‘Quality alternatives’: Singaporean zero-waste beauty brand Oasis sees demand soar during COVID-19 lockdown
Oasis Skin is a local manufacturer or organic personal care products that strives to be a zero-waste hero with its solid beauty products and refill-and-reuse concept.
The company was founded in 2018 by Hildra Gwee, a former banker, after she saw a need in the local market for organic vegan personal care products.
In May last year, the company made the leap and opened its first retail outlet which today serves as a retail outlet, production facility and refillery.
“We wanted to launch a refillery concept because even though there are a lot of ways to recycle, at the end of the day no one really knows if your glass bottle really gets recycled. I believe the best way is to encourage consumers to reuse their own bottles.”
Gwee told CosmeticsDesign-Asia that the brand was on track for growth this year as well, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Initially, Gwee admitted being worried about the implications of COVID-19 especially when Singapore entered its ‘circuit breaker’ period from April 7, which saw the temporary closure of most retail outlets.
Currently, Oasis’ only retail outlet remains shut and the firm is currently selling its products through its online website.
“When the circuit breaker started, I was quite concerned because a lot of our stockists had to close. That was quite a worry for us because that would mean losing 30% of our revenue. But sales have actually picked up for us and helped us to cover the losses on that front,” she said.
Gwee suspects the sales boost to be linked to effects of COVID-19.
“I feel like COVID-19 has actually benefited the business because people have realised they need to focus a lot on using good quality basics. And with more people confined at home they are spending more time reading and researching alternatives they can find locally.”
Since brand entered the market, Gwee has observed a rising interest for its green beauty products.
“In the last year or so we really saw a surge of interest with people becoming more eco conscious. Since we started the business, year-on-year it has been doubling – bearing in mind we started from a very small base of customers.”
She added that the demand for green beauty products is only just beginning across the world.
“I believe this movement is just starting so I do see that there’s a lot of potential, not just within Singapore but globally.”
As such, Gwee is looking to expand the business regionally in South East Asia and has her eye on the US and UK as well.
“We definitely want to expand because the Singapore market is too small. For a start, we would look into Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand but ultimately we would want to go towards the US and UK because there’s a big market there for us for sure.”
Gwee elaborated that an expansion would entail opening at least one brick-and-mortar store in each location.
Given the current situation with COVD-19, the company does not have a timeline for expansion and will instead, focus on expanding locally.
“We have barely scratched the surface with Singapore. I personally think the market is still quite new to this concept. There’s still a lot more education to be done.” said Gwee.
One thing the company is aiming to do is expand its refillery concept to more locations islandwide.
“I don’t think we will be able to open up another retail space in Singapore because it’s very expensive, so we want to work with our partner stores to have refillery corners.”
Additionally, it hopes to start eco initiatives such as a carbon offset programme.
“We are talking to some start-ups in Singapore about carbon offsetting. With certain carbon emissions we produce, we hope to offset it by doing things like planting trees. These are the little things that we hope to do in the future.”