Ambitious global program marks a new era for the leading luxury beauty brand, which has also revamped its wider sustainability platform
Today, in the lead-up to Earth Day, YSL Beauty has announced a global program called REWILD OUR EARTH, in partnership with global NGO Re:wild, reflecting its broader commitment to making a positive impact on the planet and its people. The Rewild Our Earth program aims to protect and restore 100,000 hectares by 2030––a surface area that is almost 10 times the size of Paris––and to safeguard biodiversity in priority areas affected by climate change where YSL Beauty’s ingredients are sourced. Inspired by the brand’s longstanding involvement in Morocco’s Ourika Valley with the innovative Ourika Community Gardens initiative, this project is inscribed within the brand’s new sustainability platform, known as ‘Change the Rules, Change the Future’. This revamped vision has 3 key pillars: (1) Reduce Our Impact; (2) Rewild Our Earth; and (3) Abuse Is Not Love.
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Rewild Our Earth: A Long-Term Initiative to Protect and Restore the Wild
A commitment to the Earth lies at the heart of the YSL Beauty brand, inspired by the legacy of Mr. Saint Laurent, a nature lover who drew inspiration from the natural wonders of Morocco throughout his career. Since the 2013 introduction of the innovative Ourika Community Gardens project in Morocco, the brand has worked on restoring at-risk environments and has helped to empower local communities for nearly a decade. In 2021, the brand affirmed its commitment as part of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Now, with the launch of ‘Rewild Our Earth’, YSL Beauty will work in partnership with Re:wild, a world-renowned non-governmental organization that works across 188 conservation areas in 89 countries to protect and restore biodiversity and to advance ecological restoration globally. For 2022, this program will focus specifically on the launch of “rewilding” programs in priority areas for biodiversity where the brand sources product ingredients. Rewilding is an innovative approach to conservation based on a progressive effort to enable natural processes, repair damaged ecosystems, and restore degraded landscapes; in other words, to better let nature take care of itself.
For 2022, ‘Rewild Our Earth’ will focus on the following priority areas:
1. The Ourika Valley, Morocco, is a region where the brand cultivates a range of ingredients (such as pomegranate, marshmallow, iris, jasmine, walnut, and saffron), and which lies at the heart of YSL Beauty’s sustainability strategy.
The Ourika Community Gardens was started in 2013 as a socially responsible program connected to the Earth––living proof of the brand’s commitment to sustainability. Today, at this remarkable site that is home to more than 200 plant species, the brand continues to help empower communities of women to better their autonomy through a co-created co-operative. Beyond the Gardens, YSL Beauty has also worked more broadly throughout the Ourika Valley region since 2017 to plant trees and restore arid land, so far planting over 125,000 trees in an area whose primary ecological risk is rising temperatures, deforestation, and frequent natural disasters.
2. Haiti, linked with vetiver sourcing (an ingredient used in YSL Beauty’s L’Homme & La Nuit de L’Homme, as well as in historical fragrances such as Opium).
Haiti is experiencing an ecological crisis fueled by floods and landslides: the primary forest cover has shrunk from 60% in the 1920s to less than 1% today. This remaining land is a biodiversity hotspot that is home to an astonishing diversity of wildlife, much of which occur nowhere else. Without adequate trees to stabilize the sloping terrain, the country’s population living downstream is being put in danger by these floods and landslides, creating a disastrous feedback loop of poverty and deforestation, fueled by climate change. The brand’s priority is to help save and manage the remaining important forests of Bois Pangnol, and the essential habitats and species within.
3. Madagascar, linked with vanilla and geranium sourcing (ingredients used in YSL Beauty’s Black Opium, Libre, Le Vestiaire des Parfums, and Y).
In Madagascar, the world’s largest Oceanic island and a critical area for sustainability, widespread deforestation has compromised an important remaining forest link between two regions containing key biodiversity areas: Analamanga and Alaotra Mangoro. The protected area of Anjozorobe Angavo is a remaining primary forest corridor, harboring 558 species of plants, 9 species of lemurs, 34 species of amphibians, 36 species of reptiles, and 75 species of birds. YSL Beauty is supporting the restoration of this corridor through collaboration between both authorities and communities, including a robust site monitoring program to ensure ecosystem health. The target of this program is to restore 400,000 trees by 2023.
4. Indonesia, linked with patchouli sourcing (ingredients used in fragrances such as YSL Beauty’s Mon Paris, Black Opium and Le Vestiaire de Parfums).
Described as the ‘freshwater Galapagos’, the lakes and surrounding areas of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi are home to some of the most unique sets of flora and fauna in the world. However, in recent years, the level of threat to this ecosystem has increased dramatically with overdevelopment in the area. These lakes are surrounded by largely unexplored forests, which support vibrant animal populations and act as watersheds that provide clean water and help to regulate the local climate; in other words, saving the lakes requires saving their forests. YSL Beauty’s objective in supporting this area is to reduce the impact of invasive species on the endemic species of the lakes (restoring more than 16,000 hectares of Lake Matano), while also working with forest-edge communities to manage, protect, and restore 30,000 hectares of forests.
Change the Rules, Change the Future: An Ambitious Sustainability Platform that Prioritizes People and Planet
YSL Beauty is committed to enacting positive change in the world, focusing on both people and the planet. The brand has made new sustainability commitments and renewed its sustainability platform, which includes three key pillars. In addition to Rewild Our Earth, these include Reducing Our Impact and Abuse Is Not Love.
– Reducing Our Impact addresses transitions towards low carbon and circular economies and establishes targets that are in line with the latest climate science. From sourcing and formulation, to packaging, manufacturing, transport, point of sale, and end of life use, YSL Beauty is committed to drastically reducing its environmental footprint. Through prioritizing bio-based ingredients (70% by 2023); investing in recyclable, rechargeable materials with lighter packaging (100% eco-designed and recyclable, with virgin plastics phased out by 2030); transitioning to 100% carbon-neutral French factories in 2022; training and upskilling 100% of our beauty teams in sustainability, social impact, and consumer transparency; and ensuring retail and merchandising is 100% eco-designed, Reducing Our Impact is ambitiously targeting every aspect of the business to ensure goals are met.
– Abuse Is Not Love is a global program to prevent and fight against intimate partner violence through prevention programming with non-profit partners, with the objective to create a dialogue on abusive behaviors and offer support to partners on the ground. Today the program exists in 20 countries and has already educated over 130,000 people on the warning signs of abuse through NGO prevention programming. Through internal training, partner and NGO support and evidence-based thought leadership, the program aims to educate 2 million people by 2030.
For YSL Beauty, this platform marks a new era of sustainability that will define the beauty of the future. Moving forward, the brand’s focus will be on continuing to harness innovation to unlock new possibilities––from how the brand makes its product, to the overarching impact it will have on the world.
Source: YSL Beauty