A new beauty brand aims to rethink both the traditional supply chain and how consumers interact with product waste.
Izzy Zero Waste Beauty, which launched this week, purports to be the world’s first fully reusable and sustainable d-to-c beauty brand. Its business model is based on memberships, wherein consumers send back empty steel tubes of its debut and hero product — mascara — in a reusable mailer provided by the brand. The tubes are then cleaned and reused.
The brand has three tiers of membership: one-time purchases for $39 (with quarterly refills costing $8 per month, with the first refill complimentary); Eco Icon Annual Membership ($85 for the mascara and quarterly refills), and Eco Hero Quarterly Membership ($35 to start, plus $19 quarterly for refills). Industry sources estimate the mascara to hit $1 million in retail sales for its first year on the market.
The brand’s entire supply chain is within a 400-mile radius. “You can run our entire supply chain on two Tesla charges,” said Shannon Goldberg, founder of Izzy Zero Waste Beauty. “We actually have the world’s smallest carbon footprint when it comes to a mascara. Because it’s refillable, once the refills kick in and the mascara is just going from our cleaning facility to customers, it taps into this idea of decarbonization. Our footprint just gets smaller from there.”
Goldberg, a seasoned beauty marketer with brands like Peter Thomas Roth on her résumé, wanted to be a part of the needle moving away from plastics and toward less impactful product packaging.
“The world was already heading down a more sustainable path. Companies are starting to reenvision their practices, how they package their goods, they’re looking at their products, and the effort there is to really reduce their waste production. I wanted to be part of that change,” Goldberg said.
In her approach to founding a brand, Goldberg had to make her own roadmap to launching. “I couldn’t borrow a ruler from another brand to measure my success, because I couldn’t find any other brands doing this,” Goldberg said. “It was about creating a brand that had no glass ceiling. All traditional notions of packaging, print marketing, labels, shipping boxes and tape had to go out the door.”
Developing the mascara presented its own challenges. “I cannot say how hard it is to launch a clean mascara — one that stands up to all the traditional glamorous mascaras that we love,” Goldberg said. “I just loved a big, sexy mascara. I love big lashes. Not only does the clean formula have to be amazing and stand up to the marketing claims that we’re making, it also had to be about the brush.”
Goldberg credits the brush density — and double-helix shape — for the product’s performance. The medical-grade stainless steel tubes are medically sanitized before being refilled and sold to new customers; wands are melted down and also reused.
In a time when brands are touting sustainability claims, Goldberg is optimistic that Izzy Zero Waste Beauty’s ethos and carbon-neutral certification from Natural Capital Partners will resonate.
“You can fall in love with a brand founder or a personality behind a brand, but what makes all of these brands truly different?” Goldberg said. “If you’re not telling a completely different story that is truly showstopping on Instagram, or actually different, you’re going to get lost in the sauce.”
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