In honour of Earth Day, we speak to organic skincare brand Estelle & Thild founder Pernilla Rönnberg on her eco-friendly brand, sustainable living secrets and upcoming plans for a makeup launch
With Earth Day merely a day away (April 22), there’s no better time than now to reevaluate our environmental choices. We’re not just talking about planting trees or leaving the car at home. To really make a change, it takes discipline to get rid of the toxins and harsh chemicals in your everyday life, by choosing to eat healthier, shop responsibly and, for beauty junkies like myself, making the switch to eco-friendly skincare and makeup.
Thankfully, there are plenty of environmentally conscious yet luxurious skincare brands out there – one of them being Estelle & Thild. The Stockholm-based brand – once called “the new Swedish secret” by Vogue – features high-quality formulas made with organic and all-natural ingredients. In celebration of Earth Day, we speak to founder Pernilla Rönnberg on her brand’s sustainable practices, her rules for eco-living and how to make the switch to organic skincare.
Hi Pernilla! First things first – could you tell us how you started Estelle & Thild? Why did you decide to switch to making organic skincare?
The idea behind the brand came to me when my daughters, Estelle and Mathilde, were born. I was inspired to do something meaningful with my life and wanted to do my bit in helping the world become a better place. So I decided to develop a sustainable business, which makes organic, innovative skincare without sacrificing the experience or results. After months of research, prototyping and testing, I launched Estelle & Thild in 2007 with the goal of helping people make better choices for their skin, bodies and the environment.
When did you start using organic formulas?
When I became pregnant, I started to reflect on the choices I made for myself and for my baby. I began eating more organic foods and used pure, organic products on my body that nourished my skin without harmful toxins.
Tell us about how you select the ingredients for your products and your brand’s sustainable practices.
We produce our products in the Nordic [countries] and we certify our products as organic via EcoCert: the largest and most respected independent certification board in Europe and the United States. They rigidly inspect and examine all aspects including product contents, raw materials, production, packaging and text material – few companies meet the strict demands that this certification poses.
While we source most ingredients from the Nordic [countries], it’s sometimes not possible as they need to be certified by EcoCert. If we source elsewhere, we choose the most potent and effective organic ingredients we can find. This is to ensure that our products offer the highest level of quality.
How do you advocate living sustainably for your daughters?
I try not to push things on them, but let them make their own decisions and have their own point of view. They are very conscious and aware of what’s going on in the world. And they are also very determined in their beliefs – like not wanting to eat meat and being against animal testing.
What would you say to someone who wants to make a complete switch to organic skincare?
Conventional beauty products contain a high amount of chemicals which are absorbed into our bloodstream. These additives are used to create pleasing textures, scents and colors, and extend shelf life. But over time, they harm our bodies. Choosing organic means that there are no harmful ingredients in the products. Harsh chemicals in non-organic products are let back into nature, and are very harmful to the environment. So when you choose organic for yourself, the environment benefits too.
My team and I have worked hard to create products that are organic, sustainable and safe without compromising on the results, scents and overall experience.
What are your all-natural beauty secrets?
Apart from switching to certified organic skincare, I have some tips that don’t require beauty products. I am a firm believer that beauty comes from within. Minimising stress is key to looking and feeling good. It is really important for me to keep a balance in my life, ensuring that I have time for my work, family, friends, and for myself.
Also, you are what you eat. I really believe that what you put into your body has a huge effect on your skin as well as how you feel about yourself. I eat clean and keep toxins such as sugar, caffeine and alcohol to a minimum.
As someone who’s environmentally conscious, I’m sure you swear by eco-friendly habits in all aspects of your life. Could you suggest the easiest ways for the everyday person to go green?
I think the most important thing is to become conscious about the choices we make in our everyday life. Everything we consume is a choice – and it can be a more or less environmentally friendly one. Easy things like switching your coffee to organic – that is something everyone can do! And once you start becoming aware, the more good choices you make.
Other ways you can live sustainably: choose quality over quantity when it comes to fashion, recycle, eat organic and always include more greens!
What are your recommended organic skin foods?
Eating coconut oil as a great source of essential fatty acids – it moisturizes the skin from within. Also, drink green smoothies and juices for high amounts of chlorophyll and nutrients.
What are some ways we could celebrate Earth Day? How will you be celebrating it?
At Estelle & Thild, every day is Earth Day! But we think it is great that this day is getting more and more attention. Everyone should be thinking of our planet, and doing their best to keep it in tact for future generations.
Are there plans for organic cosmetics in the future?
It’s great that you’ve mentioned this – we’re launching a full range of certified organic makeup this May! It’s been a project we’ve been working on for years, and it’s finally coming together. The products will be available in Sweden (and online through our website), but hopefully in Singapore soon.