at YSL Beauty. Citing the over one million species on the brink of extinction and a degradation of 75% of all land worldwide, Bezy emphasizes the Rewild Our Earth initiative’s “potential to make a measurable impact,” describing it as “a bold commitment to engage in the rewilding revolution.”
The statistics certainly present an impetus for such ambitious undertakings. Today, less than 1% of Haiti’s forests remain, a deforestation which has been accelerated by natural disasters such as landslides and floods, not only putting the future of its wildlife at risk, but also the safety of the local population. “As a global society, our livelihood and the health of our planet depends on the wild. In order to fight climate change, we don't need to reinvent the planet, we just need to rewild it and create opportunities for our ecosystems to recover,” adds Penny Langhammer, PhD, Executive Vice President at Re:wild.
YSL Beauty and Re:wild have committed to tangible targets such as restoring 400,000 trees in the Analamanga and Alaotra Mangoro regions of Madagascar, as well as reinstating 16,000 hectares of Lake Matano and 30,000 hectares of forests in Sulawesi. Rewild Our Earth presents one of the three pillars of YSL Beauty's “Change the Rules, Change the Future” sustainability platform in addition to Reducing Our Impact and Abuse Is Not Love. Reducing Our Impact is focused on reducing the company’s carbon footprint by moving towards a 70% bio-based ingredient product portfolio by 2023, 100% eco-designed and recyclable packaging by 2030, and 100% carbon-neutral factories in France by 2022. Abuse Is Not Love is a global program currently operating in 20 countries that has educated more than 130,000 people to date about the warning signs of abuse, thanks to NGO prevention programming.
From nurturing plant life to investing in human life, it’s a powerful testament to the fact that the beauty industry of the future is looking beyond simply polishing the exterior, and diving into long-lasting improvements to our planetary existence.
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