Mexican agronomist María Nieves Trujillo Tapia shared the 2015 Yves Rocher Foundation Terre de Femmes (Women of the Earth) award with Turkish green architect Özgül Öztürk for their dedication in developing ways to help women across the globe develop sustainable business opportunities, the French cosmetic firm announced last week.
The award, which is presented each year to women who have left a positive environmental footprint through scientific or professional innovation, was first created in 2001 by Jacques Rocher, honorary president of the Yves Rocher Foundation, which is a subsidiary of L’Institut de France.
In the last 15 years, it has been awarded to more than 350 women with a combined value of nearly $2 million in grants for women in France, Germany, Switzerland, Russia, Morocco, Portugal, Ukraine, Turkey, Italy and Mexico.
Last year was the first that Mexico was included in the scientific contest, and Trujillo Tapia won the competition in Mexico to go on to compete against 10 other semi-finalists in Paris for the international award.
Trujillo Tapia’s project involved the development of an organic fertilizer to be used in the planting of hibiscus flowers in the southern central state of Oaxaca.
The flowers are traditionally grown by women in the local indigenous Zapotec communities of Oaxaca and commercialized throughout the nation.
As a result of Trujillo Tapia’s innovative fertilizer, the women in the three Oaxaca Zapotec communities that participated in a trial of the new compost were able to increase their annual production by 60 percent.
With a $14,000 grant from the Yves Rocher Foundation, Trujillo Tapia, who teaches agronomy and biotechnology at the Oaxaca’s Universidad del Mar, will help to expand the use of the fertilizer and also help the Zapotec women to commercialize their crops nationwide.
“We want to help these women to find new distributors of their hibiscus flowers because, at the moment, they only have one buyer, and he is paying them a price per kilo that is about half the market rate,” Trujillo Tapia told The News during an event to announce her winning of the award and to launch the 2016 competition for the prize.
“Most of the women are the main or sole breadwinners in their families, so the hibiscus crops are very important to their survival.”
The Turkish winner, who shared half of the grand prize with Trujillo Tapia, was recognized for her contribution to an architectural repurposing project that helps provide green areas in sites that were previously wastelands.
The Yves Rocher Foundation established its annual Terre de Femmes competition to promote and award women who are actively involved in environmental protection issues.
The competition, which is sponsored by the French direct-sales beauty and skincare corporation Yves Rocher in partnership with the United Nations, is now entering its 15th year, with participants in North Africa, Europe and North America.
The 2016 competition will be open to all Mexican women over the age of 18 and will be divided into three categories: biodiversity, society and education.
Candidates will be judged based on their individual project proposals by a jury of their peers.
All projects must be nonprofit and able to be completed in a short-term period of less than six months.
The three top Terre de Femmes winners will receive a grant of 5,000 ($5,654), 3,000 and 2,000 euros, respectively.
The first place winner will also compete for an International grand prize of 10,000 euros or the Special Mention for Plant Biodiversity award of 5,000 euros in Paris in March 2017.
Yves Rocher director general Carlo Bertolatti pointed out that since 2005, the Yves Rocher Foundation has been internationally recognizing women dedicated to preserving the environment with the Terre de Femmes awards.
So far, more than 300 women have been recognized in 50 countries for their environmental efforts, he said.
“As a cosmetics manufacturer, Yves Rocher has a legacy of using natural ingredients in its products, so the foundation’s goal is to help preserve nature and educate people about the environment,” Bertolatti said.
The Yves Rocher Foundation was founded in 1991 by Jacques Rocher, son of Yves Rocher, who developed a line of women’s beauty products based on plants and herbs.
Since 2000, the foundation has awarded cash prizes to Terre de Femmes to recognize women who help protect and enhance the plant world.
Yves Rocher which describes itself as “the world leader in botanical beauty care,” traditionally uses natural, plant ingredients for the basis of its cosmetic and skincare products.
The company dates back to 1957, but it was in 1989 that it stopped animal testing altogether.
The use of genetically modified (GM) plant ingredients is forbidden in Yves Rocher products and the company strives to use cultivated plants and renewable parts of plants harvested from nature.
The development of organic farming is also supported by Yves Rocher.
The only animal ingredients used are honey and beeswax.
“Nature is fragile, so we need to help to protect it each day,” Bertolatti said.
“In keeping with that philosophy, the Terre de Femmes awards are presented annually to like-minded entrepreneurs who are doing their bit to help the planet survive.”
Ozone and Sun Defense
Recent dermatological research has shown that exposure to ozone and other free radicals can be as damaging or even more damaging to delicate facial skin as unprotected sun exposure.
Consequently, SkinCeuticals, the U.S.-based derma-cosmetic line sold only by physicians, has developed a special one-two punch combination of Phloretin C F (which combines ascorbic acid, ferulic acid and Phloretin to combat the effects of free radicals) and its broad-spectrum, moisturizing Ultra Facial Defense sunscreen to protect against both eternal causes of premature aging. Used in conjunction, SkinCeuticals says, the two products can dramatically protect and reverse early signs of fine lines, wrinkles and sagging.
And speaking of sun and pollution, one of the most sensitive parts of your face are the contours around the eye, a delicate skin that is only a tenth of the thickness of other facial skin. Pollution, UV rays, stress and fatigue all take their toll on this region, causing billions of toxins to accumulate each day, leading to a loss in vitality and dullness. Dior has introduced a new One Essential Eye Serum that helps control these signs by detoxifying and boosting radiance. Enriched with the essence of red hibiscus flowers from the Dior gardens, this serum targets 100 percent of toxins in the eye skin area, releasing a wave of revitalization that ripples through every layer. The eye contour is strengthened. Reenergized, the skin around the eyes appears more radiant, rested and smooth.
Come September, Loft will be releasing its new fall/winter collection in Mexico, and this season is all about romance and femininity, with softly draped sweaters and silky ivory white tie blouses matched with multi-toned textures skirts and faux suede jackets in warm mustard shades. There are also horizontally stripped jumper dresses and classic granny gowns with bright floral prints. Black short-shorts with big poppy prints and an oversized gray, black and white woolen ponchos allow mixing and matching to create a personal style on an affordable budget.