In this chapter of Start-Up Stories we spoke to Charlie Bowes-Lyon, the Co-Founder of Wild Cosmetics. They’ve created an awesome and 100% sustainable deodorant that’s completely recyclable. Check out what Charlie had to say about all things sustainability and owning a business…
What is Wild Cosmetics?
We want to shake up the throwaway culture of everyday bathroom products and inspire people to switch to natural and sustainable products for their everyday bathroom routines. We are launching with a single use plastic free deodorant that works on a subscription basis with refills made from bamboo pulp.
Why did you decide to create a range of sustainable products?
Less than 50% of products used in the bathroom are recycled compared to 90% in the kitchen. To change your daily habits, you have to sacrifice either the efficacy, convenience or experience of your products.
“At Wild we want to create a range of high performing natural products that are 100% sustainable but also provide a frictionless experience.”
We believe through beautiful design and a seamless customer experience we can help ‘eco’ friendly and natural products go mainstream.
How long did it take to get Wild from an idea to reality?
It’s taken us 12 months and 25 iterations to develop both our deodorant formula and reusable packaging.
You guys are planning to launch single use plastic free packaging, how did you go about that?
It’s extremely difficult to do at the moment. There are alternatives such as using cardboard, but this often doesn’t work well with bathroom products as the packaging can get soggy/messy. We wanted to create something beautiful that people would be proud to display which is why we created our aluminium casing and bamboo pulp refills. This took a lot of time, energy and money to design, create tooling for and bring to life but we hope with the extra cost we will have created something people can be truly proud to own.
Did you always want to start your own business? Is it what you expected?
I’ve started a couple of businesses before, but this is my first proper attempt at ecommerce with external funding. I think it’s more or less what I expected – two big lessons I’ve learnt are to always thoroughly check out any partners you work with from manufacturers to agencies and ensure they’re able to deliver your vision to a high standard and to always prepare for things to go wrong as they nearly always do.
“It’s how you deal with problems and find solutions that can separate you from other companies.”
Were there any nervy moments when launching Wild Cosmetics?
The whole thing was fairly nervy, quitting a safe job at a great company and risking your livelihood to make something new, launching with a product that has yet to go mainstream and embarking on a packaging project that took a lot of up front investment and has never been done before. There’s a lot of risk, as with any start-up, but I feel we’ve been especially bold in what we’ve tried to do and hopefully it will pay off!
Describe Wild Cosmetics in 3 words
Natural, Effective, Sustainable.
Where can people find your awesome products?
You can find us (once we fully launch) at WeAreWild.com
What’s next for Wild Cosmetics?
In the short term after launch we plan to enter other countries across Europe and start innovation planning for other everyday bathroom products.
Want to know more? Check out their website here to stay up to date on all things Wild…