The Issey Miyake Parfums policy
Is the Shiseido Group -to which Issey Miyake Parfums belongs- committed in terms of sustainable development?
Issey Miyake Parfums, as a brand of the Shiseido EMEA Group, is completely aligned with the Group’s philosophy and strategy. In 2019, the Group defined 3 areas of commitment and action: protecting the beauty of the planet; promoting beauty in all its forms and giving meaning to beauty. Our production sites in France -as is the case for all our factories- are committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2026* and zero landfill waste by 2022.
Does the Issey Miyake Perfumes brand have a CSR policy?
Issey Miyake Parfums’ vision of sustainability lies in a program called “Luxury of the Essential”. Our unconditional respect for what is essential fuels our desire to create and inspire in this direction. It also fosters our sense of responsibility: taking better care of the materials we work with and committing to useful, inspirational and transformative design. By cutting loose of the unnecessary and striving to facilitate the lifecycle of our products, we believe we can reinvent what is desirable. We envision sustainability as a stimulating paradigm to enhance our creative process, making it more innovative, universal and essential. Our policy is based on 2 pillars, both of which are aimed at strengthening our environmental and social responsibility.
At Issey Miyake Parfums, we like to say that “we are born from matter”: our first commitment is therefore to respect the materials that we use to create our fragrances. Respect means procuring a more sustainable supply of raw materials from our suppliers; producing with respect for natural resources, and improving our production tools.
Our second commitment is to bring a genuinely useful sense of design to our creations. This involves designing our products and communication / promotion tools to use less of certain materials and include more recycled materials, while at the same time respecting the environment and continuing to guarantee the health and safety of our customers. We are also committed to find solutions to extend the lifecycle of our products and promotional tools, and to improve the functionality of our products. To achieve these goals, we integrate eco-design into all stages of our creation process: for example, around 80% of the paper we use for our packaging is FSC certified. We also succeeded in reducing water consumption inside our Gien site by 81% between 2009 and 2020. Finally, we have started to incorporate recycled materials into our products and promotional tools.
Our brand also relies on a CSR team wholly dedicated to the constant improvement of our actions. They ensure that sustainable development is instilled each day in teams all along the value chain: from product design to the supply of our raw materials; in how we manage our waste and distribute our products, and in a wide range of other processes.
QUESTIONS ON FORMULAS
Manufacturing our fragrances
How does Issey Miyake Parfums manufacture its fragrances?
Our perfumes are made in France and contain approximately 80% alcohol, the remainder of the formula being made up of water, perfume concentrate, and certain stabilisers for protection. The alcohol in our perfumes comes from France and is of natural origin (white beetroot).
All our perfumes comply with the relevant international cosmetic regulations and in particular European regulations which are the strictest in the world. Our perfumers also follow IFRA recommendations. They use ingredients that are in line with the European Union REACH regulation that set reinforced protection from harmful chemical substances for human health and the environment.
Supporting our quest to the essential, our perfumers constantly seek to improve their carbon footprint. One of our main fragrance composition house also uses an environmental and social impact assessment tool for each perfume concentrate, so it is possible to monitor and ensure compliance with our environmental and ethical requirements.
All our direct and point-of-sale equipment suppliers are assessed by EcoVadis, the leading French platform for evaluating CSR performance and responsible purchasing. Our main perfumer was rated platinum by EcoVadis in 2019. This signals the highest level of CSR commitment for a company, with only 1% of companies having achieved this rating.
Are Issey Miyake fragrances natural?
The vision of Issey Miyake Parfums is to offer unique creations, combining both nature and technology resources and materials. It is through this dual use of nature and synthesis that the perfumer’s creative palette is at its widest and gives birth to bold, singular and surprising new fragrances. Technical performances, such as long-lastingness and potency, are also enhanced by certain synthetic molecules. Since it is not always easy to understand what differentiates natural ingredients from those of natural and synthetic origin, we provide below some definitions which should help you to distinguish between the various ingredients:
Natural ingredients are directly extracted from nature by processes such as enfleurage or infusion that differ according to the ingredient. Essential oils and absolutes result from these extraction processes, with no transformation. For example, this process is used for the essence of Damascena Rose that we use in L’Eau d’Issey as it does not affect the natural qualities of the plant: roses picked early the same morning are delivered to the distillery without delay in order to guarantee their freshness.
Other ingredients, called natural-origin ingredients, are found in nature but may undergo chemical transformation processes. In order to comply with ISO 16128, natural-origin products must contain at least 50% natural ingredients, with the remainder of the composition being chemically transformed.
Finally, synthetic ingredients are molecules created by perfumers through chemical processes. Using these techniques, it is possible to reproduce a scent that does exist naturally but is difficult or impossible to extract. Calone molecule, which is used in the fragrance L’Eau d’Issey to recreate this singular scent of water, is an example of a molecule resulting from a synthesis process. Our perfumers are constantly improving manufacturing processes by using new technologies to reduce their carbon footprint or, in some cases, completely decarbonize their activity.
For example, the vanillin used in our a drop d’Issey fragrance is a 100% natural-origin plant ingredient obtained by chemical synthesis. Moreover, the 100% natural cardamom in Fusion d’Issey Extrême fragrance is the result of an upcycling process, where seeds that are not suitable for use in the gastronomy sector are upgraded for use in perfumery. In general, the natural ingredients we use at Issey Miyake Parfums are sourced according to ethical criteria. All our perfumers are evaluated by EcoVadis, the leading French platform for evaluating CSR performance and responsible purchasing.
N.B: A range of national and European certifications and labels do exist for the cosmetics industry as a whole to provide information on the degree of naturalness of products. French Ecocert® certification requires, for example, that 20% of product composition ingredients are derived from organic farming and that 95% of the ingredients in the formula are natural or of natural origin, apart from a minimum quantity of ingredients (mainly preservatives) from a restrictive list.
Do Issey Miyake fragrances contain synthetic ingredients, and if so, are they harmful to health?
As we believe that combining the two sources of ingredients – nature and innovation – brings a wealth of possibilities, we do use synthetic ingredients alongside natural ingredients to create our perfumes. The Issey Miyake brand is strongly inspired by nature, and to capture it perfectly in a bottle we use all the innovation and creativity that both nature and technology bring.
As our priority, irrespective of whether the ingredient is natural or synthetic, is to protect our customers’ health, we scrupulously comply with European regulations, which are among the strictest in the world.
Additionally, since both synthetic and natural-origin ingredients can be allergenic, to comply with labelling regulations we provide precise information on any potentially allergenic substances for all of our products. In line with European regulations, the 26 allergens identified in the regulations are listed on our outerpackagings when their concentration is higher than 0.001% for leave-on products and 0.01% for rinse-off products.
Are Issey Miyake fragrances vegan?
Strictly speaking, our range of perfumes is not vegan because some of them contain a minimum quantity of either one or the two following ingredients derived from animal-origin secretions: ambrettolide (transformed secretions), a musk that gives sillage to perfumes, and beeswax (raw secretions).
Are Issey Miyake fragrances cruelty-free?
In accordance with the commitments of the Shiseido Group, Issey Miyake Parfums does not carry out any animal-testing itself. However, strictly speaking our fragrances are not cruelty-free : in certain regulatory environments, such as in China, animal-testing is required by the law. Tests are not carried out by the brand but by a local organisation.
To learn more about Shiseido Group’s alternative testing methods, please visit https://www.shiseidogroup.com/sustainability/consumer/experiment/
QUESTIONS ON PACKAGING
Design and Sustainable Development
How does Issey Miyake Parfums manufacture its packaging (bottles and boxes)? How materials and packaging suppliers are selected?
In line with the “Luxury of the Essential” vision, Issey Miyake Parfums applies eco-design principles to all of its products. We seek to reduce, reuse or recycle materials, and we are committed to apply one or more of these principles at any time and to all bottle and outerpackagings developments. All our suppliers are evaluated by EcoVadis, the leading French platform for evaluating CSR performance and responsible purchasing.
For example, around 80% of the paper we use for our packaging is FSC certified (the Forest Stewardship Council issues a label that guarantees that products come from approved resources and are harvested in a responsible manner) and all our outerpackagings are recyclable.
The glass in our bottles comes exclusively from European glassmakers. We have started incorporating a certain amount of PCR (Post-Consumer Recycled) glass in our latest a drop d’Issey fragrance launch – a percentage of less than 10% at present but with an objective to increase this proportion in the medium term – and this approach will be rolled out to our other iconic fragrances. A drop d’Issey bottle was designed to reduce glass weight. We also offer a refillable version of our iconic L’Eau d ́Issey fragrance, with a 75ml refillable Eau de Parfum screw-top bottle. Finally, life cycle analyses have been carried out on our iconic fragrances to find ways of reducing the carbon impact of our bottles.
Regarding plastic, we have started to include 80%-90% recycled plastic in promotional objects such as textile accessories, as well as in the main merchandising tools for the launch of a drop d’Issey fragrance, which were also made from recycled plastic (PMMA). We want to continue our efforts in this direction by bringing solutions to reduce the use of plastic in our products and giftsets. For example, we have replaced plastic wedges of our giftsets with cardboard ones. New merchandising tools created from 2022 onwards will also be entirely made from cardboard.
Improving the recyclability of materials is also an issue that we have included in our 2025 commitments. As this involves optimising the design of our bottles, it therefore requires more time to ensure that criteria of quality and recyclability meet our customers’ expectations.
Issey Miyake Parfums often refers to "a sense of design" - what does that mean?
Going beyond our eco-design approach, Issey Miyake Parfums perceives design as the art of creating more useful products. We “only” create fragrances, but we try to find new ways for them to be used that do not involve more materials. Our IGO product perfectly illustrates how L’Eau d’Issey can travel in a small, light, useful and nomadic format, without necessitating the creation of a whole new packaging, and therefore saving on materials: Cap – IGO, Bottle – ISTAY.
QUESTION ON OUR MARKETING ACTIVITIES
Other items linked to our brand activity
Does Issey Miyake Parfums sustainable development approach extend to communication and promotional items?
Our “Luxury of the Essential” vision applies to fragrances we create, but we truly believe that everything we do, beyond fragrances, should aim at more simplicity and essentiality.
For each launch, our brand develops and produces a range of items designed to help you discover and appreciate our fragrances. We apply standard eco-design principles throughout our business and our teams are working to go further in reducing the use of plastics and increasing the use of recycled materials for future launches.
For example, our 2021 collection of textile accessories (toilet bags and other bags) for the first time incorporates 80%-90% recycled plastic (RPET) resulting from a process of upcycling plastic bottle waste.
Additionally, the main merchandising items developed for the launch of a drop d’Issey fragrance in 2021 incorporate recycled plastic (PMMA) for the first time. From 2022 onwards, these will be created entirely from cardboard.
QUESTIONS ON SPECIFIC HEALTH QUERIES
Our fragrances and your health
Are Issey Miyake fragrances photo-sensitising?
A non-photosensitising fragrance is one that has been designed to avoid the risk of phototoxic or allergic reactions. It must be formulated with no recognised phototoxic ingredient and tested to prove its low photosensitising potential. Issey Miyake Parfums rigorously follows the industry commitment to make cosmetic products to the highest possible safety standard. Ingredients are carefully selected on the basis of their safety profile and high purity. Before we even begin to market our fragrances, we make sure they are rigorously assessed for safety. To respect our safety commitment, we formulate and test our fragrances to minimise the risk of phototoxicity and UV sensitivity. If any doubt subsists, fragrances are reformulated to eliminate the potential risk. In this case, as far as the design of the fragrance allows us to, we aim to select ingredients known to have low photosensitising potential. Some of them may in fact have undergone a specific treatment to extract photosensitising molecules such as bergapten. As standard practice, we test all our fragrances for their phototoxicity potential and only non-phototoxic fragrances are launched on the market. For very specific skin conditions and/or pathologies, we advise customers to spray the fragrance on clothing.
Do Issey Miyake fragrances present a risk for pregnant women?
All Issey Miyake fragrances are developed after a strict safety assessment process that covers the whole population. However, during pregnancy, many major changes occur particularly to skin structure due to the effects of hormones. Women’s skin may be more sensitive than at other times, and is more prone to rashes and allergic reactions. The intensity of such changes varies from one woman to another and is unpredictable. We would advise women to spray our fragrances on fibres such as clothes, scarves, or other textile accessories, or to test the fragrance on an area such as the arm and check for any reactions. Consulting a doctor before using the product to get medical advice is therefore a useful precaution.
Do Issey Miyake fragrances contain ingredients that are allergenic?
To comply with labelling regulations, we provide precise information on potentially allergenic substances on all of our products. In line with European regulations, the 26 allergens identified in the regulations are listed on our boxes when their concentration is greater than 0.001% for leave-on products and 0.01% for rinse-off products.