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Green Beauty Conversations by Formula Botanica
28 minutes | Feb 9, 2023
EP147. Talking sustainable haircare with Captain Blankenship
Indie beauty and the organic and natural cosmetics sector have typically focused more on skincare than haircare. This is to be expected; people can be reluctant to change their haircare routines and products once they have found brands that work for them. There are other reasons too for natural haircare lingering behind, such as the perceived higher cost of using natural shampoos and conditioners whose precious ingredients are immediately washed off. However, we are witnessing an exciting rise in the number of natural haircare brands, and also in consumer awareness of the need to seek out more sustainable haircare products too. The tide is turning for the dominance of mainstream haircare, not least on account of some recent high-profile product recalls in the sector. To discuss the kind of changes we need to make the haircare sector more sustainable and, as brand founders, see natural, indie haircare leading the way, Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier talks to Jana Blankenship. The founder, CEO and lead formulator of green beauty haircare and B Corp company Captain Blankenship, Jana made a conscious decision a couple of years ago to pivot her business to focus solely on haircare and embed sustainability into its operations.
8 minutes | Feb 2, 2023
EP146. Imagine the beauty industry in 2100
Visualising through storytelling is a good way to set our sights on what is desireable and possible, and then make the imagined become reality. Beauty brands have long used storytelling to create an appealing narrative about their products. It is in this context that Formula Botanica CEO Lorraine Dallmeier dares to air a new format in this green beauty opinion episode – a short story of life in the beauty industry in 2100. Lorraine helps us imagine what may seem impossible today; a truly sustainable beauty industry – one not driven by ever-more consumerism, but founded on sound sustainability principles. Inspired by her guest on the previous episode, sustainability leader, activist, and artist Khandiz Joni, Lorraine asks us to listen to her hopes for a future beauty industry that has avoided breaching the 9 planetary boundaries – or tipping points of sustainability – Joni outlined.
25 minutes | Jan 26, 2023
EP145. Nine boundaries of planetary care
Would you like to hear a single, simple definition of sustainability that you can apply to your daily life in the beauty industry, whether as an indie business founder or consumer? The beauty industry media is clamouring to provide one, and at Formula Botanica, we’ve had journalists approach us for short sound-bites on what sustainable beauty means. Unfortunately, things aren’t so simple. In reducing talk of sustainability to the level of discussing this or that bottle for our beauty products or whether plant A is a more sustainable an option in our formulations than plant B, we are all guilty of missing the big picture. Of course, starting small and taking steps like changing packaging, seeking out refillables and formulating solid beauty products do make a difference. But, we also need to think big if we are to see a more sustainable beauty sector. Our guest in this episode Khandiz Joni, Chartered Environmentalist, independent sustainability consultant and, as she describes herself, a “sustainable-ist”, returns to the Green Beauty Conversations podcast. Formula Botanica CEO Lorraine Dallmeier invites Khandiz to discuss the big conversations the beauty industry, both small and large scale, needs to have about issues fundamental to sustainabilty, such as its use of land and water and role in agriculture and in how it contributes to biodiversity loss.
7 minutes | Jan 19, 2023
EP144. Celebrating eco-beauty pioneers
Whenever podcast host and Formula Botanica CEO Lorraine Dallmeier has tackled the issue of sustainability in the beauty industry, she has heard time and time again the refrain that various pioneering approaches can't be done or done safely, are too expensive or demand too much from beauty consumers to put into action. In this Green Beauty Opinion Lorraine shines the spotlight on some of the beauty industry's true pioneers to make the point that the "eco-beauty entrepreneurs" of today will be those who eclipse their peers in the future. These are personalities changing the beauty industry for the better as they run successful beauty companies. The future will thank these entrepreneurs of today who are daring to defy the norms and through sheer doggedness and innovation are finding viable, profitable, practical ways to bring beauty products to market with minimal impact on the planet. Who dares wins, perhaps?
24 minutes | Jan 12, 2023
EP143. The brand creating mascara tubes to last 2,500 years
As indie beauty consumers, formulators and brand founders, we want to act responsibly when it comes to making, packaging, buying and disposing of our beauty products. Yet, for all our goodwill, it is incredibly difficult to know if the measures we are taking to reduce, reuse and recycle, plastic containers in particular, are making a difference. We've talked to pioneering indie beauty brands running some exceptional return and refill schemes, but our guest in this episode has flipped the idea to create refillable packaging designed to last - not just one or two refills nor a few years, but in theory up to 2,500 years. Instead of worrying about the time it takes a plastic container to biodegrade (which can be up to 400 years), Izzy Zero Waste is an indie beauty company designing permanence into its packaging. Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier talks to Shannon Goldberg, co-founder and Chief Zero Waste Officer at Izzy Zero Waste Beauty to ask if the brand has created the ultimate solution to sustainable beauty packaging.
9 minutes | Jan 5, 2023
EP142. Why 2023 is your year to formulate change
In this first Green Beauty Conversations of 2023, podcast host and Formula Botanica CEO Lorraine Dallmeier and all the school team wish you a healthy, happy, prosperous year. The start of the year is always an exciting time as we anticipate, envisage and make plans for the next 12 months. Lorraine dives right in to this topic throwing down some challenges. She asks what plans you have to change your life for the better this year, and to make a positive impact on those around you? What formulation goals are you setting? Are you dreaming big and thinking of taking steps to start your own beauty brand this year? Whatever your plans, don’t let things beyond your control limit your horizons. Lorraine starts the year with an upbeat message for all of us in the indie beauty community.
28 minutes | Dec 29, 2022
EP141. Celebrity beauty brands
What a year it’s been for celebrity beauty brand launches. Not content with being on our screens, celebrities have been in overdrive in the beauty industry not as the “face” of this or that brand, but as cosmetic business founders themselves. In 2022 alone, we’ve seen Bradd Pitt’s “Le Domaine”, Jared Leto’s “Twentynine Palms”, and Kim Kardashian’s “Skkn by Kim” launch along with a flurry of other celebrity beauty brands. As beauty consumers and indie brand founders, do we care? Some in the beauty industry, especially self-made beauty entrepreneurs who have grafted hard to bring brands to market without celebrity privilege, status and wealth, and social influencers presenting themselves as the moral compass of the industry, do care. Love or hate the celebrity phenomenon, it’s time to stand back from emotions as we dissect their beauty businesses. In this episode, podcast host and Formula Botanica CEO Lorraine Dallmeier and School Education Manager Ana Green take a balanced view of the reasons for the rise in and resentment of celebrity skincare brands.
6 minutes | Dec 22, 2022
EP140. Changing how we talk about hair
Haircare seems on the surface such an everyday topic. Who doesn't regularly see mainstream shampoo brand adverts touting the ease, speed and convenience of using their haircare products for instant well-groomed and manageable hair? But, there is so much more to unpack in talk of hair and haircare. As we discovered in our previous episode in conversation with Formula Botanica haircare diploma course lead and student mentor Suzanne Soto Davis, haircare can be minimalist and we should try to take a less-is-best approach to it. But, that does not mean that haircare is one size fits all, nor less complex or controversial a topic than skincare. In this Green Beauty Opinion, Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier takes the issues involved in hair and haircare further. Before we can talk of swapping products for sustainability’s sake, we must tackle deeper issues about hair that overshadow our choice of product; hair prejudice and discrimination and hair as a tool of social norms and mores and at times also of stereotyping and repression. Listen in to hear just how much is at stake when we talk about hair and how we should be mindful about how we choose to discuss hair and its care.
19 minutes | Dec 15, 2022
EP139. Sustainable haircare - why less is best
Are you a person who shampoos daily? Do you also use a shelf of other haircare products like conditioners, detanglers, moisturisers, serums, leave-in shampoos and conditioners, sun protection products, styling gels, foams, hair fragrances, sprays, waxes and more? If this sounds like your haircare routine, then it is high time to start using fewer haircare products and less of them too. Not only will your hair – and more importantly, your scalp – thank you for it, but you will also be adopting a more sustainable haircare routine. We have talked on the podcast about skinimalism, and now we are seeing the same concept applied to haircare. Joining Formula Botanica CEO Lorraine Dallmeier on the podcast to talk about minimalism in haircare is Suzanne Soto-Davies, founder of eco-friendly haircare brand Truu by Nature Obloom. Suzanne is also a Formula Botanica student mentor and course lead for our Diploma in Organic Haircare Formulation. If you currently use only shampoo and conditioner and think you are already on track as a haircare minimalist, listen in as you will be surprised to hear what Suzanne has to say about that daily shampoo too.
6 minutes | Dec 8, 2022
EP138. Does the world need more beauty brands?
Does we really need more beauty brands? No, of course we don’t, we hear you reply. With thousands of beauty products on the market, and with the hundreds more that arrive – often born of celebrity brands and containing trending, so-called high-performance ingredients – it is reasonable to assume the cosmetics’ market is saturated. However, as with all opinions there are counter arguments to explore. In this Green Beauty Opinion episode, Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier delves into the question and flips it to ask: “Does the world need more unsustainable beauty brands?”. Listen in for a soapbox opinion podcast that calls out the real problem underlying the majority of mainstream beauty brands – their inability to adopt sustainable practices. We may not need more, but we certainly need different kinds of brands to replace them; the kind of indie beauty brands many of our Formula Botanica graduates launch.
35 minutes | Dec 1, 2022
EP137. The beauty brand that wants its customers to buy less
When we came across a cosmetics' company publicly declaring that it would love to see its customers buy fewer of its products, we knew we just had to interview its founder on Green Beauty Conversations. This podcast, as one focused heavily on the ethics and practice of green beauty, has heard industry journalists ask time and again how a cosmetics company would survive if it encouraged its customers to buy less. What kind of beauty business dare call out the elephant in the room - overconsumption as the root cause of an unsustainable economy, and planet? We have tackled the consumption issue in numerous episodes; Podcast 124: the four pillars of sustainable beauty spells out a blueprint of how the beauty industry can approach sustainability. But, until now, we had not talked directly to beauty brand that was so aligned with our own messaging. In this episode, Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier talks to founder and CEO of Elate Cosmetics Melodie Reynolds to discover how her brand has built a sustainable business for a more sustainable planet by believing in less is more. Listen in to hear from Melodie, a driven and inspirational founder, about how Elate is putting those pillars of sustainable beauty into action.
9 minutes | Nov 24, 2022
EP136. Why buy natural beauty products?
This Green Beauty Opinion airs just before Black Friday; the day on which the world experiences a retail rush. With Black Friday now extending to a week – even a month – of heavy discounted prices on everything from big-ticket tech items to small business beauty products, we asked in our previous episode whether we – as beauty consumers and indie beauty businesses – should participate in Black Friday, and if so, in what way. The fact remains that Black Friday is a day indie beauty businesses too can make significant sales and reach out to customers with interesting offers. But, are they being heard in the noise of Black Friday mega deals from mainstream brands? In this opinion short, Formula Botanica CEO Lorraine Dallmeier explains why natural indie brands have a lot to offer beauty shoppers and dispels the myth that only the cosmetics' conglomerates can create high-performance skincare. Listen in to discover why small, natural indie beauty businesses and their products deserve our support all year round and not just on Black Friday.
24 minutes | Nov 17, 2022
EP135. Sustainable beauty alternatives to Black Friday
Black Friday, love it or hate it, is that annual event that sees consumers snap up bargains and big businesses add billions to their profits. Lasting a day, weekend, week and even a month for some businesses, Black Friday is embraced also by small indie beauty brands. It can be a tipping point in the year moving any size of business closer to its profit goals for the year. The sheer rampant consumerism of this particular Friday that falls just before the US Thanksgiving holiday - but which is now promoted as a shopping event the world over - has seen alternatives advocated. Some options include asking us on one extreme to boycott Black Friday altogether, to reminding us to shop more mindfully and support small businesses all year round. In this episode, Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier and School Education Manager Ana Green discuss the background to Black Friday and how it arrived on almost the whole world’s calendar. They explore four main alternatives that both beauty shoppers and indie brands can adopt to make beauty consumerism that bit more sustainable on Black Friday and, in fact, all year round as well.
6 minutes | Nov 10, 2022
EP134. Is beauty ready for the metaverse?
Is the metaverse a liberating space in which we can shake off our physical selves and explore multiple new identities freely and for fun? Or is it a means to escape very real-world, pressing and critical problems such as sustainability, climate change, and, where beauty is concerned, issues like body shaming? In other words, is the metaverse a place to bury our heads in the sand? In this Green Beauty Opinion, Formula Botabnica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier shares her thoughts on the potential of metaverse, having had many of her preconceptions challenged by the previous episode’s guest, Dr Alex Box, an internationally-renowned artist, identity designer and beauty futurist. Listen in to expand your knowledge and viewpoints on this next-gen version of the Web which we will all come across and have to negotiate sooner or later.
35 minutes | Nov 3, 2022
EP133. Beauty in the metaverse
If you are a gamer, then the metaverse will be a familiar space. But, if you are a natural cosmetics’ formulator helping friends, family and customers with real-world skincare and haircare issues, a hyper-virtual reality metaverse of avatars, immersive digital experiences and the concept of the post-human body is going to be light years away from how you live your life in the beauty sector. As with all advances in digital technology, what is new, weird and totally incomprehensible today is likely to enter the mainstream later. In a few years, you too, whether beauty shopper or indie brand founder, may well engage with the metaverse in all its Web 3.0 glory. You are probably asking what on earth the metaverse is anyway and wondering how you can embrace physical beauty products without using your physical body. Dazed and confused about what this means for beauty as we know it? So were we. To help decode the metaverse, Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier interviews Dr Alex Box, a beauty futurist and internationally-renowned artist who has redefined the role of creativity in makeup, beauty and identity. Don’t expect to hold on to reality in this episode as we immerse ourselves in a parallel universe.
7 minutes | Oct 27, 2022
EP132. Can synthetic biology ever be natural?
Can synthetic biology offer a more sustainable way to bring "natural" cosmetic ingredients to market? Can a branch of bioscience that includes the word synthetic in its name ever be considered natural? These are questions Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier tackles in this opinion episode. Following her interview in the previous episode with Jake Wintermute, developer-evangelist at synthetic bioscience company Ginkgo Bioworks, Lorraine picks up on some valid comments and concerns of Green Beauty Conversations’ listeners. Our recent episode with Dr Barb Paldus on biotech beauty – or lab-grown skincare – proved similarly controversial. Lorraine asks us to think carefully before we dismiss synbio and similar advances in biosciences as the anathema to natural cosmetics. Each of us must make up our own mind on these new frontiers in cosmetic science, and dig deep before deciding on what natural means to us. Listen in for a thought-provoking Green Beauty Opinion which might leave you with even more questions to answer.
29 minutes | Oct 20, 2022
EP131. Synthetic biology and sourdough starter cosmetics
Imagine a future in which bacteria is king and you might give a friend the skincare equivalent of a sourdough bread starter so they can grow their own moisturiser at home. Our podcast guest in this episode is on record as seeding this idea. We love the concept of cosmetic science being ever more in the hands of the home formulator, but is this concept just too futuristic? In this episode, Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier, a biologist and Chartered Environmentalist, digs deeper into the world of lab-produced ingredients to investigate the field of synthetic biology. Lorraine interviews Jake Wintermute, developer-evangelist at US-based synthetic biology research company Ginkgo Bioworks who describes SynBio as genetic engineering on steroids. In Green Beauty Conversations, we recently covered another new frontier in cosmetic science – biotech beauty. It proved a controversial topic as many in our community felt that using lab-grow plant molecules as 'natural' cosmetic ingredients was a step too far. Listen in and use this episode as a primer to another new branch of science that could open up a revolution in cosmetic ingredients - or perhaps give us more to worry about?
8 minutes | Oct 13, 2022
EP130. History shows that everyone can formulate
You may not have loved history lessons at school, but there is plenty to love about the history of cosmetic formulation. It shows that everyone can become a natural cosmetic formulator and be part of our millennia-old birthright to make our own beauty products at home whether for ourselves or to start a new career or small business. Making skincare is not a recent phenomenon. The vast global beauty industry is a newcomer at just under 200 years old. Well before lab scientists in white coats featured in cosmetics’ advertising came thousands of years of home formulation dating back at least to Ancient Egyptian times. Following her interview with Geoffrey Jones, Isidor Straus Professor of Business History at Harvard Business School and author of Beauty Imagined – A History of the Global Beauty Industry, podcast host and Formula Botanica CEO Lorraine Dallmeier highlights in this episode events in cosmetic history that show humankind had the inherent skills to formulate cosmetics. This Green Beauty Opinion takes you on a brief journey through the centuries to show you that it is time to bring cosmetic formulation home. Listen in to hear how history shows us that everyone can formulate.
24 minutes | Oct 6, 2022
EP129. The history of the beauty industry
What can history possibly teach us about the modern-day beauty industry? As it happens, there is a quite a lot. The lives of early beauty industry pioneers alone hold clues to how we have arrived at today's global cosmetic industry. There are parallels, for example, between how those early-20th century industry personalities started their businesses and the indie beauty founders of today; word-of-mouth marketing of a century ago and social media marketing of today are similar in their aims. Fueled by a desire to unearth the secrets of today's phenomenally-successfully global beauty industry and discover indie beauty's place in it, Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier read dozens of books on the sector. One in particular stood out for its sheer depth and breadth of analysis of how the past continues to shapes the beauty sector today. In this podcast episode, Lorraine interviews Geoffrey Jones, author of Beauty Imagined: A History of the Global Beauty Industry, who is Isidor Straus Professor of Business History at the Harvard Business School. Listen in for some fascinating insights into, among other topics, the myths, lies and makeup that helped shaped the modern beauty industry we know today.
8 minutes | Sep 29, 2022
EP128. Indie beauty can change your life
Never has the barrier to entry to becoming a skincare formulator and starting your own beauty business been so low. Yet, with all the social media hype and hustle, we can get distracted by news of the indie beauty brand personalities who raise millions in funding and then sell their businesses to mainstream brands, and decide it’s all too overwhelming to think about. It is easy to lose sight of what formulating your own natural, organic skincare is all about – from learning a new, empowering skill to changing your life in ways that don’t necessarily mean becoming a superstar beauty entrepreneur. In this opinion short, Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier talks about how indie beauty can empower you if you take the leap to learn to formulate. She urges us to go at our own pace and on our own terms without the pressure of comparisonitis. Don't wait for permission to start; just give it a go. Be the person you are meant to be. Create a natural beauty business that you shape and own and discover just how positive a life-changing experience it can be.
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