Founded in 2019, the UK indie brand Wild Cosmetics offered a range of natural, sustainable and refillable deodorants in several scents with a selection of durable outer casing designs. The company also offered a small selection of soap trios and product bundles. Available on its own-brand D2C website, the Wild Cosmetics range was also now available in select UK retail stores, including Sainsbury’s via its ‘Future Brands’ programme; beauty retailer Boots; and department major Selfridges. The refill deodorant range was also being trialled in several Waitrose stores.
Freddy Ward, founder of Wild Cosmetics, said the latest retail tie-ups were an important part of the brand’s overall mission – to remove single-use plastics and unnecessary chemicals from bathrooms.
“[These listings] allow us to reach new audiences. Not everyone is on certain platforms or likes to order online (…) From Wild’s view, we don’t mind where customers buy Wild, we just want it to be as available as possible,” Ward told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.
Most deodorant sales typically happened in stores, he said, and so it was key Wild stretched into these bricks and mortar retail spaces. “We always wanted Wild to be an omnichannel brand, but we always intended to figure things out D2C first, before we launched into retail (…) Wild has been able to innovate quite a lot through its D2C model, but it’s still a huge opportunity for us to launch into these retailers.”
It also helped these retailers achieve ambitious sustainability goals longer-term, he said.
Shaking up the deodorant aisle with ‘something completely different’
Ward said from conversations the company had been having with retail buyers, there was a definite sense that there had not been much innovation or change in the deodorant aisle for some time.
“I think they feel very price-manipulated by the discounters, with the likes of £1 aerosols. That puts a lot of pressure on them to, kind of, create something new. And what Wild allows them to do is give them something completely different; something quite innovative and it fulfils a growing consumer demand for more green and natural products.”
*Refill Revolution is one of CosmeticsDesign-Europe’s top five EMEA beauty trends to watch in 2022.
Wild, with its natural and refillable deodorant offering, now had competition on the market, he said, but it had been one of the original pioneers, making it an established and “obvious choice” for retailers. The company was also, importantly, on its way to becoming B Corp-certified, he said, which was likely to be completed in 2022.
What also made Wild stand out, Ward said, was its desire to go after the mass personal care consumer market. “The eco audiences and products are quite well catered for. We’re not trying to go after your typical hardcore eco-consumer. What we’re trying to do is capture this growing group of consumers who are kind of aware they should be making better decisions on the products they buy, but they’re not really willing to compromise.”
Capturing the attention of this consumer group, he said, required high quality products that worked, but products that were also designed in an “elevated” way. In time, Ward said Wild Cosmetics would also work hard to create stronger appeal amongst male consumers and younger demographics – key, untapped opportunities.
EMEA expansion on the agenda, particularly ‘sustainably conscious’ markets
Whilst Wild Cosmetics was only currently available in UK online and in retail stores, and select stores in Ireland, Ward said the long-term goal was to expand into the EMEA region. In particular, he said the company wanted to expand into France, the Netherlands, Germany and the Nordic region, both online and offline, because these markets were “sustainably conscious”.
“Wild wants to be a multi-channel, multi-product, multi-territory business, basically. So, we want to be pretty global in three to five years,” he said.
Expansion, Ward said, would also involve stretching beyond deodorants into other personal care segments like hand soap, shower gel and shampoo. “We want to have more than just a deodorant product. We definitely want to continue to invest in innovation that allows people to have more sustainable, everyday products that use natural ingredients and really make sure we can be as present as possible in retailers, and in our online presence.”
“…I think Wild is really well placed to spearhead a high level of sustainable innovation in the bathroom and I think we can really challenge some of the bigger players to move faster and adapt quicker and realise this is the way the market is going,” Ward said.