The coming together of communities and selfless acts of volunteerism geared towards a common goal never fails to create palpable, contagious energy. With environmental initiatives and sustainability efforts now an intrinsic part of almost every lifestyle brand, it’s become hard for the ordinary consumer to distinguish the guys who are in it for the purpose of “green washing” from those who really mean to walk to the talk. And while now is hardly the time to be a “sustainability snob,” I find that the sincere dedication and commitment to social responsibility ultimately echo the kind of products offered to consumers
Sustainable, conscious, ethical and mindful are now terms that often influence whether we want to support a brand or not. They also reflect a modern way of living that prefers positive impact over superficial impressions. And while this new mindset for consuming products and patronizing businesses is relatively young, the ideals that inform it are by no means new. When Jacques Courtin Clarins opened his first Clarins spa on Rue Tronchet in Paris, his vision was to build an institute where natural, holistic beauty and wellness would be the core pillars. The year was 1954 and as early as that decade, Clarins had the vision to focus on the use of only natural ingredients over synthetics.
Whereas most brands are only now shifting into the green lane, Clarins continues to pioneer and expand its efforts in protecting and restoring the planet’s biodiversity. The tail end of 2021, for instance, saw the company’s second Replant Love initiative in partnership with Malibu Foundation. A “planting day event” held at the Santa Monica Mountains, this inspired concept brought together over 300 volunteers and workers in an effort to “create and re-created natural resiliency and biodiversity within the region.”
Melissa Reidhead, Head of Communications for Clarins in the US, explains: “This was our second event with Malibu Foundation. Our inaugural Replant Love had over 700 planters, planting a record of over 3,000 native tress and plants for the area.” This year’s event set a new record with 5,000 native trees and plants now firmly sown and growing. The company, in partnership with Malibu foundation has also built a native plant nursery. Reidhead adds, “We have also planted in schools and churches around the area.”
Following the devastation of the Woosley Fire in 2018, Malibu Foundation has been dedicated to the restoration of the area’s biodiversity. Executive Chair of Malibu Foundation, Evelin Weber intimates, “The Woosley Fire had a major impact on our Malibu home, and the biodiversity of the area. We look forward to working with the Malibu community to replenish native trees, plants and seeds that will help reduce the carbon footprint, restore native vegetation to Malibu’s mountain range, and protect the area from future wildfires.”
The Clarins team also shares that since the tragedy, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreational Area (SMMNRA) has “become overrun with more than 300 non-native, highly-flammable, invasive plant species that are pushing out native vegetation.” It has also endangered the endemic Monarch Butterfly, which is the the esteemed beauty label from France is also working on the creation of butterfly way stations.
Replant Love is just one of many restoration and revitalization initiatives spearhead by Clarins. The company also tends to a 2,000- acre private farm and open lab in the Alps called Le Domaine Clarins. Reidhead details, “It is a living outdoor laboratory where native plants are cultivated with ethical and sustainable farming methods. On this protected land, we use traditional farming techniques and minimal technology to create the ideal conditions for developing the highest quality ingredients.” Through extended efforts like Le Domaine, consumers like myself, are able to carve out the correlation between a brand’s sustainability efforts with the products they offer.
The second year of Replant has not only shown a growth in numbers. It has also inspired Clarins to venture into other territories—more specifically, into marine restoration. Reidhead discloses, “Evelin Weber, the Executive Director of Malibu Foundation is also the founder of The Philippines Foundation. There are now discussions to expand the program in the Philippines to help coral reef restoration resulting from over or illegal fishing. While we have been committed to planting on the ground, we understand the loss of marine biodiversity globally, too.”