Coty’s professional division is launching a vegan and sustainable hair-care line, and the company is looking to the new brand as an example for future initiatives across the broader organization.
WeDo Professional, set to launch in the Nordic region in September and roll out to Europe and North America in 2020, consists of vegan and cruelty-free hair-care products designed by Wella scientists using what the company describes as “50 percent less ingredients than average [when compared to typical hair product in the professional channel] and packaged in 100 percent recyclable materials. Coty also describes the brand as “eco-ethical.”
“We had a group of very dedicated and very passionate people within the company,” said Laura Simpson, chief marketing officer of Coty Professional Beauty, of the team that developed WeDo. “We wanted to play in four spaces — clean beauty, natural beauty, ethical and sustainable. By doing this, [we thought], ‘How can we do better in these four spaces and teach that learning to the rest of our brands and portfolios, do better across the [company] over time?”
The assortment ranges in price from 14.90 euros for a shampoo bar to 39.90 euros for a hair and body oil. Products are care-oriented and geared toward multipurpose benefits and minimizing plastic waste — for instance, the No Plastic Shampoo solid shampoo bar, Scalp Refresh scalp tonic and Protect Balm, a moisturizing and damage-protecting balm for hair ends and lips.
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The formulations are “advanced performance naturals,” said Simpson, designed by Wella scientists to be high-performance. A common consumer misconception, similar to the one that has plagued clean skin care, is that clean hair products are not as efficacious as standard ones, so having products that did what they said they were going to do was key, she noted. They are also dermatologically tested, formulated without sulfates, silicones and artificial dyes, and all scented products have a specially designed fragrance with extremely low levels of allergens. Conditioners are formulated with olive oil instead of traditional conditioning agents.
Third-party certification was also important, said Simpson, because it conveys “trust and authenticity.” The products are certified vegan by The Vegan Society and certified cruelty-free by Cruelty Free International.
Coty’s professional division has been faring far better than the company’s challenged consumer segment, with brands such as OPI and GHD driving growth.
This is not Wella’s first step toward a clean product assortment. In October, Wella reformulated a major professional color product franchise, Koleston Perfect, with ME+ technology, designed to be safer and less irritating than traditional hair color for allergy-prone consumers, a move to position Wella as a “safer” color option. Coty Professional’s creative director, hairdresser Rossano Ferretti, has his own line of products (not owned by Coty) that focuses on clean ingredients, and is known in the industry as a champion of clean and natural.