A Q+A WITH AROMASE FOUNDER ERIC CHEN
When Eric Chen founded Aromase, it was more than a business decision: it was an act of love. Eric’s personal journey and his passion for helping improve the lives of others not only led him to work extensively with dermatologists across Taiwan in the development of Aromase scalp care products; it also led him to create a company that prioritizes safe, healthy ingredients and social responsibility.
Today, MacroHi Company brand Aromase is available in more than 20 countries across 75 large-scale hospitals, 500+ dermatology clinics, aesthetic clinics, and 3,000+ major chain beauty and pharmacies, as well as via online retailers Watson’s, L'Etoile, Costco, Hands Tailung, Tomod’s, Amazon, Lazada, Rakuten and Allegro. In addition to achieving B Corp status, Eric and his team decided to adopt Cradle to Cradle Certified for Aromase products, earning the first Cradle to Cradle certification at the Bronze level in 2020.
What made you decide that Cradle to Cradle Certified was the right certification for Aromase products?
As Aromase products become more widely available worldwide, ensuring our products are formulated according to world class standards for material health and social responsibility is even more critical. Not only is the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard the best in its class; its holistic standards align very closely with the Aromase values of innovation, expertise and improving lives.
How does having Cradle to Cradle Certified product help Aromase meet the needs of the market?
Like the idea of beauty itself, consumer preferences in the personal care market are always shifting. Today, customers are more environmentally conscious than ever. Cradle to Cradle certification is a powerful way to ensure our customers understand that Aromase products are safe and responsible for people and for our planet.
Because the certification has strict materials and ingredients requirements, customers who recognize the Cradle to Cradle Certified logo do not have to think twice to choose our products. Having certification shortens customers’ purchasing decision-making and helps us educate our upstream and downstream partners.
Cradle to Cradle Certified is relatively new for products in the Taiwanese market. How do you see the certification aligning with other environmental and social standards in Taiwan and regionally?
After Aromase Juniper Liquid Shampoo received Cradle to Cradle Certified at the Bronze level, it earned the highest award from the Taiwan Excellence Awards from the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The awards are given to the country’s most innovative and high-quality products. Taiwan Excellence believes in the pursuit of innovation with a purpose -- namely to help provide solutions that enable people to live a better life today, and tomorrow. Aromase Juniper Shampoo was recognized by the committee for sustainability, and the product was used to help support the idea that in future these Excellence Awards should only be given to companies and products with a demonstrated sustainability commitment.
This demonstrates the growing interest in sustainability across Taiwan. The Taiwanese people have a good sense of recycling, but Taiwanese firms are only just beginning to take into consideration the economic as well as environmental and social aspects of product materials and development. Cradle to Cradle Certified provides guidance for new and sustainable product innovation that goes beyond conventional methods. We hope other Taiwanese companies will join Aromase in using the standard to drive sustainable innovation and develop products that are friendly to mother earth.
What is the next big sustainability challenge or opportunity for Aromase in the near future?
Sustainable innovation will remain our top priority, and our goal is to continue to infuse this focus throughout our company’s culture. In the near future, renewable energy and packaging are two of our next opportunities: Before 2025, 10% of the electricity we use will become green energy, and before 2030, Aromase will meet our zero carbon emissions declaration. In addition, this year (2021), five of our product bottles will be replaced with recycled plastic and we aim to replace all Aromase product bottles with recycled plastic bottles within three years. In terms of certification, we are working towards the certification of an additional four Aromase shampoos, including their rPET packaging, in early 2021.
How will Cradle to Cradle support your work going forward?
The Cradle to Cradle Certified product standard provides us guidance for continually improving our products. This focus will also help us collaborate with our manufacturing partners to take steps to reduce energy consumption and use more green energy, conserve water and improve the “circulation” of our products through better recycling. We also plan to continue our work to share our expertise and resources with non-profit and community partners.
Pictured: Eric Chen, CEO - Aromase