By Alice Scott

Sustainability: What are we waiting for?
[ft. Annee de Mamiel]

Does 15th April 2019 mean anything to you?

This was the day that smoke billowed and the steeple toppled from the French national treasure, Notre-Dame. It’s an image we all remember. So much was its impact that, in less than 24 hours, €500 million had been pledged towards its repair by just three of France’s richest families.

Notre-Dame cathedral on fire


This story opened The French Chamber of Great Britain and Walpole’s London Luxury Think Tank this June. But in a year where it was revealed that we are not on track to meet our climate targets, and that the world is set to warm by 3oC by the end of this century, we ask:

Where is our Notre-Dame-esque urgency and solidarity when it comes to protecting the earth? Where is the story that sparks an urgency around change? And where does sustainability sit for luxury brands?

With over 200 luxury leaders in attendance, the Think Tank was the space for action. Luxury brands have the social, economic, environmental and even strategic motivation for change. We have modes and methods, like the UN’s Sustainability Development Goals, which provide a robust framework for change. So, what are we waiting for?

UN sustainability development goals chart

UN’s sustainability goals

As we take our small, sustainable steps for man at Delight, we’d like to celebrate our incredible client, Annee de Mamiel, who is not sitting still when it comes to protecting the people and our planet. Sustainability has always been a core part of Annee’s eponymous skincare brand, so we worked with her to thread her sustainable goals into her brand model and help her tell the stories which encourage us to question the lifecycle of our beauty products.

The de Mamiel commitment to the environment and a sustainable supply chain is embodied in Grandpa’s Morning Sheep Count:

It starts with the Kalahari farmers who face the vast force of acute climate change. As drought scorches the land, the farmers loose their food and livelihood. Introducing the Kalahari Melon; a resilient weed that withstands the toils of drought. African Origin Oils discovered the exceptional concentration of fatty acids and natural Vitamin E in the seeds and so turned this unwanted crop into the most sustainable cosmetic oil on the planet. Production provides industry for locals like Stoffel Mogwase, whilst 100% of the waste is recycled; Grandpa’s sheep make up the luckiest beneficiaries as they feed on its pulp during their morning sheep count. You benefit too as Annee’s sleep series thrives off the Kalahari Melon Seed oil’s nourishing properties.

Kalahari Melon plant sprout
grandads morning sheep count

This just one of the stories of social, economic and ecological sustainability that build de Mamiel. But Annee also accepts that sometimes the most efficacious and sustainable ingredients aren’t grown in a field, but are botanicals developed by science. Biotechnology provides a method of extraction that is both sustainable and efficacious.

“You look at what it would take to grow enough ingredients to make CoQ10, and if we can do them using this method that’s from a natural source then this is not only sustainable but makes a better and more potent product.”

de Mamiel skincare product shot

Annee applies the same attention to detail to the packaging process. At the Think Tank, Sylvie Benard told us that “the ethical price of beauty lies in the packaging” as Nicholas Gerlier of La Bouche Rouge reminded us that the beauty industry is plastic by nature. I ask Annee about the de Mamiel packaging:

“We’re only small, and we can’t get rid of all of our plastic immediately, but every little step is a step towards a better earth. […] One of the things we’re doing on the website is the conscious packaging, where recycled materials are used; and for each person that opts for conscious packaging we’re planting a tree with One Tree Planted.”

When so many of us are feeling disheartened by greenwashing, Annee’s honesty is refreshing. In fact, Annee is open about the fact that her formulas aren’t certified organic. Instead, she channels the time, care and money that would go into securing and maintaining this valuable certification into something more valuable: the people and planet.

Annee explains that “de Mamiel products are beyond organic because they involve a level of love, care and dedication that reaches into every intimate stage of their production cycle.”

We love the de Mamiel story and Annee’s commitment to sustainability in every step of the life-cycle of her products. So the question is, where does sustainability sit in your brand model? Is it woven into your brand’s fabric, or an easy add on? What will be your catalyst for change?