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Pinoy students win at L’Oréal Brandstorm Global Brand Competition in Paris

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Photo shows from left, Julianne Ong, Roque Mercado and Kara Santiago of University of the Philippines, Diliman at the Brandstorm 2022 Finals 

Bannering their innovative take on sustainable beauty, three students from the University of the Philippines – Diliman won this year’s L’Oréal Brandstorm, a global innovation competition that boosts youth employability and brings together the future change-makers of tomorrow from around the world. 

For the first time in 10 years, the Philippines comes out on top of the global Brandstorm stage represented by Roque Mercado, Kara Santiago, and Julianne Ong of “Roque, Paper, Sisters” from the University of the Philippines, Diliman. Their innovative idea focused on sustainable sunscreen won the best pitch in the Green Track, granting them the coveted all-expense-paid three-month entrepreneurial internship at L’Oréal Group global headquarters in Paris. 

“With the looming threat of climate change, the Filipino youth of today believes that the time to act is now. The record-breaking participation for Brandstorm this year in the Philippines and across the world shows the unbelievable power that this generation holds in creating a better future through beauty,” said Yannick Raynaud, L’Oréal Philippines’ Country Managing Director.  More importantly, the win of an all-Filipino team in a global stage like Brandstorm is a powerful inspiration to their fellow Filipinos to use their values, ideas, and talents to create a more sustainable future through innovation — a mission that matches L’Oréal’s commitment to create a responsible and sustainable beauty for all.”

With a pool of information at their fingertips, Gen Z beauty consumers have been leading the way towards a new, more sustainable life. The youth of today shows the most concern out of any generation for the planet’s well-being by demanding more sustainable retail and encouraging others to make the same sustainability-first buying decisions. (Resource

In the Philippines, majority of Gen Z, who take up 16% of the Philippine population, are willing to spend more of their money on products and services that are not only sustainable, but also match their personal values. Believing in the power of collective choices, this new generation is hopeful that we will be able to achieve a safer and more sustainable future together. (Resource)

With the theme “Disrupt Beauty 2030”, Brandstorm 2022 has garnered record-breaking participation, with more than 83,000 youth from 65 countries registered, as well earning official certification by EFMD Global as an online learning course. Nine teams representing Argentina, France, Germany-Austria, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the United States, and the Philippines advanced to the finals after 20 weeks of intense competition at both the local and international levels. At the end of the competition, three teams representing the Inclusion, Green and Tech Tracks were selected as Brandstorm 2022 winners. As part of their intrapreneurship, the winners will continue to develop projects with support from L’Oréal, while gaining invaluable business experience at the seat of one of the world’s most beloved brands.

Jean-Claude Le Grand, L’Oréal Chief Human Relations Officer

“At L’Oréal, we are passionate about nurturing the dreams of young beauty innovators who know first-hand what the youth of today want and expect from beauty brands. L’Oréal Brandstorm is their opportunity to bring their ideas to life, receive guidance and feedback, and co-create innovations with the greatest potential for good,” said Jean-Claude Le Grand, L’Oréal Chief Human Relations Officer. “L’Oréal Brandstorm offers local mentorship and behind-the-scenes experience on a truly global scale, setting contestants on a path towards realizing their entrepreneurial ambitions or securing a role in our industry. We are proud of all our Brandstorm 2022 entrants, enabled in no small part by Salesforce technology, which makes L’Oréal Brandstorm a first-class e-learning and community-building experience, as well as an exciting competition.”

Team “Roque, Paper, Sisters” – 2022 L’Oréal Brandstorm Green Track Champion

The team of three college students pitched the idea of Pocket Block it! Dissolving Sunscreen Wipes under the Green (Sustainability) Track which challenges participants to invent the next dimension of sustainable beauty. 

The product idea of Dissolving Sunscreen Wipes are sunscreen sheets that dissolve through contact with the heat and natural oils of the skin and are packaged in refillable post-consumer recycled plastic pods. This stemmed from the team’s realization that while there is a universal need for sunscreen, there are also gaps in the current market where consumers are forced to compromise between effectiveness, convenience, and sustainability.

Together with research on the target market, product and financial feasibility, and the like, the strategic ideation behind this product was also based on:

  • Sustainable Production
    • The production cycle for this product is a closed-loop system which entails that any post-consumer waste is reused to start the process all over again. After consumers are done with the Pocket Block It! Dissolving Sunscreen Wipes, they will be able to simply refill their product.
  • Sustainability Impact
    • Through including natural products such as UV filters in the formula and utilizing post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic packaging that can be reused, the team was able to come up with a sunscreen that reduces, reuses, and recycles.
  • Technology
    • Shifting the focus on the format instead of the formula, the team was able to position this sunscreen as ground-breaking skincare technology that challenges the packaging format of current sunscreens which are harmful to the environment and inconvenient for consumers.

L’Oréal Brandstorm 2022 Green Track champions Roque Mercado, Kara Santiago, and Julianne Ong share, “The journey to getting here was not an easy feat, but we are very proud to having finished strong, granting the Philippines its first win in 10 years. Our main focus was to create an innovative product that we hope will have a positive impact on the beauty industry, so being able to win and get global recognition is very fulfilling for the team. We are really excited and look forward to our entrepreneurial internship at the L’Oréal Group global headquarters in Paris, France where we’ll be able to immerse ourselves in an innovative and inspiring environment.”

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