Clarins – The Real Story
Having been raised by mothers who used Clarins religiously, our first exposure to beauty products was to the Clarins brand. So when we were invited to meet Christian Courtin-Clarins and his niece Jenna Courtin-Clarins, we were beyond excited and counted the days down to our lunch.
The day finally came and we had no idea we would fall even more in love with the brand that has always been a staple in our family homes and lives.
A family business
When a company is run by a family that founded it; true passion is felt in everything that is created. Christian Courtin-Clarins explained that as a brand, Clarins’ first passion was to ‘enhance’ women, however, in doing so, to leave the earth a better place than how they found it. A very impressive and unexpected ambition for anyone, but to be able to accomplish it and go beyond it, is what makes this brand legendary.
Plants as Ingredients & Inspiration
The ingredients used “do not need to be Organic” explained Christian Courtin-Clarins “as Africa does not use pesticides. So instead it is better to use the money required to obtain the “organic certified” stamp, on building a well for the community that provides the raw ingredients, for instance.
Only 4% of the world is “organic”
Clarins uses wild and pioneered plants in huge quantities, that are not genetically modified. “For instance we use 380 tonnes of hazelnut oil per year.”
“Our inspiration for our products comes from plants ” Christian Courtin-Clarins explained “it is a concept known as ‘Biomimicry’. So for our Extra-Firming Neck Anti-Wrinkle Rejuvenating Cream – was inspired by Sunflowers. The weight of the flower is many times that of the stem, yet the stem holds it strong. So we used it for our anti-aging neck cream, to keep the skin supple and youthful. Another instance was when we saw the Succory Dock-Cress flowers beside motorways. So we checked in the laboratory and found it had anti-pollution properties. And now its in our UV PLUS Anti-Pollution Sunscreen Multi-Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 50. This is the only Anti-Pollution cream in the world.”
To create their products Clarins uses plants. With every plant, nothing is wasted, as they use all of the plant for different ingredients – from stalks to seeds and petals. They know that in order to have plants to use for the future, they have to protect the environment that the plants are grown in and help those communities that farm the plants. This long term vision, has made them an exemplary company in how they deal with the environment. They never use endangered plants, and ensure everything harvested is replaced, furthermore, they protect the ecosystem of the plants.
They are involved in initiatives such as Alp Action to preserve the eco-system of that entire region. They also focus on the local community itself with their involvement in the Jardin du Monde and Pur Projects. Whereby by protecting the biodiversity of communities, they aid in the food supply and then teaching communities about the health and medicinal properties of the plants. This enhances the communities health allowing them to break free from poverty. These programmes happen all over the world, from Peru, to Burkina Faso & Madagascar, to China.
Clarins has an “Eco-Design” for their products. That means they control the entire production & distribution chain, to reduce their ecological footprint while creating products that regenerate the skins vital functions.
To enable this they:
1. Ensure the quality of raw materials with strict selection of suppliers & their farming methods;
2. Practice fair trade with the suppliers;
3. Have since 2007 ensured a low Carbon footprint in manufacturing
4. Have reduced and maintained recyclable packages –
Refills of the Thierry Mugler perfumes is an example, also Clarins constantly reduces the weight of lipsticks and packaging making it more energy efficient hence less to recycle afterwards. The portion of recyclable packaging materials, such as glass and cardboard, currently accounts for 63% of Clarins products. Therefore every product made gives back to the environment, be it through carbon offset, regenerating the local communities, and reintroducing species back into the wild.
Their new headquarters were built to be environmentally friendly. There are also three bee hives with some 160,000 bees installed on the roof, representing a living symbol of The Clarins Group’s commitment to the environment, and to the biodiversity which it holds so dearly.
Global Sustainable Initiatives
Globally what they do is endless, from being involved with Medical Research and the Arthritis Foundation, to taking care of children with Lauren Bush and FEED – ensuring that schoolchildren from some of the poorest countries have meals. Clarins also fights pollution and global warming with their support of renewable energies and the Solar Impulse Project to achieve a flight around the world using only solar power. They also award the “Prix Clarins” annually to exceptional woman who protect sick, neglected or endangered children. Clarins then funds the winner and their project. One of our favourite initiatives was about a school build by Clarins in Vietnam. When the children were old enough, Clarins flew a class of teenage girls for a wonderful trip to Paris! This included teaching them about skincare, and treating them to makeovers and spa days at the Clarins headquarters!
Clarins & Real Sustainable Beauty
Clarins is a family company that is beyond skincare & makeup. It is a brand that is socially conscious about every step of the production chain, from research to the final product, ensuring that it all works as one with our planet. Rather than stripping it bare – Clarins gives back at every stage and makes it a better place than how they found it.
For us personally, the products work, they enhance our skin, and exceed expectations. We know that by being a Clarins customer, we are not poisoning our skin, and also helping to save our beautiful planet.
That is real beauty.
Sara & Tamara xx
More information and to get involved…