L’Oréal and Quinoa Husk
L’Oréal launches a sustainable quinoa husk sourcing programme.
L’Oréal has developed a partnership in Bolivia for the sustainable sourcing of quinoa husk for cosmetics use. With this partnership, L’Oréal is providing three types of support for sustainable production of the quinoa real variety :
- Support for training local farmers on best agricultural practices
- Preventing erosion by planting native local legumes, bushes and herbaceous plants.
- Transfer of scientific knowledge and expertise between L’Oréal and its local partners.
To make this programme a success, L’Oréal has joined forces with three partners, each bringing its own unique expertise: Andean Valley, a Bolivian company which works directly with quinoa growers; Proinpa, a Bolivian foundation which promotes the conservation and responsible use of natural resources in Bolivia; and EcoTerra, a responsible importer. This partnership will provide long-term benefits to 250 quinoa growers and their families in the Uyuni and Potosi regions of Bolivia.
Quinoa husk was previously considered to be waste and therefore it wasn’t used. Thus, the sourcing strategy of L’Oréal and its partners has created a new opportunity for the cultivation of this plant. Quinoa husk contains saponins and polyphenols which make it an interesting renewable cosmetic ingredient. L’Oréal researchers have proven exfoliating properties of the quinoa husk extract, and a green chemistry based extraction method has been developed by Chimex, a L’Oréal subsidiary which specialises in designing and developing eco-responsible processes.
This sustainable sourcing project is part of L’Oréal’s sustainability programme Sharing Beauty With All. One of the programme’s objectives is for 100% of the group’s products to offer environmental or social benefits by 2020. By the end of 2014, 46% of the raw materials used by L’Oréal were already of renewable origin – a total of 1,400 ingredients from nearly 300 plant species in over 60 countries.