For some, travel can be life-changing. It has the power to shift your perspective, your personality, your values. For Francisco Costa, former Creative Director for Calvin Klein, a trip to his homeland of Brazil allowed him to reconnect with the very things that inspire him. The richness of the Amazon rainforest. Having respect for one’s environment. A firm believer that “the spirit of beauty is inseparable from the health of the earth,” Costa Brazil was born.
Although he spent over a decade at the helm of one of America’s most beloved labels, there came a time in 2016 when Costa knew it was right to walk away. And while it seems like venturing into the beauty industry is a complete departure, it was something he had stowed away in the back of his mind for quite some time. Not necessarily a plan from to switch from clothing to skincare, but finding an outlet where he could fully express himself. Given Costa’s background, Brazil seemed like the perfect place to recharge.
“As a designer, you are very intuitive and learn to navigate the creative trends,” he explained. “I saw the need for sustainable luxury products that were not yet available on the beauty market. The Amazon inspired me and the ingredients I discovered during my trips reinforced the idea.”
Costa came across some of Brazil’s most unique natural resources during his visits, whether by journeying off on his own or staying with local tribes. Today, the brand’s main ingredients come from materials used for sacred ceremonies or scents that capture the very essence of his country. Costa Brazil refers to their unisex products as “rituals,” designed to put you in touch with nature’s harmonious rhythms. Not only do they benefit your body and spirit, but they also give back to the earth.
“Brazil gave me an inherent appreciation of nature and an understanding of the beauty of simplicity. We celebrate ease and happiness in our culture. This delicate and perfect harmony of nature and the earth is the essence of beauty,” said Costa.
Costa Brazil’s formulas, whether it’s their luxurious body creams or anti-aging face oils, are certified clean meaning they’re free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates and artificial colorants to name a few. Instead, they’re building products from what they’ve trademarked as their Jungle Complex—a holy trinity of raw materials including kaya, a nourishing superfood; Cacay, a natural source of retinol rich in vitamins; and Breu, a skin-soothing resin. In order to harvest these specific (and oftentimes rare) ingredients, Costa Brazil partners with Conservation International, a non-profit environmental organization that’s currently the leader of reforestation efforts in the Brazilian Amazon.
Sustainability was by no means an afterthought when conceptualizing Costa Brazil, but rather the very foundation in which the brand was built. It just so happens to fall in line with the increase in demand for eco-friendly businesses. Costa Brazil’s sustainable practices apply most obviously to their ingredients and sourcing methods, but also to their manufacturing and packaging—the latter of which Costa himself designed to be chic, minimalist and hopefully a vessel to either be appreciated or reused later on.
Since their inaugural launch, Costa Brazil’s beauty offerings have included body oils, face oils, lotions and even burnable incense—believed to enhance peace of mind, focus and to balance the sixth chakra. They’ve ventured into self-care products such as a $165 jungle-scented candle, and the line is rumored to eventually include soaps, haircare, unisex fragrances and a body scrub. More importantly, Costa wants the core of the brand to remain intact—simple, beautiful and able to reach those who share the same commitment to preserving the planet.