The wonder of waste: Thai natural skin care brand harnesses the power of food by-products

By Amanda Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

Thailand-based natural skin care brand Wabellas is incorporating ingredients made from food waste and helping locals generate income at the same time. ©Wabellas
Thailand-based natural skin care brand Wabellas is incorporating ingredients made from food waste and helping locals generate income at the same time. ©Wabellas
Thailand-based natural skin care brand Wabellas is incorporating ingredients made from food waste and helping locals generate income at the same time.

The search for value in local resources led Sriniang to discover the skin benefits of the local flora such as germ and seeds from jasmine rice, jambolan plum and tah koi pomelo.

With the help of a local institution, Nareasuan University, the brand has managed to turn the waste into valuable products.

Founder Phritchada Sriniang said: “We wanted to alter the unwanted resources from local productions such as rice germ, mango seeds, and pomelo peels. They mostly end up in the landfill but we felt like we could use those valuable resources for something else.”

Spreading the wealth

Additionally, the brand uses its influence to help the local community generate income.

According to Sriniang, the province is one of the top three providers of rice in Thailand and most of its population is employed in agriculture.

“We had an idea to help the community create jobs and put value on the local resources. We built a small micro-community enterprise to supply local ingredients and hire local labour.”

For instance, Sriniang said the company supplied locals with plants to give them an additional source of income.

“They can plant them up and sell the products from those plants to us. This is not only creating income for local people but also conserving local natural resources,”​ said Sriniang.

Sriniang said that Thai consumers were looking for more natural ingredients like herbs, which they believe are the ‘best skin food’.

“We have to accept that the Thai cosmetic market has changed. This affects the market since consumers are looking for something natural and with less chemicals.”

To keep up with the demand, Wabellas has to ensure it uses the best natural ingredients.

For instance, it extracts ingredients from organic jasmine rice and rice berry which it uses in its Treatment Serum.

“They are scientifically found to be, not only nutritionally valuable for health but also for skin. We organically ferment and extract it using our secret method to make our product more effective,” ​said Sriniang.

Planning to expand

The brand is available in retail outlets in its local province, Pichit, and online via its website, Facebook, Instagram and WeChat.

The company plans to expand overseas but Sriniang said they are still under development.

It has actively promoted its products in various markets overseas. This year, it attended Natural Products Expo West, a trade show in the US.

“We aim to expand our product to the US… is a very interesting market for us. We also plan to expand our product lines such as toner which is being experimented with,” ​she said.

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