With key ingredients at risk, YSL Beauty expands biodiversity conservation

Shirley P. Olin

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YSL Beauty is upping the ante on supply chain sustainability.

Its new programme, Rewild Our Earth, aims to protect entire regions that produce key ingredients, raising the bar on what biodiversity conservation work can look like in the context of a corporate supply chain.

The luxury cosmetics and skincare brand is partnering with environmental nonprofit Re:wild to look beyond sourcing practices, and protect and restore 100,000 hectares of land in key ingredient-sourcing regions that are also biodiversity hotspots threatened by climate change, human activity or both. Rewild Our Earth focuses on a few of YSL Beauty’s key sourcing regions: Morocco’s Ourika Valley, where ingredients including saffron, walnut and marshmallow are cultivated; Haiti, where vetiver is sourced and where the collapse of forest cover has contributed to floods and landslides that repeatedly devastate local populations; Madagascar, the source of geranium and all of YSL’s vanilla; and Indonesia, which produces patchouli and is facing severe ecosystem threats from overdevelopment.

The programme is an important development for YSL Beauty’s sustainability strategy, and can also help safeguard its own supply chain, says the brand’s global scientific and sustainability director Caroline Negre. The health of the ecosystem has a direct impact on the quality and efficacy of ingredients they use in their products, she says

“We know there is an emergency, an urgent need to fight against the depletion of resources. That’s why we wanted to go further and accelerate our action,” says Negre. “In 2022, we decided to develop new programmes in key areas where biodiversity is a threat, but also in areas where we source some of our key ingredients.”

Communities plant an olive tree, part of a larger effort to prevent erosion and runoff in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. The Ourika Valley region produces a range of ingredients for YSL Beauty including pomegranate, marshmallow, iris, jasmine, walnut and saffron.

Photo: Saad Alami, courtesy of YSL Beauty

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