Start the week with a startup: ÉTICOS

By Kirsty Doolan

- Last updated on GMT

The brand's founder said it has launched the world’s first deodorant refill that is 100%-plastic-free; without any liner/coating that contains plastic
The brand's founder said it has launched the world’s first deodorant refill that is 100%-plastic-free; without any liner/coating that contains plastic

Related tags Deodorant antiperspirant Marketing natural beauty Startup company

Every fortnight we talk to a gamechanger startup brand about why it exists and how it plans to change the industry…

This week we spoke to founder & CEO at natural, organic, and refillable deodorant brand ÉTICOS Rick Budel.
The new eco-conscious brand has launched deodorant in a refillable pack that’s enriched with a unique blend of natural, organic ingredients to combat odour while nourishing the skin.

Budel said the formulation “includes scientifically proven and patented CareMag™D technology (from active minerals from dead sea salts) that absorbs sweat, offers a dry feeling, and effectively eliminates odour-causing bacteria for long-lasting freshness”; as well as jojoba oil; babassu butter; and coconut oil. 
The deodorant offers four unisex fragrances: Santal & Vetiver, Bergamot & Cypress, Cedarwood & Pepper and a Scentless option, with three different packaging colours depending on the consumer’s preference.

How ÉTICOS is changing the game…

ÉTICOS is a natural personal care brand focused on a healthful and conscious lifestyle. Our first product is a natural deodorant with safe and natural ingredients, that actually works. It’s a refillable deodorant to help remove single-use plastic from our bathroom routines.

The product is 100%-natural and free from various chemicals including aluminium. The formula is packed with ingredients and minerals that actively hydrate and moisturise skin, and effectively control bacterial growth, and leaves you feeling fresh and confident. It is specifically designed for any skin type, so also suitable for sensitive skin, embodying ÉTICOS’ belief that everyone should have access to products suitable for their skin type.

The refillable deodorant pack is made with innovative bio-based materials that originate from nature and are certified home-compostable without any microplastics. Many refillable products contain thin plastic liners that cause problem for recycling as it’s practically impossible to separate the liner from the packaging and that this also leaves behind microplastics when being decomposed.

We target a niche audience that values natural skincare products with a broad focus on sustainability. We believe that our brand caters to individuals who prioritise natural beauty, environmental consciousness, and seek effective self-care routines derived from natural ingredients. Our target audience appreciates premium products and is willing to embrace a thoughtful approach to skincare.

Our future goals for the business…

We want to revolutionise people's bathroom routines on a global scale by focusing on two key areas: ingredients and packaging. We aim to make a significant impact by introducing products that not only prioritise safer and more sustainable ingredients but also innovative packaging solutions that minimise environmental harm.

We want to empower people all over the world to embrace a healthful and conscious lifestyle that enhances their well-being and makes a positive impact on the planet with our products.

How we started out…

Years ago, I travelled to Indonesia to explore my roots. While I was there, I bought a deodorant but couldn't understand the Indonesian packaging. Upon returning home, I purchased my beloved deodorant again, only to realise that I couldn't recognise the ingredients listed on the packaging in my own language either. I quickly discovered that my deodorant was packed with chemicals that I didn’t understand.

This sparked a realisation about the importance of understanding what I put on my skin, our body's largest organ. Frustrated by the lack of good alternative options without these chemicals, I created a deodorant with 100%-natural, transparent, and high-quality ingredients. Each ingredient has been chosen to offer a safe and effective solution for our daily routines.

Challenges we’ve faced…

Starting a custom concept and bringing a distinctive product to market can be tough at times, especially when you're trying something entirely new. There were many instances where we thought we had a solution to a challenge during development, only to find out it didn't work with other parts of the project. It was a process of trial and error to reach our final product.

Making it work involved getting many different components to come together smoothly, like the deodorant formula and the packaging for both the refill and the case.

How we are set to disrupt the beauty and personal care industry…

Many other refillable products still contain plastic in different forms, some of them using a plastic liner (coating) on the inside of paper/cardboard products. This is a problem for recycling, as it is practically impossible to separate the liner from the packaging. Furthermore, it also leaves behind microplastics when being decomposed.

We have launched the world’s first deodorant refill that is 100% plastic-free, so without any liner/coating that contains plastic.

What’s coming next for the deodorants category…

Luckily, we are seeing a very strong growth in the natural deodorant category worldwide. This suggests a growing awareness regarding the potential health concerns associated with some ingredients found in deodorants and anti-transpirants.

Moreover, I anticipate that more smaller brands like us will continue to disrupt the market by innovating within this category, focusing not only on providing odour protection but also on enhancing the skin with additional benefits and introducing packaging solutions aimed at reducing or eliminating single-use plastic.

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