Today we are thrilled to highlight one of our partners, Céline Jennison. Based in Santa Cruz, she's the founder of the skincare brand Anato. We are very proud to offer some of her products on our website!
From the packaging to the ingredients, we LOVE that Céline did so much research to include sustainability every step of the way: the focus on regenerative agroforestry, the commitment to low-waste packaging, the attention to organic and sustainable ingredient sourcing, and above all, the quality and function of the products they make.
Without further ado, here is our interview with Céline from Anato. We asked her a few questions so you can get to know her better!
How did your company get started?
Cured from an immune deficiency through herbalism at the age of ten, I was mesmerized by the power of plants and nature early on. Determined to uncover the best way to feed the world sustainably, alongside my degrees in Plant Science and Environmental Change and Management, I volunteered on countless farms to better understand how to harness the power of nature through biomimicry. I developed a passion for perennial crops and agroforestry systems due to their ability to provide food and an array of other ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration — of paramount importance to remain within our ‘planetary boundaries’.
Digging deeper into food issues, I soon became aware of the issue of plastic pollution and waste in general. This led me to become co-founder of the non-profit Plastic Tides with two classmates in 2014. Plastic Tides combines adventure & science to address ocean plastic pollution via Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) expeditions.
Longing for multifunctional skincare products during my expeditions, that were also organic, plastic-free, fairtrade and smelt good, I saw the need for products that ticked all these boxes.
Anato melds my lifelong journey concocting herbal remedies and skincare, my deep understanding of truly sustainable agricultural practices and my experience at Plastic Tides to educate individuals at scale via a consumer product.
What first sparked your personal interest in environmentalism or sustainable living?
The reason I started my company stems from a lifelong passion for plants and trees. This passion is what fuels my energy to keep going during tough times as an entrepreneur. If environmentalism was just something I added onto the company, I don't think I'd be able to keep going because it is hAAArd!
Was sustainability and plastic-free a priority from the beginning?
I was a sustainable farming advocate before I became a zero waste evangelist. I remember finding myself at Starbucks as a college student with a disposable cup in my hand thinking this wasn’t good and that someone ought to tell me off for it. Now, if I find myself in a situation where I need to use a disposable cup, I’m super embarrassed and I stuff the disposable in my bag to try and reuse it any way I can!
Were there any sacrifices you had to make as a business to keep sustainability as a priority?
Oh yes ! 2 years of research into packaging and sourcing ingredients has definitely taken a toll on the bottom line. I’ve done very little marketing and no PR. Countless hours on research means growth is very slow. But I'm past that point thank goodness (well nearly!).
Sometimes I get jealous seeing companies that started at the same time with many more instagram followers who seem to be way ahead of me. But I remind myself that I created the most sustainable company I can possibly create, using a systems thinking approach to everything I do. And almost everyone else is taking shortcuts.
Our shipping/ production tables at the studio are even made of old doors ! That’s something to be proud of.
What’s your favorite part about working with your company?
I love seeing people's eyes shine as they finish a workshop with me at the studio and feel inspired to take action in their community. I also love networking and collaborating/ connecting with other founders.
What's your favorite zero waste tip for our readers?
Compost - one of the most powerful ways to reduce plastic but also, more importantly — significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from trash sitting in landfills with rotting food that could serve as food for plants.
Are there any products or projects you’re looking forward to in the near future?
I’m looking forward to working more and more directly with farmers that have or want to incorporate regenerative farming practices and to be able to impact supply chain.
Thank you Céline!
We hope you have enjoyed getting to know one of the wonderful people we love working with! We have some exciting collaborations in the works, so keep your eyes peeled for events such as a workshop with Céline in our store. It will definitely be fascinating.