Today we interview Sarah Gibbs, co founder of Trilogy, advanced natural skincare.
How did you and your sister Catherine go about developing the Trilogy range?
It all started with rose hip oil. We discovered the properties of rose hip oil with the manufacturing business I had and we found it was a fantastic skin regenerating product. We saw we really should be formulating with this.
Did either/both of you work in the skin care industry before you started the company?
I had in terms of ingredient supply. I ran the ingredient manufacturing company that my father owned. Cath was a fashion beauty journalist.
What do you love most about your work?
The ability to be so creative. We can sit down with a pen and a clean sheet of paper and come up with an idea and see it through to fruition. It's about creating. That's what's exciting if you look at it from my perspective but everyone would be different.
What are the most commonly asked questions you get about your products?
‘How natural are they' is the hot topic of the moment. Customers are so confused about what natural and organic means these days. So the hot question is ‘how natural and how organic are your products?'
‘How do they compare to traditional thinking' would be the other big question. To answer that we use 100% natural actives but we do use a synthetic preservative and we're happy to do that from a safety perspective. We're very attractive, functionally, to traditional thinking. There's a big shift towards making more natural choices in everything that we do. That goes for everything. It's a great alternative to what's been happening in the past.
Do you know of any other skin care range that use rose hip in such an all-embracing way?
Actually we don't anymore. When we started the first certified products we do were the closest but in actual fact probably two thirds of our range now doesn't focus on rose hip oil but other natural actives. The new age proof range for example has marula as the active ingredient. But yeah there are other ranges that use rose hip oil. I think Weleda have one, Barefoot Botanicals are another that have a rose hip focus. Even in everyday [conventional] skin care products will have a rose hip content; perhaps not as high as ours.
Where do you source your rose hip oil from?
We source our seeds and oil from two sources - one in Africa and the second in Chile. So we're buying them from both continents actually. They're certified organic from seeds to bottle.
Favourite product in the range?
Aaahhh that's so hard. It appeals on what my needs are. I guess I always have Everything Balm with me but I can't get out of bed without hydrating toner.
Best thing you've heard about one of your products or your company?
That's even harder. We get so much feedback every single day from all around the world. On our website there are dozens of them. We've posted our favourites on our website. Literally we get them all day everyday.
What is your favourite organic brand excluding your own?
I really like Today Was Fun. It's a fantastic tea brand that's carbon neutral and organic. I love that tea. We don't have it down under but it's always stood out in my mind as being absolutely sensational across the board.
"Maximum effect on your skin, minimum effect on our environment" (Trilogy's mantra) Can beautifying ourselves save the planet?
The thing we're really mindful of at Trilogy is that this category does involve packaging, it does involve manufacturing - there's no getting away from that. Hence why we have a minimum effect on the environment as part of our mantra because we are aware that we do have an impact on the environment. So can beautifying ourselves save the planet? Not simply no.
Who's your eco role model?
I still say Anita Roddick, mainly from an animal testing stance. She really does stand out. It sounds odd but I also like what Richard Branson is doing in terms of biofuels. He's looking at it comprehensively rather than in isolation. He's impressive that guy even though he runs an airline he's going to be leading the way in terms of how we develop biofuels.
You were first company in Australasia to be certified carbon neutral and use fully recycled packaging - do you have any eco-focused activities moving forward?
We would like to in the future give back in a recycling sense rather than recycling downwards. How could we be recycling upwards, I think that's the next charge for us and the next charge for everyone. We have to make it into a better thing. I think that's how we're evolving. There is always more to do on sustainability and traceability. Always. We can never let that down given that agriculture is a moving thing.
From an environmental perspective how do you envision the world in 30 years time?
30 years time? Naturally I'm an optimist so I've got to be optimistic. But there are big chunks of the world that aren't on board which is really worrying. I think some cultures will be forced by legislation to do things, which I think is perfect - that's what we should be doing. Some will be forced to come in to line but others won't. Maybe I'm a bit more of a realist on that than an optimist.
What are your predictions for the organic beauty market?
The future couple will know what they're shopping for. It will be like they're buying food. I think that will be happening really soon. It's already happening but it will become a mainstream way of buying skin care.
Natural will be successful if it's functional. The functionality aspect in beauty has got to be there and natural skin care products compete now. They will continue to grow; I think it will outgrow traditional techniques. The world will continue towards making more natural and organic choices, particularly if they become more educated.