Cosmetics more sustainable with vertical farming: Capsum


Vertical farming is taking off in the cosmetics industry. It offers a number of important sustainability advantages over traditional methods of farming medical herbs.

Text and pictures: provided by Olga Orlova. 

Two seemingly unrelated businesses have joined forces: iFarm, a, award-winning Finnish vertical farm technology provider, and Capsum, a cosmetics research and manufacturing company based in Marseille, France. The idea is that Capsum can cultivate its own high-quality ingredients for new cosmetic formulas, in a more sustainable and locally sourced way.

The on-site nature of vertical farming means that the ingredients produced there will leave a very low carbon footprint and consume far less water than traditional farms out in the country. And the plants grown there are super-fresh and quality-controlled, with no pesticide taint or groundwater impact.

iFarm is specialized in urban farming, recognizing the "need to learn to produce more crops with minimum soil, water, and non-renewable resources while using space in the most efficient way. Being located in urban areas, vertical farms minimize the farm-to-fork distance and provide consumers with fresh produce every day, all year round."

Using iFarm technologies, Capsum will grow a range of crops, including microgreens and flowers. (Microgreens are young plants with concentrated nutrient content). The research facility is controlled by a software called iFarm Growtune, giving Capsum the tools and data to optimize plant growth. There will be high-tech climate control within the vertical farm. This means that the type of plant being grown is independent of physical location: you can grow tropical flowers in Alaska, or forest herbs in a desert, and the quality will be the same around the world.

Microgreens are one of the plant types used in Capsum's organic cosmetics, and they are currently investigating innovative extraction methods. In addition to being a high-tech R&D facility, the Marseille farm is also a test case for broader scaling of vertical farms for cosmetics production. Environmentally and health-conscious companies like Capsum will continue to be drawn to the purity of ingredients and minimal environmental impact of hyper-local indoor farms.


Visit the website of Capsum