Biodiversity boom: Clariant highlights South East Asia's rich natural ingredients potential

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

South East Asia holds huge opportunities for natural cosmetic ingredients due to its unique ecosystem and rich biodiversity. ©GettyImages
South East Asia holds huge opportunities for natural cosmetic ingredients due to its unique ecosystem and rich biodiversity. ©GettyImages
South East Asia holds huge opportunities for natural cosmetic ingredients due to its unique ecosystem and rich biodiversity, according to Clariant, which believes it is only 'scratching the surface' of the region's vast untapped potential.

The company inked a deal with Indonesian cosmetics manufacturer Martina Berto last year to expand its portfolio of natural ingredients from the region.

“South East Asia contains a fifth of the planet’s vertebrate and plant species and has the world’s third-largest tropical forest. In the last two decades, more than 2,000 new species were found here,” ​said Sergio Manzano, business development manager naturals, Clariant.

Exploring Indonesia

“With Martina Berto, we now have access to a region with the fourth richest plant diversity in the world – Indonesia and its fifth largest island Java – to boost our offering of ‘Origins’ natural personal care ingredients,”​ said Manzano.

The Plantasens-Berto range was introduced at in-cosmetics Global this year.

It features twelve 100% natural exotic extracts of local fruits and herbs from SEA which traditionally have cosmetic, medicinal and culinary uses.

“Their benefits range from whitening and moisturising effects, to powerful antioxidant and anti-ageing properties for formulations,”​ explained Manzano.

Manzano believes the company has barely scratched the surface in terms of ingredients.

“The partnership with Martina Berto gives Clariant customers access to the 30,000 plant species of the legendary land of a thousand islands, of which 40% are rare and unique specimens that can’t be found anywhere else.

“We are excited by the opportunity this presents to uncover more potential ingredients with inspiring stories for our personal care customers.”

Sustainability a priority

Manzano expressed that Clariant placed the utmost importance on sourcing ingredients sustainably.

“Martina Berto belongs to the Martha Tilaar Group, whose sustainable and ethical approach to business was a key factor in our decision to partner with them.”

He added that the company was even recognised by the United Nations for its leadership in sustainability.

In fact, their sustainability leadership has been explicitly recognised by the UN.

“The sustainable operating pillars that Tilaar’s beauty group and natural ingredient branch rest on include Green Beauty, Empowering Women, and Beauty Education. Following these principles, Martina Berto builds partnerships with local communities to promote biodiversity conservation, supply chain transparency and economic sharing.”

Manzano added that Clariant was committed to learning from the experiences and contributions of partners like Martina Berto.

He said the company would use the opportunities to develop its own global approach to responsible and sustainable sourcing that protects people, habitats and biodiversity.

Boosting ‘Origins’ products

Clariant’s Origin products are ‘one of the main pillars’ ​of the company’s naturals platform and the ingredients are sold under the company’s Plantasens brand.

“Origins celebrates the wealth of global biodiversity and the magic of local roots, complemented by transparent sourcing and responsible cultivation, to provide fascinating narratives and the product-enhancing allure we understand today’s personal care brands are keen to embrace and share with consumers,” ​said Manzo.

He added that the portfolio was constantly being expanded with new ingredients from new locations.

Apart from its partnership with Martina Berto, Clariant has partnerships with local partners in Brazil, Korea, Africa and in the Mediterranean.

“[They] open up access to a whole new world of exotic biomes and age-old plant knowledge,”​ said Manzano.

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