Ulé, a new skincare brand by Shiseido, sources pesticide-free botanicals from local vertical farms

In what might well be a world first, Ulé Beauty is a new skincare brand powered by vertical farming. The Shiseido-incubated French startup works with Tower Farm to procure exotic ingredients grown near Paris.

Instead of shipping in dried plant substances purchased in bulk, Ulé sources fresh botanicals from a vertical farm near Paris, where they're 'hand-harvested at their optimal potency.' Like cold-pressed juice, the plants are cold-milled before being mixed into Ulé's farm-tech moisturizers and serums. 

Since they're pampered under ideal and highly controlled conditions, plants like centella and tulsi can be grown without pesticides. From seed to jar, the ingredients are also entirely traceable. Ulé just launched in France with a pop-up store in Paris and plans to expand to other European countries in 2023.

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Spooked by supply chain disruptions, manufacturers are looking for local alternatives. Easier to track and control and often more sustainable, home-grown commodities stand to gain ground over the coming decade, which could give vertical farming a huge boost and help brands attract eco-minded consumers.

When it comes to agricultural ingredients, the green factor isn't just about less shipping. As Ulé points out: "Particularly in the cosmetics sector, sourcing more from vertical farms would mean reducing the amount of land used for cosmetics production, thereby freeing it up for food production and other ecosystems such as forests."

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