“If we had had 1,000 customers, we would have been very, very happy,” said Thomas Arnaudo, co-founder with Aymeric Grange of 900.care. Their plan? Refillable bathroom products. In the space of two months, the brand has taken crowdfunding platforms by storm: nearly 8,000 customers on Ulule and Kisskissbankbank, for 67,000 pre-sold products and a turnover of nearly $473,000 (€400,000).
According to Ulule, “the campaign has reached a record in terms of funds collected in the beauty category,” while the record in the number of contributors is held by the Respire deodorant brand. The startup now expects to reach some 10,000 customers by the end of August, with an average basket size of $59 (€50).
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An approach made in France, anti-waste and ecological
Specifically, 900.care will market a toothpaste in tablet form to be chewed, a deodorant stick to be refilled and a shower gel in ball form to be dissolved with water. All made in the Cosmetic Valley of Chartres (Eure-et-Loir) with 95% ingredients of natural origin. The reusable containers will be made of 50% recycled plastic and produced in Oyonnax (Ain).
“Two 10-gram beads are enough to create 240 milliliters of shower gel. Ten times less voluminous than a conventional shower gel, its transport generates ten times less CO2,” said the young entrepreneur. A success that can be explained by a very necessary approach given the current environmental problems the world is facing, thoughtful products thanks to a year of R & D and above all 10,000 beta testers upstream of the crowdfunding campaigns. Without forgetting a polished communication and a video presentation of the brand that made its small effect, with more than 100,000 views on YouTube.
First deliveries to be made in November 2020
“Once you’re done, you throw away your product and buy back exactly the same one. The problem of plastic is an issue that affects us, we are a generation aware of environmental problems,” explained Thomas Arnaudo, who is now in his third company. “We wanted to develop an impact and BtoC product that would reduce waste.”
900.care – because it takes about 900 seconds a day to take care of oneself – targets in particular the “imperfect ecologists”, who are between 25 and 35 years old, have an active life and “don’t necessarily have the time or the desire to make a lot of sacrifices,” continued the 31-year-old entrepreneur. For its launch, the brand plans to offer subscription formulas, at a cost of about $6.5 (€5.5) per refill per month.
The first deliveries as well as the creation of the website should be done in November. By mid-2021, this startup incubated at Station F hopes to form partnerships and sell its pastilles in physical stores, initially specialized and eventually in supermarkets.
The market for refillable skincare products is still in its infancy in France. There are a few brands, such as Paos chewable toothpaste and Ioumi shower gels. The two entrepreneurs intend to evangelize and plan to expand their range “to the whole bathroom”. Namely: shampoo, conditioner, care, toothbrush with a refillable head and even, why not, mouthwash.
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First published in LesEchoes START, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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