The Interview: Pacifica Beauty's Founder & CEO on vegan beauty
Veganuary is an annual celebration and challenge to promote and educate consumers about veganism. It encourages people to follow a vegan lifestyle for the month of January, helping protect the environment, prevent animal suffering, and improve people's health.
Whilst veganism is often associated with the food industry, it has also become increasingly popular within the beauty industry - Pacifica Beauty has been a vegan pioneer since its launch in 1996.
Founded by Brook Harvey-Taylor, Pacifica Beauty believes that "beauty should be crafted with compassion for people and the planet". Today, the brand sells a variety of vegan and cruelty-free bodycare, skincare and haircare products.
In this interview with TheIndustry.beauty, Brook Harvey-Taylor speaks about the brand, its bestselling Vegan Collagen range and the importance of vegan beauty.
How long has Pacifica Beauty been a vegan brand?
I grew up on a farm and from a young age learned respect and compassion for animals and nature. My upbringing inspired my passion for veganism - when I created Pacifica Beauty, I wanted to make sure that no animals would ever be in our products.
Back in 1996, I used to have to explain to our manufacturers and customers what ‘vegan’ was, and we had to overcome the consumer misconception that conscious products aren’t as effective as animal-derived products - it was a longer journey but one I am so proud of. I feel like we helped change the whole beauty industry.
Has it been challenging to formulate products with only vegan ingredients?
It was extremely challenging to be a vegan company when I first started Pacifica. It wasn't like it is now, where everyone knows what being a vegan brand is. I remember having to tell my formulators what it was and help them source ingredients.
It was a tireless and thankless effort back then, but so worth it! Every time someone told me I couldn’t make a formula vegan, it fuelled my desire to fight for it even more. I definitely feel like an industry leader driving this forward.
One of Pacifica Beauty's bestselling collections contains Vegan Collagen. Can you tell me about this?
We use a patented ingredient, produced through fermentation in a lab, using plant-based inputs in a renewable, sustainable, and totally animal-free process. It is produced using 73% less water, 49% fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and 40% less land than traditional animal collagen. It has third-party external lab substantiation data demonstrating its equivalence to marine-derived collagen proteins, just not harvested from animals. It is also certified as non-GMO and certified by PETA as vegan and cruelty-free.
Why is veganism important to Pacifica Beauty?
Compassion is our core value and the lens we see everything through. We are a movement as much as a brand. Our mission extends beyond amazing products to also making positive change in the world. We are committed to supporting our partners and using our platforms to educate and inspire the next generation of activists.
I don’t think anyone should have the luxury to just 'be a brand' -we’re all consuming and using resources. If you choose to be a brand, you have an impact, and you should offset that by doing good in the world and creating a positive change.
Why should veganism be important to consumers?
Our planet needs our support! Consumers can make change with their wallets. That is why we make sure that we remove the barriers to making better decisions, like cost. We make sure our prices are reasonable and we want to challenge the entire idea that better means more expensive.
Are vegan products are becoming more important to consumers?
Absolutely - vegan choices are becoming important to consumers as more information becomes available about the impact of meat consumption and the commercial farming of animals on our planet! People are really ready to reconsider their footprint on the planet and they are reconsidering their choices daily. It is a very exciting time.
How is Pacifica Beauty celebrating Veganuary?
For us, Veganuary is 365 days a year. We celebrate our compassion, activism and passion for life. Our goal is not to shame anyone about their choices, we'd rather have them join us in a positive way and make incremental changes in their lives.