MADRID – A Spanish start-up cosmetic company aims to create jobs and respect the environment.
Gerard Prat and David Hart, entrepreneurs and managers of Saigu cosmetic company, told EFE: “We intend to be the most respectful of the environment, although we are a young start-up and we are learning in the process of what we are doing.”
The company, which started operating fully in March currently has five collaborators apart from the two founders and is based in Barcelona.
In the European Union, the sector of cosmetics and perfumery is the fifth market, with seven billion euros of consumption, according to data from Spain’s National Association of Perfumery and Cosmetics.
“We work with natural products from the Mediterranean area, that is, proximity because we intend to avoid transport emissions,” Prat, who is a chemist, said.
He added that “it is impossible to work with all natural ingredients” but they try “everything that is in our hands, such as essential oils and everything that is derived from water, which come from Catalonia or the Mediterranean.”
“The idea is to seek proximity alternatives, which are more controlled in Europe,” he added.
He said in the area of pigments they have more difficulties “when we pretend to be a natural brand, because the dyes are now of mineral origin, which are not sustainable or renewable, what we are investigating with seaweed dyes and natural pigments.”
They have replaced pigment disperser and a palm oil derivative from China “with a derivative of thistle oil that comes from Sicily (Italy) and is hand picked,” Prat said.
“An important ingredient in both lipstick and in makeup,” he added.
They are looking for sustainable cultivation plants in Europe, something they have tried with chamomile in Menorca, Hart explained.
They also use rosemary harvested in the mountains, olive and sunflower oil from Spain, wild thistle, essential oils and rice wax.
The coconut oil they use is purchased from sustainable plantations in tropical areas, Prat said.
“Nor do we use synthetic products, only a small amount in the mask (0.6%) and makeup (0.8%) to ensure the safety of those who apply them,” but everything else is natural, he added
Hart said they try to minimize the use of plastic in their products and packaging and are considering using wood for lipstick containers, with the possibility of refilling them.
They have designed a makeup container made of glass and Spanish sustainable wood.
“We are going much further than many companies in sustainability, with manual packaging, less energy consumption and less plastic,” Hart added.