Derek Newberry

Rising Ventures: Linax As the Anti-Body Shop

Linax 1Continuing discussions of “eco-chic,” I’m turning this week to another Brazilian company, Linax, that works with perfume and oil ingredients. Of course the concept of sustainable cosmetics is hardly original, but the sector deserves a little good news after having been ravaged by scandal and disillusionment- particularly following high profile expos?s of the Body Shop in the late ’90s. BSI was accused of using largely synthetic ingredients in supposedly “natural” products as well as essentially exploiting Kayapo indians in the Amazons for good PR. If only the Body Shop had had Linax to consult.
Linax is largely focused on producing linalol, a phytochemical found in 70% of all cosmetics and perfumes. Linalol is traditionally harvested from wood-rose, a plant native to Brazil that is approaching extinction as a species thanks to the high demand for it in the industry. Fortunately, Linax has discovered a way to sustainably produce linalol from renewable sources; a move that not only helps preserve Brazil’s rich bio-diversity but also gives the company a competitive edge that will be valuable as it seeks investment for expansion. New Ventures’ own Kelly Desy recently interviewed Jos? Roberto Gon?alves and Nilson Borlina Maia, the enterprise’s founders and co-directors. Read her article to find out more about how Linax hopes to make Body Shop-style scandals a thing of the past.