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Plastic-free Month LVRSustainable Stories | Chapter 4: La Bouche Rouge Paris

LVRSustainable in conversation with La Bouche Rouge Paris

Make-up products are a minefield of pollutants, some less visible than others, but with its reusable vegan packaging and microplastic-free formulas, La Bouche Rouge Paris has been able to revolutionize the cosmetics industry. For the fourth and final week of plastic-free July, we interviewed the founder of the brand, Nicolas Gerlier, who answered our questions and explained how the brand combines beauty and sustainability.

Read the editorial and join the plastic-free revolution.

LVRSustainable in conversation with La Bouche Rouge Paris

“Recover” has become the watchword in a world that is increasingly attentive to the issue of sustainability, and the cosmetics industry is also aiming to progressively minimize its environmental impact. What are the benefits of microplastic-free products for our skin and for the planet and what are the strategies has your brand implemented to reduce the use of plastic?

Since its inception, minimizing plastic use entirely has been at the core of La Bouche Rouge’s mission and approach, and we are the first Maison to do this. It was one of the driving forces behind my desire to create the brand. The cosmetics industry is the 3rd most pollutant industry in the world, and this is mainly due to the presences of plastic– both that which is used in the packaging and the microplastics found in the formulas which pollute our waters and are unknowingly ingested by those who use these products. Clearly, we should not be putting plastic in our bodies!

It seemed like an obvious decision to me to create products that eliminated plastic from A to Z – to protect the planet, as well as those who create and consume our products. To do this, we challenged every step of the supply chain, from sourcing to distribution. We consistently search for the purest ingredients, ensuring traceability, sustainability and performance. As a result, our lipsticks are truly healthy, and even safe for pregnant women to use. To guarantee the highest quality, we also developed our own proprietary lab in France. We produce our lipsticks in a metal mold that is reusable, which we clean using a water-free cleaning process. Traditionally, the industry uses silicone molds that become waste after each batch is produced. And lastly, we created refillable, plastic-free cases to house our products, all made in France, which are also beautiful objects that can be used daily and cherished for life.

LVRSustainable in conversation with La Bouche Rouge Paris

How do you propose to tackle the problem of microplastics?

As I mentioned, the cosmetics industry is the 3rd most pollutant in the world. One billion lipsticks are thrown away each year. Since the 1950s, only 10% of all plastics have been recycled, and today, 83% of our oceans are polluted with microplastics. We have to understand that it is indispensable that we preserve our resources before they are gone. I believe it is the duty of our generation to make it happen. We must propose a new paradigm that does not compromise luxury and sustainability – which is precisely what La Bouche Rouge strives to do.

For me, the biggest challenge for cosmetics brands is to cut waste and single-use plastics. This requires taking many elements into consideration, beginning with the materials used, how they are sourced, as well as how and where the products are crafted. It is essential to take a holistic approach and consider the direct and indirect impact each element may have on both people and the environment. I think beauty brands today are aware of practices that would lead to more sustainable manufacturing and distribution, but many have yet to adopt them – either because of the initial costs required or because it takes time to implement change on a very large scale, even internally.

But the time for change is now. I believe we have seen that sustainable beauty is the future, and by continuing to minimize waste, diminish our carbon footprint and use responsibly sourced materials, we can collectively help preserve our resources for generations to come.

LVRSustainable in conversation with La Bouche Rouge Paris

In your opinion, what power do consumers have to influence the choices of brands in terms of sustainability?

I think one of our generation’s greatest strengths is the fact that we know we have the power to make an impact. Over the last several years, notably thanks to technology and social media, the power has shifted from large corporations into the hands of the public in many ways. Brands have to listen to consumers to understand what they want and create products adapted to them. Now that they have access to endless options at the click of a button, they can choose where they shop with greater transparency. And nowadays, people want to shop from brands that reflect their values. For La Bouche Rouge, that entails sustainability, French craftsmanship, ceaseless innovation and being a force for change.

What are your hopes and/or expectations regarding a more sustainable future? What can each of us do to reduce our daily consumption of plastic, beginning within our make-up bags?

La Bouche Rouge’s mission is to help pave the way towards a more sustainable future, beginning within the industry. True luxury today consists of sustainably conceived objects and formulas. Producing and consuming in a sustainable manner is not only urgent, but also indispensable. La Bouche Rouge strives to continue to be a pioneer in this field, reinventing our everyday items, encouraging customers to consume differently and imagining a more sustainable future.

Of course, many of us are aware of and already practice some everyday habits that minimize plastic use: using reusable shopping bags, opting for reusable water bottles instead of ones that are disposed of after use… When it comes to our makeup, La Bouche Rouge aims to make it a pleasure to use plastic-free products, thanks to our beautiful creations and sensorial formulas. Luxury and sustainability can, and should, be interwoven.

Nicolas Gerlier, Founder

About LVRSustainable

LVRSustainable is the section of LuisaViaRoma dedicated to offering a curated selection of the best conscious brands and items, as well as special collaborations with renowned non-profits, organizations, and brands to benefit social and environmental causes. LVRSustainable aims to build a global sustainable community and to promote creativity by supporting conscious fashion: organic, vegan, ethical trade, eco-friendly, women’s empowerment, community engagement, recycling and upcycling, and luxury craftsmanship products.

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