Arianna Ferrari

We all apply cosmetic products to our bodies, including cleansers such as shampoos, conditioners, treatments, lotions, and make-up. However, most of the cosmetic products that the market offers contain few active ingredients and many ingredients derived from petroleum. To counteract this process, today people tend to talk about sustainable cosmetics.

More and more companies are intensifying their efforts to safeguard the environment, to promote the new decade’s model of beauty based on three principles. Sustainable, green, and plastic-free. Among the many initiatives in the beauty field, GEA SHOP is the brand that is capturing the attention of many consumers.

Ethical and sustainable platform

GEA, a title that recalls the name that the ancient Greeks gave to the Earth, was born from Gaia’s idea. In 2019, this Italian girl decided to develop a project focused on the environment. The goal? To promote a new business model sponsoring the use of common methodologies to measure and communicate environmental performance throughout the life cycle of products and organizations.

Gaia’s idea was born after a trip that took her from Mallorca (where she worked for a well-known multinational company) to Milan (where a new job for a well-known fashion brand was waiting for her). Tired of all those years dedicated to working for companies, Gaia decided to follow her passions and revolutionised her life.

Combining his entrepreneurial dreams with unconditional love for the Planet, she has developed the first reference platform in Italy where you can choose among the best ethical cosmetic brands and, consequently, receive a better-dedicated service.

Gea Shop’s philosophy

The essence of Gea Shop’s philosophy is the fact that most of the team’s work is dedicated to accurate research of natural products following zero-waste manufacturing and distribution processes. The brand tends to offer formulations with ingredients and extracts of plant origin, describing all their properties.

Gaia offers products with a very high percentage of ingredients of vegetable origin. It does not use highly polluting products of doubtful utility, preferring zero km ingredients and low environmental impact. All that it offers is made with recyclable packaging.

It’s not an easy task, since in Italy many of these innovative products to replace single-use plastic are still hard to find; but sustainable cosmetics is now all Gaia cares about in her spare time. From powder makeup-remover balm to solid body butter, this girl shows us, step by step, how to change our habits to make a great gesture of love towards the environment and the people who live in it. Intrigued by her passion and constant professional growth, we decided to interview her for you.

Hi Gaia. First of all, I want to thank you for being here. I’d like to start this interview by telling a little bit of your story.

Hello to all the readers of The Green Side of Pink! My name is Gaia and I am the creator of Gea Shop, the first plastic-free cosmetics platform in Italy. First of all, I would like to reiterate that I am a girl who has always been sensitive to the issue of environmental protection. Since I was a child I was strongly educated by my mother (diver) to clean the beaches. That’s why this project was born. I was annoyed that, in 2020, the problem was so serious, because I thought that my own sensitivity was a common feeling, and instead, I was disappointed.

So how did the idea of founding GEA SHOP come up?

Precisely on August 26, 2019, the idea came suddenly during a trip back to Italy from Spain, where I used to live. I was driven both by the desire to get involved as an entrepreneur and by the fact that I had taken my first step as a conscious consumer that particular summer, totally eliminating plastic bottles. So I decided to make sure that everyone had a cue to start doing it too. Indeed, the physical store was born in the historic center of Como, where you could find any item (even accessories) ‘lifestyle’. So for personal care and for the home, and for the outdoors. Only later we did go exclusively online and specialize in cosmetics with low waste packaging.

What is your mission?

The mission of Gea Shop, therefore, is to be the reference point for the Italian consumers where they can find the best European brands of sustainable cosmetics as well as change their mindset.

For all those who have recently approached the topic of sustainability: why choose sustainable and plastic-free cosmetics?

With a smile, I say, ‘do we really need to ask this question?’. As a result of the many environmental disasters we have witnessed (and are still witnessing), it is important to approach sustainability in all areas of our daily lives.

Could you reveal some tricks for The Green Side Of Pink readers to start adopting a sustainable beauty routine in the best way possible?

Actually, there is not much to say, the tricks are simple and affordable for everyone. Just replace cosmetics in plastic bottles with solid cosmetics (ie without packaging) or cosmetics from glass and/or aluminum packaging. Same thing for accessories: prefer them to be washable and no longer disposable, such as cotton buds or makeup remover pads, or made of different materials, such as a wooden toothbrush.

What product can you not live without?

I’ve been able to replace everything, really. If you’re just talking about the cosmetics sphere, it’s easier because you don’t have to change habits (just buy a product from an online platform instead of the supermarket, maybe that’s the only switch). But it doesn’t take much effort. So my answer is that by now I really cannot do without every product I’ve grown fond of.

There has been a lot of talk about sustainability lately, sometimes in a superficial way. How difficult has it been for you to authentically support the importance of these concepts?

It’s been so hard and still is. Most of my job is to communicate, raise awareness and educate! I have assembled a wonderful community that continues to grow and is more and more enthusiastic, putting total transparency at the base of Gea Shop. Clients rely on us asking for real consultations to start a new lifestyle.

What is the biggest challenge you faced in designing and implementing this brand? 

Entrepreneurship in Italy is already a ‘mission impossible’, imagine trying to get it into the heads of Italians, super traditionalist and consumerist people, that consumerism is wrong.

Alright, Gaia, we’ve reached the end of the interview. I want to thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Before leaving you, however, I would like to ask you what are Gea Shop’s plans and goals for the future. And what are your plans and goals for the future instead?

We just created our own line of solid shampoo & conditioner that we’ve been working hard on and investing our entire Christmas cash into. The next ones can’t be revealed yet!

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