Beauty Disrupted challenges the beauty industry’s overuse of plastic with exclusive solid bars
Regular beauty products, like liquid shampoo and conditioner, contain about 70 to 90 % water. The benefits of using solid bars are many, according to Svante Holm, co-founder of the plastic-free beauty startup Beauty Disrupted.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
December 14, 2021
Swedish entrepreneur Holm has lived almost his entire life abroad. In the middle of an international tech career, he joined forces with Frenchman Alban Mayne to do something impactful against plastic and climate change.
— We were both intrigued by the beauty industry as it seemed stuck in old ways that rely heavily on plastic and often also on rather harsh ingredients. One day we read that a shocking 80 billion — with a B! — plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles are trashed every year, so we quit our tech careers and created a purpose-driven premium beauty company, Beauty Disrupted, with a bold mission: luxurious plastic-free beauty products that offer the finest haircare and beauty experiences without compromising on sustainability. We consciously craft our products in the south of France using entirely organic scents from Grasse. In order to avoid unnecessary shipping and emissions, we create our packaging in a beautiful little medieval town right next to where we create the bars. The packaging is made from premium recycled and easily recyclable FSC certified cardboard paper, printed with vegetable-based ink, and, like our bars, is made using 100% renewable energy. We donate 20 % of our profits to organizations that protect the planet and combat climate change, he tells.
Regular beauty products, he continues, like liquid shampoo and conditioner, contain about 70 to 90 % water.
— Our products, from shampoo and conditioner to body wash and shaving cream, all come as solid bars that are free of water but loaded with the finest natural ingredients. As a result, they last much longer than traditional beauty products and each bar we make avoids at least 2 plastic bottles. We think it is key that the products are not only green but also luxurious and absolutely wonderful to use. So we benchmark each and every product we make against the very best liquid alternatives, and it took us two years of research, testing, and fine-tuning to get the formulas right.
— We are not in this to make something small. We are here to help change a gigantic beauty industry by showing that it is possible to make green and plastic-free products that are also luxurious and absolutely wonderful to use. The more consumers who experience that, the stronger the pressure will be on traditional beauty brands to change their ways. And when that happens, the industry will finally move away from trashing those 80 billion plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles every year.
Have you made any calculations regarding emissions saved using this packaging instead of virgin plastic?
— Using common industry estimates, we believe our packaging creates about 10 % of the emissions that regular 250ml plastic bottles do.
Beauty Disrupted has just launched its own gift boxes as well as accessories to help consumers keep their bars dry between uses.
— First out is a limited edition series of soap dishes, handmade, signed, and numbered by Japanese ceramics artist Shoshi Watanabe, who works with the finest hotels and restaurants in California and Japan. Over the next year we will come out with further travel and storage solutions that will make it even easier for consumers to give up the plastic bottle, Holm says. He adds:
— We just launched our conditioner bars. There are hundreds of premium liquid conditioners on the market, but until now there were no really premium conditioner bars anywhere. We wondered why that is, but the more we worked on the conditioner bars, the better we understood the reason why. It is simply extremely hard to get them right. We created a unique formula and approached different suppliers and even built custom-made hardware to make it, but in the end, we had to create them by hand. So they are slow and expensive to make, and until now we struggle to supply enough of them. But they are absolutely wonderful to use and add this amazing smoothness and volume to the hair. In fact, after testing them for half a year, I went back to liquid conditioner for a weekend. It felt like going from the latest Tesla to an old Volkswagen diesel…