‘For the Instagram generation’: Plant-based refillable deo startup Fussy preps 2021 launch

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

Fussy's durable outer casing is made using corn-based bioplastics and available in five different matte colours (Image: Fussy)
Fussy's durable outer casing is made using corn-based bioplastics and available in five different matte colours (Image: Fussy)

Related tags: Deodorant, Sustainability, sustainable beauty, Carbon footprint, refills, refillable packaging, durable packaging, plant-based

UK startup Fussy has developed a line of refillable plant-based deodorants packed in modern, durable containers that aim to create fresh appeal in bathroom sustainability, its founders say.

Launched last week on Kickstarter, with an official market launch penned for January 2021, London-based Fussy had already raised close to €60,000 – far exceeding its goal of €5,348 that it surpassed within the first hour on the fundraising site. After 18-months of research and development, the brand had designed a range of five matte coloured durable outer casings made from corn-based bioplastic and five plant-based deodorant formulas that included a processed probiotic for odour control: four scented and one unscented. Each refill – wrapped in home compostable waste sugarcane material – was simply dropped into the top-loading outer cases; a patent-pending design important to the husband-and-wife brand’s goal of mainstreaming sustainability.

A ‘fresh’ deodorant for everyone

“A lot of natural cosmetics companies play into this earthy, hand-crafted type design and you can sort of stray into the world of hippy, whereas we wanted to create something that looked fresh, cool; for the Instagram generation in bright, ‘poppy’ colours,” ​said Eddie Fisher, co-founder of Fussy.

“We wanted to bring sustainability to the masses, and by bringing this strong look, hopefully it can create real change,”​ Fisher told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.

Bethany and Eddie Fisher, co-founders of Fussy, pictured with daughter
Bethany and Eddie Fisher, co-founders of Fussy, pictured with daughter

Bethany Fisher agreed: “With the look, we wanted it to be gender neutral – it’s just for everyone (…) It’s a product that, hopefully, will go to a broad range of people who want to put it in their bathroom, on the shelf, with pride.”

The husband-and-wife team said Fussy plugged a clear gap in the refills market and the potential for the brand to grow was huge, especially given how planet conscious Generation Z were and the wider appetite for sustainable alternatives driven by the likes of David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg. And every Fussy deodorant purchased funded the collection of 1kg of ocean-bound plastic through a charity partnership with Empower.

Once consumers had chosen their Fussy outer case, priced at around €8 (£7), they then subscribed to have refills (€5.50/£5 each) delivered to their doorstep.

“We went for that price because we wanted to make as much of an impact as possible,”​ Bethany Fisher said. “It was important that it could be mass market.”

Fussy would use existing postal systems as the product and refills fitted through letterboxes. The goal was to deliver three refills every three months to reduce overall carbon footprint.

Formulations, limited-edition designs and European upscale

Eddie Fisher said as Fussy expanded, it would work roll out additional variants both from a formula and packaging standpoint.

“We’re going to be looking at innovative formulations and botanicals; we want to really get a huge array of different refills to cater to different people, and develop the scents,”​ he said.

Fussy would also look to expand its outer casing offering, with additional colours and limited-edition prints, he said. 

Fussy plans to launch limited-edition package designs and expand its refill offering
Fussy plans to launch limited-edition package designs and expand its refill offering

Fisher said the brand wanted to eventually upscale beyond its core UK market and would start to do so firstly in Europe via its subscription model.

“We’re learning a lot from our Kickstarter project, specifically where our audience is. There’s a big appetite for natural cosmetics in Germany – that’s what our desk research told us and what Kickstarter is confirming – and a lot of interest also from France.”

“…The UK is going to be our core focus so we can find our feet and then when we get a distribution partner in Europe, we’ll be flooding that market,” ​he said.

'Be fussy about your impact on the planet'

As Fussy expanded its footprint, eventually globally, Fisher said it would continue to manage carbon footprint through its ongoing partnership with The Goodshipping Program – an Amsterdam-based global marine program that aimed to change the fuel used in shipping.

Eventually, Fisher said Fussy wanted to secure physical retail listings, though that was about two years off.

Asked if the brand had a message for other personal care and beauty brands, he said: “Be as fussy as possible about every aspect of your business – the factories you work with, the ingredients you choose, the people you hire, about diversity, and be fussy about your impact on the planet. Fussy is really one of our core values, but it’s not just an internal-facing value. There’s a negative connotation around the word ‘fussy’, but we’re turning it into a positive. We believe if people were more fussy, we could change the world.”

Related topics: Brand Innovation, Skin Care

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