Indie Pioneers Episode 18

PODCAST – I predict a riot: Founder of Organic Riot on the hard truths about sustainability

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

PODCAST – I predict a riot: Founder of Organic Riot on the hard truths about sustainability

Related tags indie pioneers podcast Sustainability Skin care

In this episode of Indie Pioneers, we chat with the founder of New Zealand brand Organic Riot about his valiant efforts in furthering the sustainable beauty movement and discuss some hard truths about what it means to be a sustainable and ethical beauty brand.

Organic Riot debut on the since in 2019 after four years in development. Founder Siddharth Somaiya, who was formerly working in the speciality chemicals line, decided to start his own brand to champion his vision of sustainable beauty.

“I wanted to make sure that I could give millions of people in the world access to safe and effective skin care that is, most importantly, accessibly priced. The only way you can really make a change is if you have millions of people buying your products,” ​said Somaiya.

He told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​ that the journey to launching Organic Riot was arduous but taught him a lot about what it means to be a sustainable and ethical brand.

“I don't know if it's a good thing or bad thing, but what I've realised is there is no silver bullet to sustainability. It’s too complicated and the only thing a brand can do is be as transparent as possible so that the consumer can make the decision as to if it is sustainable enough for them or not.”

Somaiya believes the beauty industry is still at the start of the sustainable journey and that brands will have to completely change their mindset in order to be truly sustainable.

“In the past, brands would have to launch with 100 SKUs to be able to run a sustainable business. But in today's world where you have data in your fingers, you probably won't have to launch that many products, which means that your impact on unnecessary plastic, unnecessary paper and unnecessary waste is going to be less.”

While the brand has been advised to launch more SKUs to bulk up its lean portfolio of products, Somaiya said he prefers to develop fewer products with more than one benefit or function.

“We want to make our products as multifunctional as possible so that you don't have to buy 500 products. The way I think of it is that we are actually not salesmen, but we are sweepers and we're sweeping all the clutter off of your shelf.”

He said that it has become imperative for beauty brands to scrutinise their impact on the environment.

“If you're not being sustainable, you don't deserve to be launching anything right now. This may sound harsh, but there's so much nonsense out there in the world, not just in beauty but in general. If you're not being sustainable you literally should not be launching anything right now.”

To learn more about Siddharth and Organic Riot, check out the podcast above or on Apple Podcasts​.


Registration for Circular beauty - Sustainable sourcing | Green chemistry | Eco-design now open

Registration for our free-to-attend webinar is now open​, with the important option of sending your ‘burning questions’ for us to ask the panellists on the day.

Join us as we take a deep dive into circular beauty’s past, present and future – a conversation not to be missed!

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