Rituals CEO: ‘Sustainable luxury requires us to step out of comfort zone’

By Charlotte Turner |

Rituals founder and CEO Raymond Cloosterman addressed delegates at the 37th TFWA World Exhibition with a presentation on the theme of sustainable luxury during the Opening Conference.

 

He took the audience on a journey from the humble beginning of the global beauty and lifestyle brand, which proposed ‘a new perspective on beauty’ at the time.

 

The former Unilever executive said he set out on a journey of discovery in 2000, and claimed that the brand broke boundaries very early on by adopting an omnichannel strategy before many others and making a high quality beauty brand accessible.

 

“We were creating our own little nice in the beauty industry,” said Cloosterman. “Aiming to change routines into rituals and delivering small moments of happiness.”

 

Sharing that the brand now has 1,000 standalone stores, with one very recently opening in Madrid airport, he insisted that their focus is not on becoming a ‘retail company’ but instead ‘building a brand’, whilst highlighting that the brand has a total of 3,500 kiosks inside department stores and other multi-category boutiques.

 

TV presenter and business journalist Juliet Mann questioned Raymond Cloosterman on stage during the TFWA WE Opening Conference on Monday.a

TV presenter and business journalist Juliet Mann questioned Raymond Cloosterman on stage during the TFWA WE Opening Conference on Monday.

 

Moving on to the importance of sustainability he said: “If I look to the way we innovate and run our programmes there are three things top of mind; one is the notion that sustainability is the number 1 driver, the other is that we are still trying to build a luxury store and product solutions.”

 

Cloosterman intimated that this often presents a dilemma, as traditionally, luxury goods demand more packaging, which clearly has an adverse impact on the environment.

 

The third notion – and a moving target for the company – is transitioning from beauty to well-being. “We are a mindfulness brand, but how do we translate this into products and services?”

 

The 37th TFWA World Exhibition is taking place in Cannes this week.

The 37th TFWA World Exhibition is taking place in Cannes this week.

 

Cloosterman proposed that travel retail has numerous challenges, among which is the fact that there is no longer guaranteed footfall and high-spending power, in his opinion.

 

He also highlighted that there are now different generations at airports, who expect a more democratised realm of luxury. “There is room for ourselves to step out of our comfort zone,” he suggested to the audience. “New customers demand new solutions.”

 

He spoke about the importance of becoming a B Corp certified company and what that meant for Rituals in terms of meeting the right criteria and setting new goals.

 

More to follow in a one-on-one interview with Raymond Cloosterman, on-location in Cannes.

 

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