in-cosmetics Korea 2019

Zero waste hero: Res Pharma Industriale scores top prize in Korea for recycled silk protein ingredient

By Amanda Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

Res Pharma Industriale has scooped the Functional Ingredient Gold Award at in-cosmetics Korea for its sustainable silk protein, Moripure Silk Aqua, which is derived from textile wastewater. ©GettyImages
Res Pharma Industriale has scooped the Functional Ingredient Gold Award at in-cosmetics Korea for its sustainable silk protein, Moripure Silk Aqua, which is derived from textile wastewater. ©GettyImages
Res Pharma Industriale has scooped the Functional Ingredient Gold Award at in-cosmetics Korea for its sustainable silk protein, Moripure Silk Aqua, which is derived from textile wastewater.

The development of Moripure Silk Aqua was part of the company’s desire to expand on its sustainability efforts and produce a solution to water scarcity, said Paolo Siragusa, innovation manager, Res Pharma Industriale.

“Water is the most important part of the cosmetic industry; it is blue gold. Sustainability will continue to be a key topic and water will be at the center of it. People now realise we need to save the water for the next generations.”

Transforming waste

The company eventually discovered a solution outside of the cosmetics industry.

“The textile industry wastes away tonnes of water that is what we call active water. It’s full of ingredients in it, so we found a way to recover this water, purify it and offer to the cosmetics market,”​ said Siragusa.

Moripure Silk Aqua is a purified form of the by-products of the silk degumming process, which are rich in sericin.

“The silkworm’s cocoon is made out of two proteins: fibroin and sericin. Sericin is thrown out with the waste but it is very interesting for cosmetics. It has moisturising and anti-pollution properties because it is part of the cocoon that protects the silkworm from its environment,” ​explained Siragusa.

In-vitro tests have shown that sericin has anti-tyrosinase and anti-elastase effect which improves skin radiance and has anti-ageing effects.

Siragusa added that by using Moripure Aqua, a formulation can technically be considered waterless.

“If you are using this water, you are using recycled water, not new water. So technically you can use it to create ‘waterless’ formulations. The best part is that it is so rich in proteins. It’s a solvent with hidden actives.”

Aside from Moripure Silk Aqua, the Moripure range also consists of Moripure Sericin, a glycerine-based gel, and Moripure Powder, a pure sericin with texturising properties perfect for make-up applications.

A sustainable future

Siragusa added that the company will continue to develop products that “underline sustainability”,​ even though it will not be easy to develop a truly sustainable and effective product.

According to him, it took the company three years to develop the entire Moripure Range.

“This project on silk came after three years in development -- that’s a long process. We had to find supply chain partners and that was not easy. It was the first time that we really got involved in such a big supply chain project.”

During this time, it established an internal committee to oversee the sustainability of all the company’s projects.

“To us, sustainability means we need to be transparent. It was important for us to have a dedicated team use their parameters and evaluate the sustainability before we carry out the projects,” ​said Siragusa.

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