In this exclusive interview, Fish reveals insights from his time heading up Men-Ü since 2001, where he has seen the brand grow to sales in excess of £2 million, with a product range of 48 products.
Sustainable personal care: where does demand come from?
Fish suggests that the rising demand for sustainable personal care is coming from a better informed consumer base, and increasingly responsible brands.
“I believe this is just part of the bigger picture of looking to have a longer term, sustainable planet, with the inhabitants & businesses, having to play their part. I think that people are asking more questions of brands and are prepared to consider change, in a way they have not before,” he suggests.
“Regarding packaging and plastic, we believe the latter is a valuable contribution to society, not least in being lightweight & durable but the way it is produced, used & recycled, has to be considered and minimised.”
Considering why the demand is particularly high at the moment, Fish suggests that specific issues and consumer concerns are bringing sustainable beauty into the spotlight.
“As more evidence of issues, such as oceans of plastic and evidence of climate change, come to the fore, more of the general public are prepared to understand & look at options, rather than the norm or biggest pack on the shelf,” he says.
“People are becoming more aware that, if we do what we always did, we will get what we always got and this will no longer do.”
Innovation in male grooming
Turning to the male grooming category specifically, Fish suggests that male grooming has so far been a little slow with novel launches and trends.This, he suggests, means there’s big potential in the space.
“I am not sure we have seen significant shifts and innovations in male grooming in recent times, which is why the market is generally acknowledged, by authoritative figures, as not having reached anything like its potential,” he says.
“In order to achieve seismic changes in markets, requires significant changes to the development of products. Larger companies tend to be slower to react which is why I believe disruptor brands and companies are most likely to make a difference.”
He offers some predictions for the future of male grooming and sustainability. “Whereas the history of retail has seen products generally getting larger, in order to have a stronger shelf presence, the advent of online, communicative channels has consumers starting to look more closely at products and asking more questions,” he suggests.
“I believe that ultra concentrate products will become a significant sector within beauty. Men-Ü is committed to producing grooming essentials that are effective. Its ultra-concentrated formulas go a long way and have low-waste recyclable packaging. The objective with the brand has always been to introduce more men to quality grooming, with products that are different and make a difference - performance matters. If ultra concentration can provide better performance and up to 90% less packaging – why not?”
Indeed, Men-Ü’s point of difference is ultra concentrated grooming products, the brand founder says.
The 100ml bottles provide 100-265 applications and are less than 13cms high and provide accurate dosage which means less waste, less space and less plastic.
The majority of the products are ultra concentrate, with a high percentage of active ingredients in small bottles, with locking pumps for accurate dosage. These products are now all available in refills, to further improve packaging efficiency, on the basis of ‘3R Grooming’.