Matrix L'Oréal sustainability

Award win helps Matrix (and parent company L’Oréal) set their sights on sustainability


The beauty industry, along with food, has been leading the way in sustainability for many years. We’re a long way from being a more thoughtful and eco-friendly planet, but as consumers it’s up to us to ask more from the brands we love.

And some major companies may be taking note.

One big behemoth seeing the light is L’Oréal, with the help of their hair care line Matrix. Matrix, and it’s range of natural hair care, Biolage R.A.W, recently achieved silver status certification from Cradle to Cradle and the MBDC, which “partners with clients to provide scientific assessments and spur design innovation to create a world of good,” including to help bolster their sustainability efforts. This means the line lives up to a set of sustainability standards, including if a product is biodegradable and housed in recycled packaging.

Coming from such a major force in the beauty industry, I wanted to know more about what this meant for Matrix and the L’Oréal companies as a whole, so I emailed with Anne-Laure Sardais, the marketing director for Matrix Canada, who was able to speak on behalf of the brands.

See below for our conversation.

*What does this silver certification mean to Matrix Biolage?
We’re very proud of it because it means that we’ve accomplished something big and meaningful, to us, but more importantly, our planet. Cradle to Cradle certifies products that are developed to respect human and environmental health, designed for future use cycles, and that utilize clean energy and water throughout the supply chain. This overall silver certification really encompasses every aspect of our product’s value chain, from formulation to packaging and production. The best part is that by getting certified, we are committing to continuously improving and getting recertified every two years.

*How long has the R.A.W Nourish Shampoo and Conditioner been a part of the Matrix Biolage line? And what has been the response at the consumer level to this product?
R.A.W. is the newest addition to the Matrix Biolage line, having launched in Canada in October 2016. The consumer response has been great, because the professional results have not been sacrificed. The average consumer only sees value in a natural, sustainable product if it performs as well as or better than the products they’re used to. Knowing this going into the development of R.A.W., we set our standards high and challenged our labs to come up with natural origin formulas that met the highest standards of professional haircare.

“L’Oréal has a global “Sharing Beauty With All” sustainability program, which includes a commitment that 100 percent of its products will feature an environmental or social improvement by 2020.”


*What does working sustainably mean to Matrix Biolage?
To us, working sustainably is bigger than our formulation, our packaging, and our production. Working sustainably is ensuring that our product makes a larger impact even once the formula is used and the bottle is recycled—that’s why we are partnering with salons and engaging consumers to inspire them to reduce their environmental footprint along with us.

*Was working sustainably born out of innovation or consumer inquiry? Or both?
Both. We’ve seen a consumer shift towards a preference for more natural products, and we foresee the evolution of this trend leading to higher interest in sustainable products as well. Additionally, we’ve been able to make our labs and manufacturing facilities kinder to the planet through sustainable innovation. For example, at the lab level, we’ve identified ways to synthesize more and more ingredients from renewable, plant-based raw materials in fewer steps, resulting in low consumption of solvents and energy while reducing waste.

*If it hasn’t happened already, are there plans to introduce more sustainable ways of working throughout the company? Does this change that at all?
There are indeed! L’Oréal has a global “Sharing Beauty With All” sustainability program, which includes a commitment that 100 percent of its products will feature an environmental or social improvement by 2020. This Cradle to Cradle certification that Biolage R.A.W. Nourish has achieved demonstrates how L’Oréal’s focus on sustainability is driving its brands to innovate differently by prioritizing sustainability in the product development process, and we hope it will only inspire other brands to follow suit.

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