This Startup Aims To Undercut Beauty Industry Markups

This Startup Aims To Undercut Beauty Industry Markups

Brandless adds beauty essentials to its $3 product catalog

San Francisco-based consumer packaged goods (CPG) startup Brandless has announced the addition of 15 premium beauty products to its everything for $3 product line.

The low cost of products is very relevant as it counters the traditionally high markups made by national brands on beauty products, which can be as much as 400%. After opening its online-only shop in July, Brandless shipped orders to 48 states in its first week, showing the demand for “clean products.”

The company’s personal definition of clean products means strictly following a practice of eliminating potentially toxic ingredients. “We’ve banned more than 400 potentially harmful ingredients, and all products are PETA certified cruelty-free, paraben-free, SLS-free and have no synthetic dyes or fragrances,” Rachael Vegas, Chief Merchant at Brandless, tells PSFK.

The fall beauty essentials launch builds on the company’s previous inventory of 200+ products to include lotions, mouthwash, shampoos, conditioners, body wash, facial cleanser, vitamins and feminine hygiene products. Like all Brandless products, each item is priced at just $3. “Beauty is an industry with incredibly high markups, particularly within the emerging category of clean beauty,” Vegas explains. “In reality, better quality ingredients don’t have to cost in the double, or triple digits.”

Brandless offers its reduced prices by cutting out something it likes to call the “BrandTax,” which are the hidden costs and markups common for national brands. The company also prides itself on thorough consumer research, rigorous testing and partnering with suppliers that value limiting waste and keeping things as simple as possible.

Unclear standards for clean beauty products may contribute to high consumer interest. “In the absence of these standards, consumers today are looking for better clarity and transparency with what they put in and on their bodies,” Vegas insists. “As transparency is brought to market, we expect to see a strong response and demand from consumers who prefer to purchase products that closely align with their values.”

Although the company is based in a top US market, it hopes that the products can reach consumers regardless of location. As Vegas vows: “Brandless isn’t just for people in coastal cities or the millennial minded, it’s resonating with people everywhere, especially with people who haven’t been able to afford products that align so closely to their values in the past.”




via PSFK