Nicky Clarke CEO eyes EMEA growth for Planet Friendly Beauty startup

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

Planet Friendly Beauty's Azure hair care range includes styling and protection products, all packaged in environmentally-friendly sugarcane bottles (Image: Planet Friendly Beauty)
Planet Friendly Beauty's Azure hair care range includes styling and protection products, all packaged in environmentally-friendly sugarcane bottles (Image: Planet Friendly Beauty)

Related tags: Hair care, Environmentally friendly, eco-friendly, sustainable beauty, Sustainable packaging, natural beauty, waterless, Scalp care

Eco-friendly hair care startup Planet Friendly Beauty will expand into Europe next year, developing a raft of new products in the coming years like shampoo bars, waterless hair care and simplified scalp care, says its founder – the co-founder and CEO of hair care and styling empire Nicky Clarke.

Established in March 2020, Planet Friendly Beauty offered a range of eco hair care products made using natural ingredients that targeted specific hair care needs, including volume, shine and repair. The Azure hair care range featured styling creams, leave-in lotions and barrier sprays, each packed in environmentally-friendly bottles made from sugarcane – all fully recyclable, bar those with a dispensing pump. The Azure range was currently available online and in Nicky Clarke salons across the UK.

After launching just two weeks before the first COVID-19 lockdown, Lesley Clarke, founder of Planet Friendly Beauty, said the past few months had certainly been a challenge, setting back NPD plans by 12-18 months, but the company remained determined to expand.

“2020 obviously has not been the year we anticipated, but we remain ambitious and the EMEA is the next focus for us in 2021, with Europe being first on the list,”​ Clarke told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.

Russia would likely be next on the agenda, after Europe, she said, expanding via distributors versus direct-to-consumer. “I am old school and believe word of mouth and recommendation is invaluable.”

Eco ambition – carbon neutral and zero waste by 2025

Lesley Clarke, founder of Planet Friendly Beauty
Lesley Clarke, founder of Planet Friendly Beauty

However, Clarke said expansion efforts would be done slowly and considerately, in keeping with the brand’s environmentally-friendly ethos.

“This is a balancing act, and we are mindful of the risks of too broad and rapid expansion. We are concentrating on specific European markets for our next stage, working very closely with a trusted distributor,” ​she said.

Expansion had to fit into Planet Friendly Beauty’s longer-term ambition of being zero waste and achieving an end-to-end carbon negative footprint by 2025, she said.

Asked how the company planned to achieve these sustainability goals, Clarke hinted at NPD plans: “Shampoo bars and conditioner bars eliminate the need for any type of bottle.”

But she said the company wasn’t just looking at bars – it was investigating “all waterless delivery”.

“We have some exciting waterless innovations in the works. We continue to strive to be 100% sustainable​.”

Drawing inspiration from skin care as brand builds

Clarke said Planet Friendly Beauty was also looking closely at scalp care – an emerging hair care trend set to become increasingly important among consumers. For this, she said the team would be “looking towards skincare for inspiration”.

“I think products have become too complicated and confusing; we aim to make customer selection simpler. Like skin care, I believe that consumers wish to simplify their routine and are looking for multipurpose products that deliver, which is why we have combined conditioning with styling.”

Customisation would be another key area in future NPD for Planet Friendly Beauty, she said, given consumers were increasingly aware that “one size fits all doesn’t cut the mustard anymore”.

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