It’s been said that shopping for beauty products can be self-serving. After all, it’s about looking and feeling good.
But Hil Davis and Gina Kohler are hoping to make beauty consumption a philanthropic act with their new Web site Beautykind, launching on Monday. The prestige, e-commerce site enables consumers to donate 5 percent of every purchase to a cause of their choice.
“It’s the power of aggregation, from $5 to $10 at a time, that really makes this powerful,” said Davis. “We’ll have 10,000 causes at first, but within the next three months, we’ll have over 1.1 million.”
He noted that if a consumer doesn’t see their cause listed, they can write it in and Beautykind will vet it to make sure it’s acceptable.
The company, which at launch will sell 50 to 60 brands including Erno Laszlo, Nest Fragrances and Teadora, is partnering with Scooter Braun, founder of SB Projects, to provide general marketing and brand advice and procure influencers, brands and charities.
“The timing feels right to offer women a place to lean in together and change the economics of a multibillion-dollar industry that they not only support but ultimately control,” said Scott Manson, chief operating officer of SB projects.
Davis added, “We learned that beauty is a self-promoting experience when you can add cause to concept.”
Looking at the history of beauty brands with charitable components, MAC Cosmetics’ Viva Glam has generated nearly $340 million since its founding in 1994, and Beautykind has the potential to be a big player in the prestige market.
“The prestige beauty customer is very focused on giving back,” noted Rochelle Weitzner, chief executive officer of Erno Laszlo. “This is the perfect blend of being able to continue your beauty ritual while also directing funds to support the cause that is near and dear to that consumer.”
To that end, Beautykind’s innovative loyalty program gives back to the consumer every time they shop or refer friends. Based on their points, users can choose how to redeem them, whether in additional donations, products, samples or expedited shipping.
Valeria Cole, founder and ceo of Teadora, said, “Just look at Warby Parker and Toms. Consumers care, overall.”