The Ugly Truth About Collagen
and The Brazilian Rainforest
Beauty V’s The Planet – Why Jennifer Aniston is not our Friend
Ok, let’s start with the actress we all know and respect.
Why Jennifer Aniston is not our Friend
Millions of people around the world love Jennifer Anniston. She was absolutely mesmerising in ‘The Morning Show.’ Her character was riveting. She’s a strong, beautiful, successful woman other young girls and women around the world look up to, and rightly so.
She was made famous for her role as ‘Rachel’ in ‘Friends’, but it turns out, she is not actually a friend of the Earth. Sadly, she’s anything but, because whether she knows it or not, she is now playing a new role – and playing her part in helping to destroy the precious Rainforest that you, me, and the entire planet depend on.
Cue slightly tweaked ‘Friends’ theme music: “I’ll be there for you, when the Rainforest starts to fall…”
Collagen-based products are killing our planet
Jennifer Aniston looks good for her age, no doubt about that. She looks radiant. Glowing. Young. She credits her remarkable age-defying looks to collagen, and in her own words, “it’s the glue that holds everything together” and claims to have been using it for years, even adding it to her morning coffee. Problem is though, this collagen trend is killing the planet. Literally.
While the demand for collagen-based products continues to soar, it is crucial to shed light on the potential environmental consequences of this beauty trend, specifically its connection to the deforestation in the Amazon - some of this is traced to Nestlé-owned Vital Proteins, a leading producer of bovine collagen supplements.
And, guess what? Our good friend Jennifer Aniston is chief creative officer of Vital Proteins.
Some hard facts about Collagen production.
Here’s a little bit of info you may or may not know. Here goes. Collagen is a protein found naturally in the human body and is responsible for maintaining the structure, elasticity, and firmness of our skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments. As we age, collagen production decreases, leading to the development of wrinkles, joint pain, and brittle bones. Consequently, the market for collagen-based products has grown exponentially in recent years, with consumers seeking to reverse the signs of ageing. Afterall, who doesn’t want to look as Jennifer whatever age you are?
Collagen and De-forestation go hand in hand
As a prominent public figure and advocate for wellness, Jennifer Aniston has long been associated with maintaining a youthful appearance, and her association with collagen has undoubtedly contributed to its growing popularity.
The collagen industry heavily relies on a key ingredient - known as bovine collagen supplements, which are predominantly sourced from animal hides. Herein lies the problem though: the production of collagen products, particularly when it involves sourcing animal materials, has been linked to deforestation, particularly in areas like the Amazon rainforest.
The Amazon Rainforest - the "lungs of the Earth," plays a crucial role in regulating the planet's climate. It provides a habitat for countless species, holds vast amounts of carbon dioxide, and serves as a source of indigenous communities' livelihoods. However, the growing demand for cattle ranching and agriculture - including the raising of cows for their hides - has contributed to widespread deforestation in the Amazon and other rainforest regions.
Looking young V’s The Rainforest
The process of sourcing bovine collagen from animal hides necessitates large-scale cattle farming, which often relies on clearing vast areas of rainforest land for grazing. These deforestation practices not only contribute to greenhouse gas emissions but also disrupt fragile ecosystems, destroy the habitats of countless species, and displace indigenous communities who have relied on the forest for generations.
It is important to note that not all collagen-based products are responsible for rainforest destruction. Like us, many companies strive to source their ingredients ethically and sustainably. We applaud all those companies that share the same ethics as we do. Big ‘High Five’, big hugs and respect to all those businesses who are open, honest and good.
Shame on Jennifer Aniston and Nestlé
We make sure that all our partners are family run businesses and we always do our due diligence. We have a close relationship with each and every one of them, and they are good people too. We keep a close eye on the network surrounding the procurement and processing of leather and animal skin for our products, and it’s a real shame Jennifer Aniston and Nestlé can’t say the same thing about themselves.
But, they are raking in the dough so who cares? Well, actually we do. And so do you. That’s why you’re here, reading this. Big hugs to you too.
Greed over the need to save the planet
Our ‘Friend’ Jen is not short of cash. As it stands, she has amassed a personal fortune of $320,000,000. That’s a lot of noughts, and a lot of spare change she should be using to change the Earth, instead of helping to destroy it by promoting collagen-based products.
She, and others like her – Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, should be using some of their vast wealth to help protect the Rainforest.
It’s time the leather industry was more transparent too
The proof is in the pudding, as they say. We work with a tannery that is LWG certified, guaranteeing that the quality of leather we use comes exclusively from animals in Europe - namely Switzerland, Spain, and France. The Napa is Italian bovine and equally certified.
It sounds crazy to say this, but they are happy cows. We make sure of that. The likes of Nestle and Co (Boooooo!!!) go cheap to maximise profit on a mind blowing scale to guarantee stakeholder profit, so these corporations work with dodgy producers who butcher nature without a second thought for the harm they are doing to cows, the Rainforest, or the planet.
With leather products, quality matters
It's a real shame that the lack of transparency in supply chains, especially for leather products in general, and the absence of strict regulations make it really challenging for consumers to identify environmentally responsible collagen products. That’s why we work with certified LWG tanneries. Of course things could be better. But Rome was not built in a day. We all need to give more information on such topics so our customers can make better, more informed choices. However, most people just want the good stuff and want to get the most value for their money. That’s where we kick in again. We know that less is more and quality matters.
We need stricter regulations and better sourcing practices
The growing awareness of the environmental impact of collagen production and its connection to rainforest destruction calls for collective action. Consumers can play a significant role by choosing collagen products from companies that prioritize sustainability and transparency. Supporting brands that obtain collagen from ethical sources or opting for plant-based alternatives is one way to help mitigate the negative impact on rainforests.
Furthermore, we believe that governments, industry regulators, and environmental organizations should collaborate to establish and enforce stringent standards for collagen production. This includes traceability requirements, sustainable sourcing practices, and stricter regulations to combat deforestation in regions where collagen ingredients are sourced.
It's true that global companies destroy rainforests for cheap leather production, but most of that leather ends up as furniture, car interiors, designer clothes, shoes etc. The luxury handbag business is just a tiny amount of this billion dollar business.
We’re proud to be a sustainable leather brand
At LUC8K, we’re proud of how we source our leather from sustainable farms in Europe. Our products will always be the highest quality, but never responsible for the death of the Rainforest. We’ll always be transparent about where and how we source our leather because we have nothing to hide. It’s a shame the same can’t be said of all the global brands and companies that do so much damage to our planet.
The hides for our elegant leather bags and accessories are naturally tanned and dip-dyed. We make sure it’s a sustainable manufacturing process from beginning to end, and the materials we use are all sourced locally. With LUC8K, you are getting the purest high-quality leather available from cows that are allowed to roam free and lead long, happy lives.
We only work with an ISO certified tannery
Some colours, such as blue, need chromium tanning, because chromium is essential to keep the colour bright and shiny for years to come. We work with an ISO certified tannery in the Basque region of France, close to the boarders to Andorra Pyrenees, where the water is recycled and redirected into the sewage system of the village where the tannery is located.
Some colours are fit for vegetable-based tanning, however, you cannot avoid chromium in some processes, which is highly toxic. Cheap leather from Bangladesh or Morocco comes from factories where they just wash that toxic soup down into the sea. We are also against anything or anyone that compromises human rights or involves cheap child labour. To some of these countries, a human life is just a cheap commodity, nothing more, nothing less.
Beauty should not be the be all and end all
We love leather, and we are proud of our product and our partners, and most of all, we are pleased to have a loyal base of customers with exquisite taste and ethics, who spend time to colour match and personalize their perfect bags online.
We strongly believe that by making informed choices and supporting sustainable alternatives, we can collectively ensure that the pursuit of beauty does not come at the expense of our planet's invaluable ecosystems. Sure, we are not 100% green. Let’s be honest, no one is, but we strive to keep our footprint as small as possible and we are working hard, day and night, to make it even smaller.
It’s time to take a stand
We are true friends of nature and sustainability. Sadly, our friend Jen is not, and neither is the selfish, greedy, planet destroying corporation that pays her millions to promote products that are destroying our precious planet.
We need our planet to keep on living, but through our reckless actions - overfishing, deforestation, overpopulation, consumerism, and global warming - we are destroying the Earth as a home for generations to come. e are true friends of nature and sustainability. Sadly, our friend Jen is not, and neither is the selfish, greedy, planet destroying corporation that pays her millions to promote products that are destroying our precious planet.
The world is ours to love and care for
My late Dad, who was as Astrophysicist, taught me the rules of physics in our daily life, and he told me since I was a little girl that our planet is a tiny blue ball in outer space. A beautiful blue ball as water is life, and planet Earth has all we need to make our precious time living here as good and as wonderful as it can possibly be.
We know the value of life and the place we call home, and we are going to take them all on, these people and companies who don’t really care, one exquisite, luxurious, sustainable LUC8K product at a time.
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