Follow us twitter facebook
Edition: Global
Click here to subscribe toour free weekly newsletter click here
Companies & industry

LVMH combines luxury and sustainable commitment with Cha Ling

Contribution to the preservation of a thousand-year-old tea tree forest in Yunnan, traceability of ingredients, raw material organic certification (Pu’Er tea), contractual commitment with local populations to ensure they get a stable income, eco-designed packaging… young brand Cha-Ling Esprit du Thé, which was formulated by LVMH Research and incubated by Guerlain, was “born from a green dream”, as CEO Élodie Sebag puts it.

Élodie Sebag, Cha Ling’s CEO

Élodie Sebag, Cha Ling’s CEO

The idea came to Guerlain’s President & CEO Laurent Boillot five years ago, when he travelled to the Chinese province of Yunnan, tea’s original birthplace. Moved by the beauty and richness of the biodiversity of the Xishuangbanna forest, an ecosystem threatened by deforestation, he decided to engage with biologist Josef Margraf and his wife Minguo-Li to save this ancient heritage sheltering highly venerated Pu’Er tea. To this aim, he chose to create a brand based on this precious ingredient endowed with a strong antioxidant power, and to use part of the revenues to reforest the place as it was originally, with a diversified ecosystem.

Just like wine, Pu’Er tea has the specificity of improving with time. It peacefully matures in a cellar for decades, which makes its phytochemical profile gradually change. Beyond its strong antioxidant power, as it ages, it develops complementary molecules with an anti-aging action. Starting with these elements, the LVMH laboratories worked for three years to select the trees to harvest and develop formulas containing two types of tea – fresh tea harvested every year and tea that is at least four years old.

The products were developed following sustainable development principles, with a strict formulation charter, no parabens, no sulphates, and no silicones, although there is a strong sensorial level,” Élodie Sebag asserts. The formulas are composed of 85% to 99% green ingredients, the weight and volume of glass packs are reduced by 25%, and there is no external packaging: instead, there is a solution inspired from Furoshiki, a traditional Japanese technique for cloth packaging. Creams, and soon fluids will also be featured in ceramic containers made by hand in Limoges, France, for a refillable version.

We have sponsored the Tea Garden project in Yunnan, and we have already replanted more than 100,000 tea trees so far,” Élodie Sebag adds.

Although all products are made in the Guerlain plant in St Jean de Braye, France, Cha Ling was intended to be globally positioned as a French-Chinese brand.Very early on, we expressed the will, and that was important, to fully integrate the Chinese culture as soon as the development phase, and not just use the ingredient,” explains the CEO.

The range integrates both skincare and rituals derived from traditional Chinese medicine for the application gesture, and of course, there is a whole environment around the ceremony of organic-certified Pu’Er tea (mugs, ceramic teapot).

Launched in January 2016 simultaneously in France, at the Bon Marché department store, in Hong Kong, with a wholly-owned store, and on an e-shop, Cha Ling was then established in Shanghai in July, with a new store.

Little by little, the brand gains fame with a targeted digital strategy (Instagram, platforms, Birchbox…), as well as a programme supported by micro-influencers in the beauty and lifestyle industry. “After a year and a half, we have achieved over 20% repurchases in the three countries,” Élodie Sebag.

Cha Ling is at the crossroads of different trends: wellness, the return of traditional medicines, in particular the Chinese medicine, and of course, the green movement. It seduces different customer profiles with different arguments – the overall Chinese tradition spirit in France, and the ‘made in France’ know-how in China. Lastly, it offers the LVMH efficacy for a meaningful purchase,” she concludes.

Kristel Milet


© 2017 - Premium Beauty News -
latest news

MakeUp in NewYork will spot latest Asian beauty trends

Florence Bernardin, general Manager of Information & Inspiration, Asian cosmetics markets specialist will highlight latest Asian make-up and beauty trends at the very next edition of Makeup in NewYork to be held on September 12 and 13, 2018. Through trends and products, Florence will show how innovation is dynamic from this part (...)

read more
job opportunities
Experts’ views
Full-Service: mini promotional packs are getting bigger

Candice Jacoud
Full-Service: mini promotional packs are getting bigger

There is a revolution going on in sampling and promotional & travel-size pack solutions. The current challenge is to meet brands’ clearly identified expectations as regards differentiation, ROI measurement of campaigns, and digitalization. Mini-sizes are such growth drivers that Aptar Beauty + Home is taking action with a (...)

read more
E-shop - latest publications
Safety of perfumes and cosmetics. Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia
200.00 € excl. tax
Luxe Pack Monaco 2016 - Show Report
30.00 € excl. tax
Regulations on the registration of cosmetic products in China (part1)
135.00 € excl. tax
Go to top ↑


We use cookies to give you a better browsing experience. By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. Read more and set cookies