Founded 37 years ago in São Paulo as a therapeutic cosmetic store by Luiz Sebrae, Natura develops beauty products utilizing sustainably sourced raw materials from Brazil. Natura's ranking among the 35 biggest cosmetic brands in the world is a clear reflection of the ethical market — a segment composed of loyal consumers dedicated to natural food, drinks, and personal care products. According to Datamonitor, the market is predicted to increase in the US and Europe from 89 million consumers in 2004 to 173 million in 2009.
Natura's executives are responding to this market demand by expanding their reach beyond Brazil. In 2004, the label opened a flagship store in Paris called "Casa Natura." The store — designed by architect Arthur Casas — takes you on a sensorial trip into Brazil's distinctive scents and tropical environment. Natura's major line, Natura Ekos, is comprised of fragrances and personal care products that reflect a commitment to eco-friendly sourcing and a respect for Brazil's indigenous population and its heritage. The line features unique floral scents found in Brazilian forests, such as guaraná, Brazilian nut, andiroba, cupuaçu, pitanga, passion flower, and buriti. The Ekos line is produced under sustainable extraction rules controlled by Imaflora, an NGO based in São Paulo. The products are biodegradable, and sold in bottles and packaging made of recycled material.
In addition to the sustainability concept, Natura is commited to quality relationships. According to its founder, this concept is the basis of its door-to-door system of direct sales that today employs 519,000 "Natura consultants" worldwide and incorporates a heavy social value into the brand. This small army demonstrated its power last year, when Natura mobilized its consultants to encourage their communities to join an educational program sponsored by the government. The campaign brought 65,000 dropouts back into the school system.
From Flavia Mendonça's story in JC Report. Click to launch full story.