S-beauty Special
Why HAVU can serve as the perfect example of a conscious cosmetics brand in 2021
Disrupting an industry that has traditionally used so much plastics and single-use plastics can be challenging — especially as a new brand, according to HAVU Cosmetics’ co-founder Lumi Maunuvaara. ”When it comes to sustainability, you have to look at the whole lifecycle of the product,” she states.
28 Oct 2021

After the huge K-beauty trend and its 10-step-routines, there’s a growing global buzz for Scandinavian S-beauty and its innovative products with sustainability at its very core. In the latest issue of our printed magazine, we highlight 13 innovative beauty launches. This is #2.

While studying chemical engineering, specialised in polymer and fibre engineering (roughly, plastics and replacing plastics with bio-based options) in university, now 23-year-old Lumi Maunuvaara got involved in a project between design students and engineering students.

— Thanks to that course, I really got into cosmetic chemistry and came up with the first prototypes of cosmetic products. My co-founder, Tatu Fontell, contacted me, asking if I wanted to create a company out of the idea. He saw the potential. So, we founded HAVU and after a couple of years in R&D, we launched officially in September 2019, she tells.

— Our range includes our hero product, the lipstick, a refill for any lipstick packaging and lip care products; scrub, mask, and balm, Maunuvaara tells, continuing,

Her years in university gave her great insights into circular economy and product development. Experiences now used at HAVU — a Helsinki-based natural cosmetics brand, aiming to create beautiful zero waste products. 

— When it comes to sustainability, you have to look at the whole lifecycle of the product. Firstly, all of our packagings are made from renewable sources; wood, wood alternatives, and starch-based PLA. Secondly, you can recycle all of that easily to bio-waste. Thirdly, our lipstick refill can give another life cycle to any lipstick case, even the plastic ones. If you already have a plastic packaging, you should try to reuse it as long as possible — our refill makes that possible. There is so much single use in the cosmetic industry, so there’s still a lot to innovate still. Our biodegradable packaging means that all our products can be tossed in biowaste after use and a huge part of our work being a conscious brand is that that we produce our cosmetics in Finland with only natural and renewable ingredients, in our own lab. They include natural oils, waxes, and inorganic pigments — we want the formulations to be easy to use, fun, and light.

What are the main challenges for you working this way?

— I would say that building a subcontracting chain with such a new product and new materials is tricky, Maunuvaara shares. Bringing new products is also challenging: you’re very limited if you try to create products without any plastics in an industry where everything is traditionally made of plastic. We’ve chosen to make very sustainable products, and it’s making us compromise in almost every other aspect. Hopefully, it will pay off!

Last summer, HAVU launched their latest shades, presented at an event during Copenhagen Fashion Week.

— We’re now looking for announcing some new channels we’ve opened in Europe, as well as a launch event in Tokyo, Maunuvaara concludes.

Heather lipstick by HAVU in our latest issue
Set design: Niklas Hansen
Photography: Anders Kylberg


#1: After our heavy use of sanitizers, this innovative hand mask is a saviour for your hands