top of page

Splashing into Sustainable Design: A Panel Discussion in celebration of the NYCxDESIGN Festival

Left to Right: Amer Jandali, Beatrice Dupree, Patrick Duffy, Sophie Bensamou, Neil Yeoh, Justin Wolff.

In the heart of Tribeca, Splashlight Studios illuminated the path to a more sustainable future as part of the NYCxDESIGN Festival, a celebration of design that enriches New York City and the world. Collaborating with GFX, IRK Magazine, and Future Meets Present, Splashlight Studios hosted a thought-provoking panel discussion on the crucial role of design and wellness in achieving climate goals, particularly in living a 1.5-degree lifestyle., in partnership with Canva and Flourish .

Canva/Flourish Presentation demonstrating a new technology for displaying data

Photo one: Amer Jandali presenting plastic waste statistics in Flourish Photo two: Beatrice Dupree make opening remarks about the future of innovation, diversity and sustainability at Splashlight.

The event, held at the Splashlight Studio and led by Beatrice Dupree, Head of Cultural Innovation, attracted entrepreneurs, designers, students, artists, and engineers, all eager to explore the intersection of design, sustainability, and climate action.

The panel featured industry leaders committed to driving change in their respective fields: Sophie Bensamou, VP Creation Fine Fragrance North America at Symrise, shed light on Symrise's innovative approach to climate action in the fragrance industry. Sophie highlighted Symrise's dedication to utilizing 100% of raw materials, avoiding waste, and reintegrating

side-streams into production processes. This approach not only meets production demands but also fosters growth while decoupling resource consumption from expansion, transcending traditional recycling practices.

Left to Right: Sophie Bensamou, Neil Yeoh, Justin Wolff.

In line with the circular economy's core tenets of waste elimination, resource circulation, and sustainable resource extraction, Symrise envisions a future where all its products are fully biodegradable, ultimately returning to nature after use. This transformative shift necessitates a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources to ensure economic activities are detached from the depletion of finite resources.

One exemplary practice of Symrise's commitment to the circular economy is the Symtrap® process. This patented technology utilizes by-products that would otherwise be discarded, extracting scent and aroma molecules from aqueous phases leftover from various processes like distillation. By repurposing these by-products, Symtrap® not only minimizes waste but also reduces emissions and transportation costs, contributing to a more sustainable and circular approach to production.

Symrise Ai scent creation technology

Justin Wolff, CEO of Junk Theory, brought a fresh perspective on sustainability in beauty. Junk Theory, launched in 2023, aims to end the plastic era in beauty by prioritizing sustainable packaging solutions. Wolff emphasized the importance of creating products that not only promote clean skincare but also minimize environmental impact.

During the panel discussion, Wolff elaborated on Junk Theory's commitment to sustainability, stating, "We're creating products that challenge the status quo of beauty packaging. Our clean skincare line uses metal packaging, the most recycled material on earth, to reduce plastic waste."

Junk Theory "Earth Powered Skincare"

Wolff emphasized that Junk Theory adopts a unique approach by refraining from allocating funds towards marketing or engaging influencers to endorse its products. He highlighted the trend where many companies allocate larger budgets to marketing and influencer collaborations than to the actual product development itself. Wolff underscored the importance of prioritizing sustainability and renewability in product creation rather than investing solely in promotional efforts. Additionally, he assured that all reviews of Junk Theory products are genuine and reflective of their quality.

Neil Yeoh, Founder of One Point Five, provided insights into climate consulting and the importance of integrating sustainability into business strategies. Yeoh stressed the need for comprehensive sustainability services to help organizations align with climate targets and decarbonize their operations effectively.

Growing up in Australia as the child of immigrants, Yeoh grappled with a sense of purposelessness and struggled to envision his capacity for effecting change. Despite the sacrifices made by his parents to provide a better life, Yeoh harbored a profound desire to make a more significant impact, yet found himself ensnared in a career devoid of fulfillment.

However, through acquiring new skills and receiving guidance, Yeoh liberated himself and embraced his passion for climate advocacy. As the Founder and CEO of OnePointFive, Yeoh leads a remote sustainability advisory network dedicated to decoupling emissions for sustainable growth. Through initiatives like the OPF Academy, Yeoh aims to empower and

train 100,000 sustainability professionals by 2030. Under his leadership, OnePointFive has earned recognition as a Forbes Next1000 Company, boasting a team of over 500 experts engaged in impactful projects worldwide. From developing net-zero strategies to collaborating on climate regulations, Yeoh and his team are driving climate action across various sectors. His journey serves as an inspiring example of unlocking one's potential to effect positive change globally.

Yeoh emphasized, "Every job is a climate job. It's essential for companies to prioritize sustainability and take meaningful action towards reducing their carbon footprint." The panel discussion covered a range of topics, from upcycling fragrances to reducing plastic waste in the beauty industry. Attendees were inspired by the panelists' innovative approaches and their commitment to driving positive change.

As the evening drew to a close, attendees left with a renewed sense of purpose and determination to incorporate sustainable practices into their own lives and businesses.

In the words of Justin Wolff, "Our goal is to inspire change in the beauty industry. By prioritizing sustainability and transparency, we hope to set a new standard for clean skincare and encourage larger brands to follow suit."

The panel discussion at Splashlight during NYCxDesign Week epitomized the essence of the

event, serving as a poignant reminder of design's profound ability to forge a more sustainable

and inclusive future for society as a whole.

Article: Eva Megannety

Contributing Editor: Morgan Miller


bottom of page