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REN joins forces with rival brands to reduce packaging waste with #WeAreAllies initiative

Lauretta Roberts
19 April 2021

REN Clean Skincare has formed a ground-breaking alliance with four rival brands –  Biossance,  Caudalie, Herbivore and YOUTH TO THE PEOPLE – to help reduce packaging waste across the beauty industry.

The #WeAreAllies initiative was spearheaded by REN CEO Arnaud Meysselle and each of the participants has signed up to a pledge to introduce planet-friendly packaging (i.e. only using packaging designed to be recyclable, reusable or containing recycled materials) by the end of 2025.

In an industry first REN will support its rivals by encouraging consumers to shop across these brands and promote their sustainability efforts, starting with an open letter to be published in the New York Times tomorrow. Further allies will be added to the initiative in due course and are encouraged to come forward if they wish to participate.

“From concept we were excited and at the same time conscious of the realities of whether brands would be willing to commit to the idea of working on environmental challenges with their ‘competitors’. We were hugely inspired to be met with such shared enthusiasm for a common sustainability purpose and shared values by clean brands we’re proud to now call our allies.

"Taking action to reduce waste in the beauty industry is a challenge; together we can share ideas and pioneer new solutions to reduce packaging waste while raising awareness and inspiring other brands to join us with their sustainability efforts. It is the sharing of the knowledge of the collective that has the power to make a real, meaningful and scalable difference," Meysselle said.

Arnaud Meysselle

All of the brands in the alliance are available via Sephora in the US and Canada and via Cult Beauty in the UK.

REN Clean Skincare was founded in 2000 created a skincare range to respect the body and face. It is packaged in ever-evolving more sustainable solutions and has already made a Zero Waste pledge.

Biossance combines biotechnology and science to create high performance skincare powered by squalane. President Catherine Gore said: “Biossance has always believed a rising tide lifts all ships – it's why we're committed to partnering with other leading sustainable beauty brands to enact meaningful change across our industry. Since our inception, Biossance has made an effort to share our resources and our platforms with other companies, from providing access to our sustainable sugarcane-derived squalane to featuring likeminded brands on our education platform, The Clean Academy. 

"We encourage all brands in the beauty industry to join us in this pledge, no matter where they are on their path to sustainability. If we learn from each other, keep ourselves accountable, and help educate our communities, we will create a better future. Especially when it comes to the fight for our planet, we are stronger together.” 

French brand Caudalie is a clean skin pioneer and was founded from a vineyard in 1995 and has discovered and patented "the most powerful antioxidants in nature": Polyphenols. The brand gives back 1% of its sales to 1% for the planet and gas already planted 8 million trees and is "potentially 4x carbon negative". It also pledges to be Zero Waste by 2022 and collects and recycles the same amount of plastic that it uses.

"We are very proud to partner with other sustainable brands. The #WeAreAllies collaboration is a brilliant idea of sharing best practices to become sustainable and zero waste faster. Together we can find solutions and create change,” founders Mathilde and Bertrand Thomas said.

Herbivore Botanicals was founded in 2011 by Julia Wills and Alexander Kummerow in their Seattle kitchen, Herbivore Botanicals believes in the power of nature to bring tangible results.

We have reached a breaking point regarding our consumption of resources and unless we change the way we consume we are in trouble. The beauty and personal care industry has been a longtime contributor to our plastic waste problem. When we started Herbivore Botanicals we wanted to shift the beauty industry towards a more sustainable future which is why we eliminated all the plastic we could and used glass bottles in place of more traditional bulky plastic packaging.

"Sustainability also goes beyond packaging and starts at the source of all our ingredients and supplies. It is our responsibility as industry leaders in sustainability to demand transparency from our ingredient vendors to ensure that they too are practicing sustainable methods. We Are Allies is about brands putting competition aside to tell a bigger and more important story. We are here to show the beauty industry a new standard of sustainability and we will be here as allies to any company looking to make changes for a better planet,” Kummerow said.

California-based YOUTH TO THE PEOPLE creates consciously-sourced, nutrient-dense premium superfood blends and pairs them with clinical premium Pro-Grade Vegan™ actives for the benefit of skin health.

“We all have a responsibility to protect our planet. The crisis we are in was created by our industry and it's going to take all of us coming together to create change. This alliance is a great way to show that companies can work together in the fight to save our planet,” said co-founders Joe Cloyes and Greg Gonzalez.

More about the initiative can be found at www.weareallies.com

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