Beauty Podcast Post

Sustainable Beauty Brands with Pinar Akiskalioglu

George Grombacher January 6, 2023

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Sustainable Beauty Brands with Pinar Akiskalioglu

LifeBlood: We talked about building sustainable beauty brands, the tyranny of choice, being mindful about our consumption behaviors, and how to get started, with Pinar Akiskalioglu, Founder of Takk, a personal care and beauty brand.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Pinar Akiskalioglu

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:00
Hey what’s up? This is George G and the time is right welcome today’s guest strong powerful Pienaar kiss colleague Lou Pienaar. Are you ready to do this? Yes, let’s go. Let’s go Pienaar is the founder of talk. There are no nonsense principle personal care company working to make our choices matter. She’s also the founder of punk Business School, Pienaar. I’m excited to have you on tell us a little about your personal life’s more about your work and why you do what you do.

Unknown Speaker 0:46
Yes, thank you very much. I spend most of my life in Istanbul, Turkey. But I also lived and worked in Rotterdam, the Netherlands by the United Arab Emirates. I travel a lot for business doing business in different continents at the moment. So I will call myself a global citizen. I’ve been living in London for the last five years now. I’m married to a consultant surgeon, so a bit of professional diversity. At home. We have a 15 month old, very cheerful, happy baby join us recently. All on professional side, my professional career has like three eras, I will say. I spent the first seven years at a youth NGO called Isaac. So it’s a community of young people working for fulfilment of humankind’s potential. Later I got into corporate worlds because I wanted to understand how people make money and how global economic dynamics work. So I work for global giant company Henkel for again, almost a decade, I had a happy progressive career, I learned a lot of things in corporate. But I came to a point that I wasn’t in the right place to make a positive impact to our society. And coming from NGO background, I always had this patient in me, and they saw my intrapreneurship journey started. First I found a tuk tuk means thank you in Scandinavian languages, I was always inspired by peaceful living style of Scandinavian culture. So I wanted to have like some some referral to that culture. So talk is a movement, I will call it rather than a company. It’s a movement towards a slow, ethical, peaceful, beachy personal care industry. And I later founded punk business school to inspire like my mind that change change maker business leaders. All the sound different bolts, businesses have one thing in common is to shake the existing power structures and inspire a new global economy that can serve humanity while product protecting our world, our home planet. So that’s why I call myself I like calling myself as a business activist. That’s a bit of myself. Would you like me to tell more about tech now?

george grombacher 3:53
I would love that.

Unknown Speaker 3:57
Okay, so I found a tack. Because I had three main concerns about the v2 industry’s future, and its impact on people’s psychology and eventually to our planet. So, the first thing is, I believe we have a choice overload in our industry, and every supermarkets carries it to hundreds of different types of shampoo. All claiming a solution to a problem, I’m sure in USA is the number is is more than 200 Like this is a yeah, this is a this is a global average. So all claiming a solution to a problem. So when I joined the industry, I was working in the in the in the Middle East. And according to our analysis, I A numbers of Pupil percentage of people who will call their hair just like a normal hair was almost about 60 percentage. And 10 years later, people who will call their skin or hair just normal without any problem was only 15 percentage. So this how beat industry tricks and makes us believe into there’s a problem with our experience that needs to be fixed. And that’s the way to sell more products to people. So to understand shampoos to choose from, and coming from the industry, I can clearly show that there’s no justification to this many numbers of option. And what this choice overload do to us, it feels like liberating at the beginning, right? You have all these options to choose from, but actually it’s paralyzes our true decision making. Because eventually, because we are through decision making this paralyze the retailer is making the decision on your behalf, the way like they prioritize different products and so on. So with the ever evolving, beat consumption data, most of the time, whether it’s a brick and mortar store, or an e commerce Store, the retailer knows better than you what you’re going to buy from that store. So we feel like we have the control but choices are not our so it’s a lost control. So attack. That’s why we say we work to make our choices matter. So the second problem I have with the teacher industry today is that is keep growing, it’s always growing. Have you ever heard to be two industries or decline? No, in any circumstances keep growing bigger. So how are bigger more celebrating, like penetration of this product to new homes and so on. So how can we keep needing more and more products every day is our like, hair is substantially better than our grandmother’s not necessarily like, like we keep being introduced innovation and innovation. But we all pretty much have the same like skin or hair. So it used to be on the shampoo in the past. Like I remember during my childhood, I remember the time when conditioner, the second product was introduced. So 40 years old, like then it’s like I don’t know 30 years ago, that was only shampoo, then it was conditioner. And today we at least have a five product regime it start with the some care product before you even put a shampoo on your hair. And then some magical gloss tools must finish your haircare routine. Like I’m talking about essential products, but like for your face care, it needs to be like a simple cream to give a bit of moisture boost to your skin. We also have specific products for our eyebrows and eyelashes. And it’s just like, Yeah, I don’t know if it’s like introduced like a science to look to look young. So I feel like these are fabricated innovations. And it’s really harming our cycle logic. It’s like, we need to keep building and buying new products all the time. And it’s creating unnecessary consumption that our world can no longer carry. So that was the second problem I found in the industry. And lastly, it’s just like if you can just for a second stop this nonsense, b2c stories and the marketing created around it. It will allow the true innovation should be unleashed. So it will give a way to environmentally responsible innovations to to emerge. verticals like we have a big big story to tell about it doesn’t come to point your talk. I mean, I need to add them that there is a green agenda, like green products is the new marketing hype in our industry. But again, I feel like it’s a very selective approach. So we want to bring attack we want to bring radical transparency to the overall carbon footprint of big industry, because we want to be the choice of clear like independent thinkers, not like people who goes with the trends and not challenge this That gun was told. So we feel like responsible doing give it more clarity. Because what industry does at the moment is focusing only on the packaging. So be discussed about recyclable packaging options, some song, which is good, like it’s critical, it says it’s a good step. But like between industries carbon footprint goes well beyond the package. So we talk what we are analyzes is the food, we run a full lifecycle analysis. From all the production processes to then people are using our products to really guide our innovations like where we need to start, you know, like the innovations, innovation efforts, rather than, like jumping on the on the marketing trick. But I think First things first, like, first we need to eliminate the overconsumption. Because you can, like have a like a seaweed instead of plastic and everything can be like recyclable and so on. But there’s there’s this carbon footprint just because producing, producing them transferring Tim to like, when you’re using those products, and you’re cleaning your hair is just less stuff the overconsumption first, like it sounds so simple, but it’s like a crime to sell it like it’s crime to say that, like beauty industry should stop growing. But I think that should be the starting point. So on our website, we sell our products only on our websites. So there’s absolutely no tricks to make you buy more products. That sounds simple. But actually this revolution industry that me like I’m experienced on traditional marketing, I didn’t have any experience on E commerce. But looking into like available platforms, they were all designed to sell you more sell customers more products than they need, you either get a certain percentage of if you decided to move away from the website, or like if you buy six product instead of four, you have a discount something something. So the design is to make you consume more products than you need. This is why we decided to launch our very own platform. Just to avoid all those kind of tricks, there is no pop up there is no kind of tricks to motivate you more products. And we work on my subscription base. So people can pick and choose what products they want to buy. But also like the frequency, they want them to be delivered. So what they can do is like they can delete, delete their subscription, or they can eliminate certain products. So it’s all designed to to make you consume less products.

Unknown Speaker 13:24
So that’s one philosophy we have at the moment. And I believe it’s a good starting point. But as techstep we want to hold hands with different industries like unthinkable industries for beauty industry, such as like farming industry, to kind of work with them, if there’s an excess of production of a certain product if there’s a way to integrate it into other formulations. And also like hold hands with, like tire producer producers, for example, to kind of upcycle or recycled our packaging base. So that’s how we want to create a wish. Circular, we do circular economy around our products. So that’s our aim. That’s what we actually like working on at the moment. And I might suggest a couple of things to people listening to us today. Is I mean, you’re not alone. We all take I think the fall. We have great brands, great service, but there are a lot of lot of independent small players who are working with the same mission. I usually ask like, how I see competition. I always respond back. I don’t think that our competition I think we are strategic stakeholders to each other They’re all trying to make a positive impact. But I mean, just to really care about who you are buying your products from, there’s a nice saying of lab patients, sustainable sustainability advocate, she says, Every time you spend money, you Cascada will vote for the content of the work you want to see. So kind of before spending any money, before purchasing any finding, just take a moment, take a moment to decide if you really need that product. And if you really need if there’s a better alternative to buy it from. Because we are patients, we are working very hard, and support me gather around our movements, is really, really something and you will see there that many people like working on this, and it’s just like, motivates hope. It’s also like consuming less than minimalism is something people started to talk about it. Obviously, I live in minimalist, minimalistic lifestyle myself to like, I’m pretty much aligned with the principles of our company tech, too. So the things I do is like, I’m really very mindful, when I’m buying something new, I always make sure I really need it, I eliminate something I have, like I replace things, I have a capsule wardrobe. It’s just like a really small wardrobe. So I don’t have any choice pilots in the morning to decide what I’m going to wear. I make a list of what we’re going to eat that week. So I can buy from local farmers market. So it’s just really, it sounds nerdy, to some, you know, to get organized, and like, really plow, everything and so on. But actually, it gets into your routine, I have more time to spend on fun stuff than actually buying things and running around to decide what I’m going to eat that night. And I find it quite liberating. And I feel like I can I do control my life. So it’s just like, it feels good. And like climate crisis, social injustice, they’re like all pressing, negative issues we face today, right? Like, and then people face them, like they just want to run away because it’s just demotivating. And you feel just powerless. By we are not that powerless, actually, the more we talk, the more we engage. We can shake things, we can shake the existing power structures and create a more human economy altogether. And it’s really something to do as well. It’s not that depressing. Yes, people will, will think

george grombacher 18:19
Well, I think that that’s really well said, and I appreciate your work and efforts. And I’m confident that as you continue to grow and expand, you’ll you’ll your your your impact will be greater and greater. We’ve covered a lot of ground, I think I wrote down a lot of notes, one of the I think that we each each of us needs to make our individual decision. And because there’s so much nuance, there’s so many layers to everything you’ve been talking about consuming less for the sake of consuming less, or consuming less for the sake of saving the planet. Those are those are positive things. And when you make a personal decision and really think about is all this stuff serving me, is a 50 product beauty regimen really serving me or have I bought into this, this this kind of hype? And these are all answers that we need to individually answer or ask ourselves and then answer. And the more that I can then identify and say, You know what, I don’t really need all this extra stuff. And frankly, it’s keeping me from a headspace and a time and a money perspective from doing things that I really want to do. And that you’ve tapped into this from a from a beauty and a self care perspective, I think is is is wonderful, and it’s a microcosm for if we could do that in every aspect of our life, and then examine to think about where we’re putting our money because we’re voting with our dollars, we can have a far greater impact than we realize.

Unknown Speaker 19:57
Oh, yeah, exactly. Oh, It’s just like, sounds very simple, you know, like, it’s not really a hard thing to do it, I think there’s an element of like, thinks about climate emergencies social injustice, like is that the more you educate yourself, the more powerful you feel about it as an as an individual. So I think, really spending time exploring the things you can change things in your life, we don’t need to be perfect, you know, like, you can just sometimes get crazy, we are all human, but just like, think about it and implement the things that sounds simple to you. I read about a company it’s called herbal teas. So they kind of did a lifecycle analysis like we we’ve done that talk. And what they found is actually, if you boil too much water in your kettle, I mean, many people boil more water than they need for their tea. And that’s a very heavy on carbon footprint. And they organize a camp, I mean, they run a campaign, just advising people to reduce the amount of water when they’re boiling for their tea, which is like almost half, like it’s the half carbon footprint than usual. It’s just very simple. And since I read it, like I just keep putting less water into catalysts is something that I never thought about, but it’s just very easy to implement. And when you get into this mindset, it’s just like, it gets much more fun. Like, I’ve been telling you about this, my old friends and so on. And I think this is our moment starts just need to be like one hero, like, I don’t know if like President of a country or something, changing things, okay, that has to be there things that needs to be fixed at a governmental level, that’s a different story. But how we can kind of raise our voices is just making this lifestyle changes and you will see like politician always follow up people, they will, they will try to look next year, because when you get into this, this mindset, it impacts everything and especially have you vote or have you spent your money and it will scare a lot of power holding organization and people and they will also make the needed change.

george grombacher 22:55
I think that that’s well said. I love it. Well, printer, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? And where can they learn more about talk and, and get the products?

Unknown Speaker 23:09
Thank you very much. Thank you. It’s wonderful to be here.

george grombacher 23:14
What’s the website? How how can we learn more?

Unknown Speaker 23:19
It’s PUC T A KK. Co. UK. We are also available in the USA too. It’s my tech that calm. So hopefully, we’ll meet more and more consumers in mirror countries in the near future.

george grombacher 23:39
Love it. If you enjoyed as much as I did Schopenhauer your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas. Go to my It’s m and dig more into everything that we’ve been talking about that PNR is working on. Thanksgiving.

Unknown Speaker 24:00
Thank you so much.

george grombacher 24:02
And until next time, remember, do your part by doing your best

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