re/sources: everything you need to know about sustainability

WeWhoDo sat down with Eva Lagarde, founder of re/sources, to discuss how she is creating a sustainability 101 course for industry decision makers.

Where did the idea come from?

EVA: The idea for re/sources came during the first lockdown last year. I had been working in the beauty industry for 15 years and had a good idea of how to help businesses with sustainability. I’d worked in content and media and knew how good B2B news works. However, with the removal of in-person events and conferences for the foreseeable, there was a clear gap in the market from 2020 onwards. This made me think I could be the one to come up with the solution.

The current situation in the beauty industry is that sustainability is no longer an option, and access to neutral, fact-checked information, and implementable solutions are often unreliable or confusing.  At re/sources,  we decided to build a service to offer innovative content in an interactive way. This will eventually include video interviews, quizzes and a blend of different content.

Our aim is to help marketing, product development, R&D, and innovations directors take control, and equip them with the knowledge to do so in just 5 modules of online classes. As decision makers, it can be difficult to feel like you understand the climate around you, so re/sources aims to make it digestible and simple enough to understand, but also with an appreciation of the bigger picture. I am not trying to tell people how to act, but ultimately giving them the tools to ask the right questions and be activists. 

How has it been launching during a global pandemic? 

EVA:In some ways, I think it has been easier because it has given me more time to focus. I am lucky that I already had a very good network in the beauty sustainability space. However, it has been harder as I haven’t been able to actually see the network and get my product out physically into the world. But – I am optimistic that we’ll all be able to meet again soon!

Why is sustainability personally important to you?

EVA:I think my interest in sustainability started when I was a child. My grandparents owned a dairy farm in France, and I spent my childhood summers there, probably until I was about 18… from spending so much time there, I saw first-hand how important the natural world is. Unlike a lot of dairy farms, my grandparents were really ethical in their approach, and a lot of their work was done by manually – despite having over 200 cows!

As an adult, I define myself as an activist and I am always the first to think about the environmental impact of what I am doing. 

Where do you see re/sources growing?

EVA: At the moment, I am still refining the programme, but the eventual aim would be for all major marketing directors to have taken the re/sources programme!  Although marketing sometimes has a bad reputation, marketing is about changing the way people think and act, and has a lot of power in it. If marketing is able to pave the way for change, perhaps consumer behaviour will also start to shift.

When we are able to meet again, I would like to hold dedicated workshops for re/sources subscribers and really nurture a sense of community and expertise with what we’re doing. 

What do you think are the best and worst sustainable beauty trends at the moment?

EVA:I think the refillable trend is very interesting in beauty (e.g. refillable shampoo bottles or skincare tubs). This is interesting because if it is done correctly, it could really revolutionize the way we use our products and materials. 

However, the problem is that this is easier for some products than it is for others, and I’m not sure whether the consumer is ready for it. Also, a lot of consumers are not educated about how to use these reusable materials correctly and therefore their impact is limited. 

In contrast, one trend that needs to disappear is the use of ‘Zero waste’. Whilst in principle, it sounds great, it is another example of greenwashing. We must accept that anything new that you create is inherently wasteful (and therefore not zero waste): nothing really can be.

You can find out more information about re/sources here.

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