It’s full speed ahead for beauty ingredient producer Sustainable Botanicals International

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

image courtesy of SBI
image courtesy of SBI
The new company, started in April by Conrad Plimpton (best known as the founder and chairman of Inolex), is endeavoring to be a major figure in the sustainable cosmetics and personal care supply chain. SBI is partnering with and buying up natural, organic, and fair trade ingredient companies in an effort to mitigate supply chain transparency issues for beauty makers wanting to go green.

Conrad Plimpton remains the majority stock holder of Inolex but stepped down from the role of chairman in 2017. Now, he’s teamed up with Jon Plimpton, chief operating officer, and Jay Ewald, chief development officer, on a venture called Sustainable Botanicals International or SBI, headquartered in Tucson, Arizona.

Explaining the impetus behind SBI, Conrad Plimpton told the press last month, “Our vision grew out of a realization that the availability and access to numerous specialty botanicals is significantly fragmented and compromised, from how they are both grown and harvested, to how they are processed and delivered to market.”

Sourcing and distributing naturals at a global, industrial scale can indeed present quite an obstacle. “We have seen many specialty botanical enterprises struggle to be effective global players when their products deserve global access,” ​says Ewald, who works out of Santiago, Chile. “Our efforts will focus on bringing the best of the best, both in product and business practices, from Latin America, North America, and other global markets where we can be game changers.”

First acquisition

This month, SBI announced its first acquisition: Commercial Kosmetik Chile. That company got its start in 1992 as a subsidiary of Concepción Chile (a pharmaceutical chemistry business). Kosmetik specializes in vegetable oils and other natural ingredients for the cosmetics and personal care industry. According to the company website, Kosmetik takes particular pride in its Rosehip seed oil.

Kosmetik also makes Australis-branded skin care and body care products. The line comprises one dozen formulas, all of which include Rosehip seed oil and “several vegetable extracts.”

SBI chose to acquire Kosmetik in order to “source and deliver natural, sustainable, fair trade, and organically grown and certified botanical extracts and natural ingredients from Chile,” ​according to a press release announcing the deal.

Besides partnerships and acquisitions like this one, SBI also has plans to bring ingredients to market through greenfield development—that is, using undeveloped land for new ingredient production / cultivation.

First certification

No sooner did SBI announced the acquisition of Kosmetik than the company secured organic certification for its wild harvesting, handling, and processing of the rose hip oil, listed on the official certificate as Bayas, otros (Cascarilla de Rosa Mosqueta); Bays, otros (Semilla de Rosa Mosqueta); and Rosehip Rosa Mosqueta.

The ECO CERT organic certification took effect on June 5. According to the paperwork the “organic certification continues in effect until surrendered, suspended, or revoked;” ​and SBI must submit an update to ECOCERT in February.



Deanna Utroske, Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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