Indie brand The Fellowship aims to overturn stigma in men’s grooming
Soft launched last month via a direct-to-consumer (D2C) model, The Fellowship offered a range of five essential personal care products, including an advanced moisturiser, strengthening shampoo and energising body wash, each made using natural and sustainable ingredients. The Made in Britain range had been designed to be inclusive and challenge traditional notions around masculinity, packaged in white and mustard colours – very different from rich, heavy tones typically seen in men’s grooming, it said.
A full launch was scheduled for September this year, where products would also appear in hospitality outlets and gyms, alongside the launch of a podcast series designed to build up a community around the brand. The Fellowship would also add a cleansing scrub and regenerating face oil to its offering in the coming months.
A brand for men to look good, feel good and do good
Andrew Cooper, founder of The Fellowship, said the core goal behind the brand was to empower men and provide personal care products that worked.
“Essentially, to look good is to feel good and do good and feel confident. That’s a big part of the business,” Cooper told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.
The supermodel, actor and entrepreneur said his 20+ years in the fashion and film industry had sparked his interest in personal care products, particularly products for men that worked, and it was about five years ago he started working on The Fellowship concept.
“I just saw a huge amount of men’s products bolted onto female brands and nothing focusing on sustainable and natural,” he said.
In the last five years, whilst there had been a number of brands launched targeting men that also focused on efficacy, sustainability and natural ingredients, there remained space for a brand that did all this and unravelled outdated ideals, empowering men to take care of themselves.
Overturning 'stigma' and traditional messaging
“We’re trying to address a consumer who is mid-30s and enable him to feel better and take away this stigma that you should grow old gracefully and accept ageing and not be conscious on how you can help that,” he said.
“…I think there’s been a stigma for too long for a man of a certain age – it’s like success breeds a belly to be proud of and people get less healthy. I think that time has changed.”
Cooper said a lot had been invested in the brand design, working with design agency Free The Birds, to steer the look and feel of the range away from tradition.
“For me, I didn’t want the products to be those black masculine bottles and the messaging to be around elitist tuxedos and Scotch. So, in terms of the design of the brand, it was always going to be something comfortable across all bathrooms. But on the other side, the reason I never went ‘genderless’ is because I wanted to create this community and fellowship around men.”
Growth plans – ‘we definitely have opportunities to go east and west’
Cooper said the aim was to expand The Fellowship into markets beyond the UK over time, but any expansion would likely need to happen via franchising to keep a sense of community on-the-ground. Markets being looked at currently were France, Spain and the US, Los Angeles specifically, he said.
“We definitely have opportunities to go east and west. The US and east would probably be feasible in year two or three,” he said.