This Earth Day, YSL Beauty Reaffirms Its Commitment to Sustainability with the Advancement of the Ourika Community Gardens
In honour of Earth Day, YSL Beauty is paying tribute to its Ourika Community Gardens in the Atlas Mountains region of Morocco. This innovative undertaking, which was originally started in 2013, has developed over the years, leading to several growing and botanical research areas.
A POSITIVE IMPACT ON BIODIVERSITY: MORE THAN 200 SPECIES TOGETHER IN ONE PLACE
The landscaped garden is divided into three separate areas. The first area comprises 64 growing patches which produce and harvest plants used in YSL Beauty products. The second area, called the "botanical collection,” serves as a test area to experiment with new ingredients. Lastly, the "heritage" area pays tribute to Yves Saint Laurent and his passion for flowers through the cultivation of 12 key plants and flowers. Overall, the garden boasts more than 200 botanical species, along with an experimental and observation laboratory, to continue research and innovation for use in YSL Beauty products. Since the project’s inception in 2013, this unique space has been home to a series of remarkable bounties, including the continual saffron harvest for the launch of Or Rouge since 2013, the harvest of Marigold for Touche Éclat, and walnut leaf for the Top Secrets range, pomegranate for Rouge Volupté Shine and the launch of Pure Shots range with iris, mallow, barbary fig and moonlight cactus since 2018.
“The mission of the Ourika Community Gardens is to observe, cultivate and protect nature to enhance all that it offers,” says Stephan Bezy, International General Manager, Yves Saint Laurent Beauty. “Building on the legacy of M. Yves Saint Laurent, this project renews the brand’s promise of enchantment by developing an innovative and socially responsible programme connected to the earth.”
FROM SEED TO SKIN: A FUTURE-FORWARD APPROACH TO INGREDIENTS
YSL Beauty embraces a long-term approach to research, creation, and innovation. By creating its first garden devoted to growing cosmetic ingredients, YSL Beauty has adopted an innovative approach to research with a space entirely dedicated to botanical science.
“At the Ourika Community Gardens, every ingredient is selected, grown, harvested sustainably, and carefully extracted to meet the strictest standards” says Caroline Nègre, International Scientific Director, Yves Saint Laurent Beauty.
This long-term commitment has yielded significant results for the brand:
– As of 2020, more than 12 million of YSL Beauty’s product units contained at least one ingredient from the Ourika Community Gardens.
– In 2021, the gardens provide 15 exclusive sustainably sourced ingredients
– In 2025, 100% of the brand’s new launches will include at least one ingredient from the Gardens.
Moreover, although the brand had already organically grown its plants for several years, in 2020 it decided to go a step further by committing to an organic certification process.
ACTING NOW FOR TOMORROW: AN OASIS OF SUSTAINABLE BEAUTY CULTIVATED BY WOMEN
In addition to its environmental contributions, the Ourika Community Gardens are also a human adventure, supporting women’s entrepreneurship and financial independence. This unprecedented social programme strives to promote the skills and ancestral craftsmanship of local communities while creating job opportunities for a cooperative of 32 women; over the past five years, in particular, the work of these women has evolved and diversified to include encourage them to expand their skill-set, including not only the work in the garden itself but also the management of production nurseries, the sale of grains, teas and biscuits, and even cooking classes for tourists. To support this work, YSL Beauty seeks to ensure the fair payment of these women by guaranteeing a minimum price based on the purchase price, together with a development bonus.
The goal for tomorrow is to further develop the virtuous cycle of this experimental and iconic space by continuing to encourage and stimulate those who cultivate the earth so that they may reap all they have sown. The strength of these gardens lies in their ability to transform, to dare, and to cultivate change.