Last month, international beauty mogul Natura &Co became a founding member of the WaterBear Network alongside photography major Nixon Europe. The Dutch eco video streaming platform was founded to publish free, informative and inspiring content around environmental issues. As part of its partnership with the network, Natura &Co had launched a dedicated video channel where it would showcase its own environmental and social ambitions worldwide. The two companies were currently working on an eco-documentary for the channel, set to go live soon.
CosmeticsDesign-Europe caught up with Marcelo Behar, VP of sustainability and group affairs at Natura &Co, to find out how important the partnership with WaterBear was for the beauty group and how it fitted into and complimented the company’s long-standing, wider sustainability goals.
Communicating the ‘seriousness’ of the climate crisis worldwide
“What we’ve been looking for, for quite a while, is how to present to a larger number of people everything Natura stands for,” Behar said.
Whilst the group had, of course, been heavily investing in traditional means of communication and consumer engagement for decades, he said the WaterBear partnership ramped efforts up a notch and extended reach to a wider audience.
“When I first heard about WaterBear I thought, finally, there is something we should engage with for many reasons,” he said.
The first reason for joining the network, he said, was to present Natura &Co’s global portfolio of brands – Natura, The Body Shop, Aesop and Avon – and their perspective on the climate crisis in an “efficient” and “sharp” way that revealed the “seriousness of the matter”.
In particular, the WaterBear network enabled Natura &Co to shed light and create global noise on what was happening to the Brazilian-based company’s native Amazon rainforest. “We’re seriously concerned about what’s going on with the Amazon. The forest is the biggest carbon removal for planet earth, at the same time it’s the biggest source of biodiversity and the richest on earth. And it’s reaching its tipping point where deforestation will not be able to be reversed unless we do something about it in the next few years.”
“…We wanted to have a louder voice about it, and WaterBear connects directly with young citizens all over the globe,” he said. “…WaterBear is the right vehicle to translate that message and explain how important the connection between nature, ourselves and the new economic model is.”
Shedding light on the importance of traditional communities
Secondly, Behar said Natura &Co being present on such a platform and publishing video content worldwide enabled it to better “spread the word” about its commitments to traditional community connections in Brazil and elsewhere worldwide – a founding principle of the group.
“When there was the UN conference on biodiversity in Brazil in 1992, the founders of the company understood there was something beyond the business to help, which was to really start building connections with the traditional communities that would allow biodiversity not only to be sponsored and supported by the company but be part of what we do and what we place in each jar.”
Natura &Co’s connection to its these communities would be the focus for its first eco-documentary on the WaterBear network, he said.
“What we’re trying to bring to life here is the idea that there is a different use for tropical forests than what we have been doing so far.” The documentary, Behar said, would trace the lives of a traditional community in Brazil working to find other possibilities for a tree on the verge of extinction, communicating the deep connection between people and biodiversity.
What this eco-documentary also aimed to achieve, he said, was shift consumers thinking around traditional communities. “The way especially North Western societies used to see [traditional communities] was always a little bit condescending (…) But with that, you don’t get the perspectives of the richness of their lives. Maybe they can be seen through a different lens, as the ones who are guarding a collective richness of nature which belongs to everyone.”