PARIS — Eco-luxury beauty brand La Bouche Rouge has raised 2.5 million euros of funding from Bpifrance and some business angels, the French public investment bank said in a statement.
The investment is meant to help accelerate La Bouche Rouge’s digital strategy as part of its omnichannel reach; enter new markets with strong potential, such as China, and continue launching makeup and skin-care products.
Thirty-six-year-old Nicolas Gerlier, a L’Oréal veteran, founded La Bouche Rouge in 2017 with the aim of creating the first cosmetics brand worldwide to ban microplastics and plastics from everything including product formulation, manufacturing and selling.
Following a few years of research and development in its laboratories in France’s Cosmetic Valley, near Orléans, La Bouche Rouge came out with lipsticks containing no microplastics or ingredients Gerlier considered unhealthy. The lipsticks are also vegan, cruelty-free and in recyclable, refillable packaging.
There’s a charitable component, too. Each time a La Bouche Rouge lipstick is sold, the brand supplies 100 liters of safe drinking water to the association Eau Vive International.
In the past few months, La Bouche Rouge’s product line was expanded to include items for the eyes and face. It bills its mascara as the first to be made with recyclable glass.
Le Bon Marché department store in Paris recently debuted a 835-square-foot compostable Le Bouche Rouge corner, replete with an area for initializing lipstick tubes.
The brand’s core consumers are sophisticated Millennials and women aged 25 to 45, who “aspire to consume differently and are aware of their impact on the planet,” Gerlier said in a WWD interview in June.
Industry sources estimate La Bouche Rouge generates net revenues of 1.5 million euros yearly. The brand’s top markets are France, Japan and the U.S.
“From the beginning, we’ve actually considered makeup as skin care — we created the first pigmented lip serum with our lipstick,” said Gerlier during the June interview. “So naturally, our next line will be around skin-care essentials.”
In the Bpifrance statement, Gerlier said: “Luxury is there to enhance our daily life. The recent events, like COVID-19, are accelerating an obvious awareness around the world. It seems unthinkable today to create a dream that sublimates our daily lives but destroys our future.
“Seventy percent of the selective makeup market is represented by French brands. None among them reconciles luxury and eco-responsibility,” he continued. “La Bouche Rouge is a declaration for rechargeable and responsible beauty. Far from being a niche brand, it paves the way for selective makeup of the 21st century — beauty that takes care of you but also the planet.”
“We need demanding, ethical and ambitious leaders to transform the world,” said Delphine le Mintier-Jonglez, director of fashion and luxury investments at Bpifrance.