on skincare and sustainability in beauty
Stella by Stella McCartney
After a major hiatus in space, Stella McCartney is launching a new skincare brand, Stella, in a bid to bring a conscious alternative to beauty, says designer and activist Bazaar.
“When I launched my own skincare range in 2006, it was so ahead of its time that it was completely misunderstood. It didn’t really have the capacity to grow and stay because all the regulations were getting in the way. were pressing on the really dirty side of the business – so anything clean they couldn’t figure it out.Since then, “clean beauty” has seen both a boom and a backlash, but McCartney explains that, for her, it’s about consciousness. The Stella version? “Desirable products that really work and reflect my values and my commitment to living in harmony with nature.”
Revisiting skincare, which is unmistakably a form of self-care, was a natural progression for her brand, McCartney says. “Above all, I am a fashion designer. And now I’m a champion of all things, you know, “good” – which carries over to everything I do. I can be more of a politician some days than a designer. And I think it’s a wonderful time to be alive, hopefully, as we finally try to see our place on Earth, whether it’s in human rights, in animal rights, [or] in our own evolving well-being. For her, wellness isn’t about how something is marketed. “That’s when I’m a little disappointed with the way we are as salespeople – trying to package something up and sell it and shove it down someone’s throat. a slightly masked way.” It’s a question of values, she thinks. “This very ‘less but more’, a concise gathering of launch products [the Reset Cleanser, Alter-Care Serum and Restore Cream]; it’s my way of showing me how to love myself or take care of myself. She continues: “If I make this choice – to simplify my life, not to sell myself a lie and not to buy dirty business – then I already live a better life. And that makes me shine, in a way.”
The three refillable vegan products were created alongside the team at LVMH (its minority partners in the brand), and McCartney says that, in a way, Stella is the guinea pig for exploring the beauty space. sustainable by the company. Despite her simplistic spirit, the creation was a challenge, she explains.
“What were not issues?” she vents. “When you approach something in an unconventional way in life, you challenge the norm and you have to push the boundaries; you have to question and source in a whole different way. which we are where we are in the world, it’s because things are easy. And unfortunately, it’s damaging. So everything that is not easy is normally the right thing. It’s hard.”
For the formulations of the products, they decided to prohibit any ingredient not only in the event of suspicion of safety, but also in terms of pollutant potential. And for the packaging, they have developed a “unique” refill, which can be used alone. “There’s no other refill system you can shut off,” says McCartney, explaining that this not only means you can travel easily with the product, but it eliminates the need for a single-use pump. . “All other refill systems require the pump to be discarded as well, whereas [with this] you keep the pump”. In terms of distribution, the decision to ship rather than fly products to the United States (from France, where they are made) reduces the brand’s carbon footprint by more than a third. “Everything was a learning curve.”
McCartney admits that discussions of sustainability invite “the uncomfortable elephant in the room.” But frankly, it’s essential to be realistic about access to sustainability. “It’s more expensive to be kinder to the planet, to yourself and to its creatures. And so, almost no one on the planet has access to this word. And that’s a problem.
She hopes that by bringing her new products into the fold, she can try to reinforce sustainable beauty as the new normal and reduce costs, “so that when we have a regenerative sourced product, we can find it, and then it’s at a price point that then we can do something about it.” At the moment, she feels we’re caught in a vicious cycle, “so what I’m trying to do in my life of all days is to question and provide solutions; to try to make things happen”. With the greenwashing that is rampant in the field of beauty, it is the facts – not the fear – that we must “For me, it’s the most powerful way to learn and teach; I can only really learn by doing,” she says. “And I think people really sniff out bullshit, n ‘is this not.”
Stella by Stella McCartney is available to buy from September at stellamccartneybeauty.com and at the Stella McCartney UK flagship store on Old Bond Street, London. Available from Space NK from mid-September.