Lisa Carroll, NATIVE EXTRACTS’ Director, reflects on the effects of 2020 on our industry, business and personal life and how it is shaping 2021.
Life is no longer as we knew it, but incredible positive things have come as a result – we witnessed our agility, immense capacity for resilience, courage, resourcefulness, collaboration, inclusion, kindness, and persistence. It is truly an honour to be part of this industry, seeing how we've pulled together when: growers lost sales for their harvest and manufacturers created new products to buy more and reduce potential waste. We saw manufacturers work with growers to diversify and create retail products. We saw brands share packaging and ingredients to keep production going. We saw companies innovate and change direction. We saw how important services like our couriers are. We saw opportunities for new conversations and inclusion. 2020 has been a catalyst for change.
I’m filled with gratitude to have a team with the brains, trust and appetite to think outside the box to solve problems, not only for ourselves but for our clients who faced dire supply issues. We were able to quickly source local raw materials, and design custom extracts to specs to help clients maintain production schedules. Our strength in solid processes, certifications, planning, supply chain relationships and especially our team made responding to the unexpected changes more strategic, meaning we could take the new “landscape” head on and help others - doubling our growth again in these unprecedented times. We saw some of our brands over double their growth with how they leveraged and focused on their online presence to support the new consumer buying behaviour.
We saw our value through the eyes of our clients – how we could help them refresh, build stronger ethical products, provide access to natural plant profiles with water-conserving and conscious manufacturing, transparency and collaboration. We looked at ways we can improve our impact on the planet and the people we work with, and reviewed our 2021 planning. 2020 saw communication on Earth-scaled issues like sustainability and inclusion. It brought together businesses exploring the bigger picture for the planet, the circular interconnection of our supply chain, and how the cosmetic industry can play a powerful role through things like upcycling, reducing waste, supporting primary industries as well as cultural inclusion. 2020 strengthened our belief that nature holds many answers to human problems.
2020 gave me great personal gifts as well – the gratitude for doing what I love, working with people who inspire and teach me to be more. It echoed that I am resilient, fearless, innovative, trust my instincts and the power of serving and collaboration. 2020 validated my belief that “we are in this together” on all levels - B2B, B2C, local and global scale.
Surround yourself with people that push you to do better, who are positive and not driven by ego, raise your goals and motivation higher, and avoid those who’s narrative is negative, or raise themselves by pulling others down … to bring the best out in each other, collaboration over competition is the only way if we really are to work together for better outcomes for people and planet.
Trends + Forecast for 2021
We are seeing more and more of the industry reconnecting to the cycle of nature, creating products with purpose for people and the planet, connecting to ancient cultures, engaging in circular economies, incorporating sustainable sourcing and manufacturing practices, developing new technology platforms to filter ethical brands, and exploring the brilliance of nature’s design for more natural product solutions. There will be an emphasis on brands connecting to causes driven by Gen Zs. Some “trends” like A-beauty (Australian Beauty) that connect to country and causes will evolve into industry-wide movements, many which will become the norm. Brands that lead will have clearly communicated “transformative purpose”, their “WHY”, and will partner with those who have a synergistic purpose-driven “why” that goes beyond what they create, focusing on how they make it.
How will we be working differently?
We are growing rapidly, with greater depth in understanding of each other’s roles, needs and strengths. What we do in our own day-to-day routine can have such a greater positive impact on others’ projects and outcomes. Our daily mantra has become “Who are we serving? How are we serving? Can we do better?” Our business is a creative and collaborative process with strong foundations in our ISO Quality Management System that focuses on continual improvement, and one where continuous building, discovery, improving, listening, sharing and executing is entrenched in every aspect of our work.
What will we do differently?
We will continue to :
1. Expand our conscious manufacturing initiatives to become an off the grid manufacturer,
2. Use technology and various media for more education and greater human connection and inclusion, and
3. Support the local, ethical expansion of our primary industry to reduce the species we source internationally and the carbon footprint of our supply chain.
4. We will announce new partnerships with Indigenous enterprises, and
5. Launch new ranges of natural ingredients that will offer unique solutions across multiple industry platforms, leveraging our experience and achievements in topical ingredient development and innovation to the nutraceutical and natural pharma arenas.
6. Continue to help brands deliver their “WHY” - more than ingredients, but true transformative purpose that impacts positively on people and planet.
From the cosmetic extracts industry, we've seen the pandemic put incredible pressure on essential services, communities and other industry sectors decimated for no fault of their own. Brands have been challenged with packaging and raw material shortages, whilst some growers' supply chains have vanished with brands disappearing over night. However, we've witnessed challenges transform into opportunities, changing the status quo as we search to source more locally and find more natural solutions. We continue to be inspired by those who have reinvented themselves - who share, ask and listen. Because of this, we foresee "collaboration, "transformative purpose,” “True to Nature solutions with transparency” and "evolution" across industries and brands being the biggest trends of 2021!