Founded in 2018, Forestwise has an office in the Netherlands and production facilities in Sintang, West Kalimantan, Indonesia.
The refined, bleached, and deodorised (RBD) version of its Illipe butter is response to manufacturers’ demand for an ingredient that has little impact on the fragrance, colour, and the overall formulation of products.
“RBD Illipe butter contains only a negligible amount of free fatty acids, hence minimising any possible chemical reactions with other ingredients in formulations. This allows manufacturers to use the emollient ingredient in formulations where the natural odour and colour of crude Illipe butter can be a problem, such as face creams, night creams, lip balms, and lipsticks,” said Dirk-Jan Oudshoorn, Founder and CEO, Forestwise.
The company believes Illipe butter can cater to the consumer demand for more sustainable beauty products.
“Sustainable beauty is a huge trend that is driving the demand for Illipe butter. In particular, consumers are growing increasingly eco-conscious, as they look for beauty products that… contribute to global sustainability efforts,” said Oudshoorn.
Additionally, the company ensures to offer full traceability for its ingredients.
“Consumers are now paying closer attention to responsible practices behind the products they use. In turn, companies are announcing new efforts to engage in ethical sourcing practices in a bid to prove that they uphold human rights and fair trade,” said Oudshoorn
It currently contracts over 700 farmers in 27 different villages in Borneo to collect Illipe nuts.
"We have an agreement with the villages in Borneo, where we will continue to purchase Illipe nuts from local farmers in exchange for the villagers’ commitment to not cut down the endangered Shorea Stenoptera trees. This arrangement encourages personal ownership over the rainforest, further protecting it from monoculture plantation practices,” said Oudshoorn.
By working with Forestwise, an Illipe nut collector is able to earn an additional income that is 6 times his average monthly salary, within two months.
"Taking into account the Illipe nut’s three-year growing season, this works out to a 17% increase in annual income for the farmers, which has helped to fund their education and home improvement needs," said Oudshoorn.
Potential in Asia
Despite the demand for sustainable, ethical and traceable ingredients, Oudshoorn told CosmeticsDesign-Asia that the company met with resistance from Asian manufacturers because of the strong odour of crude Illipe Butter.
With the odourless and colourless version, the firm expects the be able to meet the formulation demands from said manufacturers.
“We are expecting high demand from Asian manufacturers, specifically, those in Japan and South Korea. These manufacturers showed great interest in including Illipe butter in their formulations previously but were deterred by the strong odour of crude Illipe butter,” said Oudshoorn.
In addition, the company plans to demonstrate the abilities of RBD Illipe butter by introducing its own line of consumer products within the next six months.
Oudshoorn revealed that the product line will feature several skin care products that are formulated with RBD and crude Illipe butter, and other rainforest ingredients.
"Having our own line of consumer products… also enables us to embark on our own R&D projects with other ingredients that the rainforest has to offer. Our cosmetic brand will also serve to give other manufacturers more confidence in the efficacy and quality of our ingredients, thus encouraging them to include Forestwise’s ingredients in their product formulations."