I am in Cairo, Egypt, on my way to Sharm El Sheikh to fulfill a dream I could not imagine. At the United Nation's invitation, I will present at COP27, the world's largest conference on Sustainability and Climate Change, our case in sustainability, one that we at Simple Organic build every day.
And here, sitting on this airplane, I found myself thinking about my entire trajectory, how I was labeled and often discredited. I repeated numerous times that "activist" represented much of what I thought about my brand. Yet, the weight of that word was different from a startup or a beauty tech company (whatever you can call it).
People often told me that it was impossible to be an activist in the beauty industry, let alone that activism had anything to do with me. And I'd think, "How can that be? Is it based on the way I dress? The way I live my life? The way I talk?" Was there a preconceived behavior or element in the popular imaginary that determined precisely how to be an activist? I must confess that I didn't quite understand the impression I gave that led to the idea that I didn't belong there.
But I ignored every opinion and followed my path. I did activism my way, with an entrepreneurial vision, communicating how I always did, and I have cultivated this concept every day for the past five years.
Today, heading to the biggest climate change conference, I see that I have built one of the leading activism platforms in Brazil. It's moving to see that everything has been created together. Not only am I contributing, but we are also helping a number of people change their consumption habits.
By making Simple a popular and democratic brand, I was able to bring the idea of sustainability and positive impact to people who were not connected to the matter. By having a strict packaging policy, I raised the bar for recycling in the market. By entering a large publicly traded company as an indie brand, I have changed the paradigm that sustainability is just an ideal not aligned with the financial market. By bringing products with Brazilian organic raw materials to the world's biggest Fashion Weeks, I showed that it is possible to transform clean formulas into products of desire.
My activism became the activism of many, a vast community supporting us. It's still far from perfect (perfection is not even the goal), but it represents an enormous shift in the Brazilian consumption of sustainable beauty. There are still only a few sustainable brands in Brazil, and we are proud of each one because I know how great our battle is in the face of so much greenwashing, but the arrival of new independent brands makes me proud of this movement.
For this reason, I want to have it registered here; for you reading this article, there is no rule when trying to do good. There is no predetermined form of activism. It can be done in many different ways. The most important thing is to find your own voice and your own way to fight for what you believe in. No one has the right to tell you what you should do or how to proceed, especially when your attitude can impact the future of the planet.