Less is More: How Two Product Collections for the Personal Care Industry Meet the Sustainability Trends of this Time (2)

Interview with Josefine Schröder, Senior Technical Expert for the Personal Care Industry
BTC Europe

In 2020, BTC Europe launched two different product collections – the Solid Collection & the Zero Waste Concept – with a clear focus on sustainable and resource friendly ingredients. Josefine Schroeder, Senior Technical Expert for the Personal Care Industry at BTC Europe, gives insights on the story behind each collection and explains why sustainability is a key priority for BTC. 

With the recent product collections you have met the increasing market demand for sustainable solutions that save resources and reduce waste. Why is sustainability a key driver in the Personal Care Industry as well as for BTC?

Consumers’ growing interest in sustainable products as well as the drive within the industry towards more environmentally efficient manufacturing techniques have significantly contributed to the development of sustainable solutions in the past. With a world population projected to reach the mark of 10 billion by 2050 and the limited availability of resources, we have seen a change of mindset among customers, which has led to an increasing demand of long-lasting and gentle personal care products.

At BTC Europe, our goal is to reflect the significance of sustainability in our daily business activities. Therefore, we have been looking into new ways of developing products with less amount of raw materials, less amount of water and less packaging. Both of our recent product collections, the ‘Solid Collection’ and the ‘Zero Waste’ Concept, incorporate the idea of aligning economic success with environmental and social responsibility.

How do you respond to the greater use of natural ingredients in personal care products and cosmetics?

Personal Care manufacturers are increasingly asking for certified ingredients sourced from renewable plant derived feedstock to meet current market demands. At BTC, we have put special emphasis on the development of natural formulation concepts that offer a high sustainability benefit. For example, one of the key ingredients for the ‘Natural Shampoo’ in our Solid Collection, was Plantaquat® NC, which is a high performance compound especially developed for the production of hair conditioning products and those which are intended to be labeled according to natural cosmetic standards. Over 70% is derived from natural, renewable feedstocks, it is free from preservatives and approved by COSMOS, NATRUE, ECOCERT and BDIH. For the ‘Lavender Soap Bar’, which is part of our Zero Collection, we used Rheocare® XGN, which is a polymer based on purely vegan xanthan gum. It is made from 100 % renewable raw materials and without the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It is a powerful thickener and stabilizer for emulsions and surfactant-based formulations and suitable for various cosmetic applications, even oral care. 

The Solid Collection

With our portfolio of sustainable products, we do not only cater to consumers’ rising demand for natural, even vegan, ingredients, we also offer highly flexible products that can be used for various applications and formulations. 

In what way do the two product collections address different facets of resource efficiency?

Both collections fulfill the trend of resource-friendly, sustainable solutions. The solid collection focuses on avoiding packaging and water free formulations. For this concept we used ingredients that would have the same properties as those used in conventional, diluted formulations.

We chose surfactants that quickly dissolve in water and that are easily processable. We also used different types of surfactants in order to obtain the optimal composition of characteristics such as foaming capability, cleansing effect, skin sensitivity and abrasion. In general, the balance between the different ingredients’ ratios in the formulation is crucial for the outcome. 

The ‘Zero Waste’ collection is a comprehensive approach for a more sustainable way of life. A large part of our personal care portfolio is based on renewable raw materials, most of which come from sustainable cultivation – including the ingredients of the skin and hair care products of our ‘Zero Waste’ concept. The wide range of applications of these ingredients leads to a high degree of formulation flexibility. Water-free formulations such as the ‘Strawberry Mask Stick’, highly concentrated products such as the ‘Lavender Shampoo Concentrate’ and reusable applications such as the ‘Clean and Relax Cleansing Concentrate’ meet the ‘zero waste’ trend of this time.

The raw materials that were selected for the ‘Zero Waste’ collection enable a multi-functional use. What are the main benefits for manufacturers?  

45 key ingredients enable you to create more than 12 innovative personal care products for rinse off and leave on. The raw materials we selected are designed to create several new formulation formats from high concentrated rinse off products to water-free leave on solutions. The selection of these ingredients enables our customers to operate more flexibly and save transport and storage costs.

Which major trends in the personal care industry do you see for the future?  

Future trends are efficacious products, sustainable ingredients, and eco-friendly formulations. Waterless formulations are leading the way with a focus on sustainability that goes beyond water: they take into account packaging size, waste and the overall carbon footprint. When entering the waterless category, we have to think more broadly than just focusing on eliminating water from the product. The true impact will come from how the product is used by the consumer, and more importantly, what is left over after the product is used up.


The Zero Waste Concept


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