Cocokind breaks down its list of ingredients to get more information about the content and its contents … [+]
The list of ingredients on the back of a box can be a bit of a mystery when it comes to beauty. For this reason, the clean beauty brand Cocokind would like to give all packaging a new layer of transparency, in which not only the ingredients, but also the percentage of ingredients and the carbon footprint of each product are listed.
When Priscilla Tsai founded Cocokind in 2015, the so-called “clean” beauty room was only just coming to the fore. After experimenting with what looked like on her own skin, she started the company, hoping it might help some other women, and ran the company with her savings.
“I grew up wanting to always be an entrepreneur. But I didn’t think it would be in the beauty room. Building a company around one of your uncertainties is not the first thing that comes to mind, ”says the 31-year-old entrepreneur.
Cocokind was quickly picked up at a Whole Foods location, and Tsai began building a digital following on social media by sharing her personal skin journey and ups and downs with adult acne. Now, six years later, the brand is available at national retailers such as Target, Whole Foods, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and Ulta Beauty.
As this “clean” beauty space expanded, Tsai wanted to share not only the ingredients in their products, but the formulations as well. Since some beauty products are sold to contain a superfood or a particular trendy ingredient, it was important to her to show how much of those “hero ingredients” were in each bottle.
The new packaging does just that and breaks down the formulas, which Tsai sees as a tricky step and not everyone in the company was on board from the start. “I’ve thought about it a lot because the more transparent you are, the more exposed you are.”
However, she would like to point out that even if two brands have similar products with similar ingredient lists and formulations, the sourcing of those materials can determine whether one is made from higher quality ingredients.
There is also the additional layer for calculating the carbon footprint of each product. “So many are making claims in the market. These claims have been watered down in terms of actual impact. “
Cocokind’s new packaging also contains a QR code that links to the website … [+]
Because there is so little regulation, be it in beauty formulations or in the world of sustainability, Tsai wants to lead with data. She is aware that they still have flaws as a brand: not all packaging is made from waste or recycled materials (some of it is made from virgin plastic as these are the only materials available) but it is still a work in progress, she argues . “Sustainability is a journey. We’re not a perfect company and I’m not a perfect person or CEO, but we learn as we go and I think consumers want to take this journey with us. “
It’s a three-phase program, says Tsai, which is detailed on her website. The first focused on just collecting data and doing research, followed by determining how best to offset that footprint, and finally a long-term blueprint for real sustainability. The company is currently in the first phase.
“Not every ingredient or component that we use has perfect data for determining the carbon footprint. Just getting comparable data can be a challenge, ”she admits. Cocokind reached out to a third party to perform these assessments and determine the life cycle analysis for each of its products.
Going to these lengths, Tsai says, is a bit of a divergence in the beauty industry: “There’s an ‘that’s how it’s done’ attitude in the industry.” At least that was the case with older brands. However, sharing formulas and better environmental data should be the new standard, she argues.
“We have nothing to hide and these words we use – natural, clean, sustainable – need to be backed up. Otherwise they don’t mean much. “
Since most of Tsai’s customers still shop directly on the Cocokind website, she can explain the nuances of these issues through her storytelling on the website or on her Instagram channel, which has over 260,000 followers (and Tsai is still replying to much of the messages herself ).
She hopes that Cocokind will not only be an online storefront, but also an educational platform that drives decisions in the beauty industry to create more transparency and environmentally friendly practices. “This has an industry-wide impact. It’s not just about us. “