LONDON, United Kingdom — Vegan beauty brand BYBI is doubling down on US and UK expansion following the completion of a $7 million funding round.
The five-year-old sustainable startup, which has seen its year over year growth jump by 200% over the past year, also revealed plans to become one of the first carbon-neutral beauty brands by the end of 2020.
Backed by investors including Point King Capital (The Beauty Chef, Aurate) Unilever Ventures (True Botanicals, Saie, Zitsticka, Kopari), and Ian Lopatin, Co-Founder of Spiritual Gangster, BYBI will kick-off its US retail launch via a partnership with Target in January 2021.
Its clean skincare products will be available at 1,841 Target stores nationwide, adding to its roster of mega-retailers including Sephora and Boots across the UK and Europe, as well as Revolve and ASOS.
“We’ve always known that the US makes a lot of sense for the brand; the beauty market is thriving there, and the consumer is super savvy when it comes to skincare and sophisticated in their approach to clean and sustainable products,” said co-founders Elsie Rutterford and Dominika Minarovic.
“Partnering with Target allows us to reach the market in its entirety, giving access to the US consumer across all 50 states in a way that’s convenient and easy to shop.”
The pair also praised the retailer for its investment into sustainability both through the brands it carries as well as its own internal practices, which are in alignment with its own values.
“One of our gripes with the clean beauty industry, when we started out, was its exclusive nature. Through price point and messaging it suggested good skin health comes at a cost which we disagree with. BYBI is priced fairly but doesn’t compromise on quality, efficacy or sustainability, making us an ideal fit for the Target assortment,” the duo told Welltodo.
Despite the brand’s focus on US expansion for 2021 and beyond, it also plans to grow its direct-to-consumer channel in the UK, alongside supporting its key retail partners and expanding its product line.
Having already released nine new products throughout 2020, including two moisturisers, an antibacterial spray, a face mask and two eye creams, the brand has a further two products set to launch in early 2021, with more to follow — all of which it says have been created to meet consumer demand.
Like many clean beauty brands, it has experienced an influx of engagement throughout the pandemic, with its products remaining relevant for both health-conscious consumers and those having more time to invest in themselves.
It also cites its fast customer response times, friendly approach, transparency and positive impact as better serving the needs of younger generations, and in turn helping to drive sales.
However, to further its mission of making ‘climate-conscious beauty’ commonplace, and better leverage the value today’s consumers are placing on purpose-driven brands, it also plans on becoming the world’s first carbon-negative beauty brand.
This will involve offsetting all of its historic carbon emissions, which it says have been calculated based on the results of a third-party audit. From 2021 onwards, it then plans to work on reducing its carbon footprint across its entire supply chain.
“We see a clear opportunity to lead the way in lowering beauty’s carbon footprint,” Rutterford and Minarovic told Welltodo.
“With that comes a focus on significantly reducing our carbon footprint, through actual carbon reduction and not just offsetting, and ultimately becoming carbon negative. Whilst this is not an easy process, we really do see this as the future of beauty and the way the world needs to move.”