@BeautyTechParis shows us a sneak peek into the future of cosmetics and fashion industry: Clean and Sustainable Beauty

While big names in the fashion and beauty industry are just starting to reduce their environmental footprint with sustainable and green practices, a new breed of entrepreneurs are already ahead of the game and making it a core of their business.

This was evident at the first formal meet-up and community launch of @BeautyTechParis held last May 24 where millennial start-up founders took center stage, and with them, their passion to give back and care for the environment.

Buy Less

Platforms like Le Closet, a subscription-based clothing rental service, advocates for the importance of a recycling economy where consumers are encouraged to reduce waste and spending.

“Both women and men make impulse-buys on clothes, but 50% of purchases are used only once or twice before being left constantly dormant in the closet. It was from this reality that we thought of this service.” Le Closet founder Ralph Mansour explained.

Meanwhile, online flea market “Selency” by Charlotte Cade promotes the value of re-using things by featuring a listing of over 80,000 pre-loved and pre-owned designer furniture and vintage accessories carefully curated by French home design connoisseurs.

Selency works with over 7,000 dealers. It proves that it is more than just a store, but a platform that encourages people to become entrepreneurs in the circular economy.

In the field of cosmetics, there is now a DIY app that makes it easy for everyone to create original and personalized beauty products at home using natural ingredients. The app’s founder, Nelly Pitt, started making her own cosmetics after being frustrated in finding a product in the market that suited her sensitive skin. This is how BeautyMix was born.

With BeautyMix, users have access to recipes for natural skin care and beauty products that are best-suited to their needs.

Radical Transparency

The increasing demand for products to be made from all organic and natural materials and ingredients is especially strong in the baby and motherhood market.

To address what Joone Paris’ founder Carole Juge observed as “a huge anxiety among parents,” she created a whole line of infant care products that are 100% French made and eco-friendly. But more than that, Joone Paris’ signature is proper labeling and a full disclosure of the places and processes the products go through — from planning, manufacturing, production to delivery. Juge calls this having “a language of truth.”

“Joone brings radical transparency. Joone brings knowledge to its consumers. With a little bonus, build a great product.” Juge said.

From diapers, baby wash to baby oils, Joone Paris helps make life easier for modern parents by providing baby care products that respect their lifestyle and values.

Shared values

Ho Karan, France’s first cannabis sativa-based skincare brand, founder Laura Bougen also discussed the importance of clear traceability of fashion or beauty products’ ingredients and supply chain. She said the success of independent and small brands can be attributed to this because it helps convey the ideas, beliefs, and the entrepreneurial story of the founder.

For instance, Ho Karan’s narrative is not complete without telling the story of how Bougen as a child knew of the health benefits of organic hemp or cannabis sativa. Her grandparents used to cultivate in Bretagne.

This gives a glimpse to the roots of the company. It also shows why Ho Karan takes pride in working with local farmers, and how the design and production of all of their products are 100% made in France “from plant to the laboratory, in an entirely natural and vegan-friendly process.”

Recent studies have shown that millennials look for authenticity in a brand and buy certain products as a form of self-expression. Because transparency paves the way for better consumption, it also makes it easier for millennials to find and stay loyal to products or brands whom they share values with particularly when it comes to giving back to society and caring for the environment.

New Norm

@BeautyTechParis founder and Silicon Valley investor Odile Roujol noted that this mission to create the positive impact in the world rings true for most of this generation’s beauty entrepreneurs. Aside from Paris, she has been seeing this trend in other @BeautyTech communities in major cities in US and Asia.

Roujol, a former Lancome CEO and French telecom giant Orange’s Chief Strategy and Data Officer, created @BeautyTechSF to build and strengthen an ecosystem of entrepreneurs, investors, and mentors where they constantly communicate and share learnings with each other. It has branches in New York, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Seoul. More than 100 participated in @BeautyTech community’s launch in Paris.

“France has always been the capital of fashion and trends. The abundance of the different profiles of the entrepreneurs shows us the vitality of our ecosystem. We have all the assets to invent the next global platforms, supported of course by technology and data science, but also, with founders sharing one vision, values, and having the desire to change people’s lives through their products and services.” Roujol said.

@BeautyTechParis is an unmistakable proof that millennials, whether as consumers or producers/entrepreneurs, reshape today’s beauty and fashion industry. If we follow their lead, clean and sustainable beauty might not just be seen as a mere trend, but instead, the new norm of the next generation.

Text: Christine Roque 
Original text (Japanese): Motoko Tani