Roger Schmid, Coordinator of global innovation within the Natura & Co...

Roger Schmid, Coordinator of global innovation within the Natura & Co group - Photo : © Jean-Marc Lailheugue

Premium Beauty News - What does coordinating innovation at Natura & Co consist in?

Roger Schmid - We have set up a joint fundamental research project between the three brands, Natura Brasil, Aesop, and The Body Shop, based on their different Best Practices. These three brands come from three different countries and offer three different cultures, with all the wealth it represents, but we do share basic values: we respect both nature and its people. We share the same desire to think more deeply about new approaches to reduce the environmental impact or revisit beauty rituals. We need to devise a new generation of products and better educate consumers. It is all being gradually implemented. And yet, the Natura culture does not involve a global unification – each brand should keep its own DNA.

Premium Beauty News - How can you stand out on a market that sees so many brands emerge based on the same values, i.e. environmental protection?

Roger Schmid - If this approach to cosmetics becomes widespread, even better! Natura has never tried to stand out with these values to make profit: they are intrinsic and involve much more than competition. Our mantra is “Bem Estar Bem”, Feeling good together, and it is conveyed in many actions other than manufacturing cosmetic products. It has already been a few years since we received the B-Corp label, which certifies companies’ commitment for the common good. We work with local communities in Amazonia, in accordance with the fair trade principles, so we respect their cultures and know-how. Natura has had a neutral carbon footprint since 2007, and we have been working on transparency and eco-design. The Ekos range will actually be relaunched in the middle of the year to become 100% Vegan. It is already 50% made of recycled and biosourced plastic, and soon we will reach 100%. We will do the same for all our ranges.

We certainly need to share even more about all these actions. They also target biodiversity protection, knowledge transfer within communities, etc. But our group’s culture is also about staying humble!

Premium Beauty News - What about this new collection of eight perfumes, “Collages”?

Roger Schmid - Likewise, it was designed in line with our philosophy, with 100% organic alcohol derived from sugar cane and a recyclable bottle based on recycled cardboard. Collages was initially launched in the US, where we have two points of sale and an e-shop. It will be available this summer in France, our bridgehead for our presence in Europe. These perfumes are not designed to be offered in Brazil, because the unit price – 85 euros – is too high for our local customers. The range is rather aimed to invite international consumers to discover our country through the inspiration and olfactory perception of the three perfumers dedicated to these creations. For example, with its warm wood, pepper, and musk notes, Madeira Branca evokes a Niemeyer-like, strong and modern architecture. And Dom recalls the roughness of southern Brazilian gauchos, with vetiver, cypress, and musk notes… Brazil is the country of perfume, so we were legitimate in developing this category in Europe.

Premium Beauty News - How does the group intend to develop in Europe and globally?

Edouard Macquart-Moulin - As a reminder, Natura Brasil is the leader in Brazil and Latin America, thanks to direct selling, the brand’s historical channel. In Brazil, we recently developed a network of about thirty points of sale to reach a different customer profile, without competing with our network of beauty advisors. In France, we opened two new points of sale a year ago, in addition to the store in Le Marais district. But, right now, we need some distance in France and Europe, so we are waiting before opening any new stores. As a complement to the e-shop, our strategy also focused on partnerships in different channels, online and offline (Birchbox, Amazon, Printemps, Beauty Monop).

As for Natura Brasil’s global development, we are going to rely on the experience of other brands in the group (for example, The Body Shop is very present in Asia) to adapt our distribution method – direct selling, online selling, or stores – to the culture and maturity of our markets.

In line with the brand’s globalization, the group has been working on revamping their visual identity with a new product and store design for next June.