By  on February 19, 2010

The new bath and body brand One aims to unite beauty consumers for a single purpose: the elimination of plastic from landfills.

The brand is the first created by industry veteran, Glenn Abrahamson, president of Wink Bath and Body LLC, which has been churning out 5 million to 7 million units annually of themed products for mass retailers for holiday and other special occasion spending. Its packaging uses only aluminum and cardboard and, with the whole line priced under $10, it doesn’t require shoppers to empty their wallets to be eco-friendly.

“When I am doing their brands, I always feel like I’m in a mold,” said Abrahamson, speaking of the mass retailer-specific brands he has worked on for around seven years. “I wanted to do something different and special, and one of my biggest causes is packaging waste.”

Abrahamson is quick to reel off statistics about the troubles with plastic: he detailed only 3.5 percent of it is recycled in the U.S., and plastic lotion, shampoo and conditioner bottles take more than 1,000 years to biodegrade. Aside from the numbers, he recalled visiting a landfill overflowing with plastic bottles in his hometown of Hanford, Calif., which was a final wake-up call.

About four months ago, Target Corp. decided to put One in around 50 doors at non-coastal locations like Indianapolis. If it could sell in those places, the thought was it could sell anywhere. One did indeed sell at those Target doors, where the Body Lotion in Vanilla Almond Custard, Shea Body Butter in Citrus Peel and Lip Butter Balm in Berry Delicious have been top sellers.

The entire One product line has 42 stockkeeping units, running the gamut from body scrubs to solid shampoo and conditioner bars, many of which the consumer can smell without opening due to scratch-and-sniff stickers on and holes in the outer packaging. Most of the products’ formulas are 96 percent to nearly 99 percent natural.

One will be rolling out across the Target chain in March. Abrahamson said it would also hit Raley’s at the same time, and deals with other grocery store chains and drugstores are being finalized. A higher-priced line is being developed to conform to Whole Foods’ personal care standards, as well. Conservatively, Abrahamson estimated the brand would enter 5,000 doors by the end of this year and generate $3 million in sales.

Abrahamson stressed that One’s retail margins are comparable to brands with customary packaging, even though it does cost him more to stick with the cardboard and aluminum packaging. He noted, for example, that a plastic tube of lotion with a cap costs around $.05 compared with about $.60 to $.70 for an aluminum lotion tube with a cap.

“I am willing to have the lower margin and make it up on the volume,” said Abrahamson, adding that possible extensions to One could be baby and pet lines. “I want to make statements about not using plastic.”

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