Toronto-based beauty brand Everist launches tomorrow with their first-ever products: waterless shampoo and conditioner.
Everist co-founders Jayme Jenkins and Jessica Stevenson are no strangers to the beauty world. After meeting in business school, the two set off on their own paths to work at some of the biggest beauty brands in the world. Do P&G, L’Oreal, The Body Shop, Revlon or Nude by Nature ring a bell? Needless to say, these two knew the ins and outs of the industry, which meant they also knew that the beauty industry has a major plastic problem.
After clean beauty became a trend, Jenkins and Stevenson were seeing a huge shift towards sustainability. Consumers wanted eco-friendly options that were good for their bodies and the planet. Refillable bottles and sustainably-made products were on everyone’s mind but it was hard to move the needle on these issues within their large companies. “We realized if we really want to reinvent what a beauty company looks like today—one that’s completely sustainable from the ground up—we would have to do it ourselves,” says Jenkins.
Once they decided to team up, it was time to decide what product they wanted to reinvent. Jenkins says “we were inspired by a trend we saw in the U.S. cleaning industry where they were mixing active cleaning ingredients with water at home because cleaning products are mostly water.” It got them thinking that shampoos and conditioners are 70-80 per cent water. Not to mention, you’re also showering in water. It didn’t make sense to spend money and valuable shower space on massive bottles of hair care products. A concentrate made the most sense as a way to combat single-use plastic without giving up convenience or performance.
They wanted to keep the hair care experience as close as possible to what people were used to, “which is important when you ask someone to make a change and you want someone to incorporate something in their everyday lives. They can only go so far,” Stevenson says. It was crucial that Everist didn’t feel like a sacrifice, but an upgrade. Formula development has been brewing for about a year, but Stevenson and Jenkins wanted to make sure they were super satisfied with the product before they put it out on the market.
Other than coming up with a product they were proud of, the hardest part of launching their own brand has been simplicity. “We want to make the full process as simple, easy and seamless as possible,” says Jenkins. “So, it’s about finding the most relevant messages and really targeting the consumers in a way that’s easy to understand,” says Jenkins.
Making it zero waste is an entirely different challenge, but one they don’t take lightly. It all starts with the packaging. Everist’s aluminum tube is infinitely recyclable and the “cap back” program allows you to send back your plastic cap free of charge for Everist to upcycle. The formula inside is also clean and biodegradable so you can feel good about putting it in your hair and washing it down the drain afterward. “From a business model perspective, it’s also important to be carbon neutral,” says Stevenson. Everist is a carbon-neutral company, a 1% for the planet member and completely transparent about their process.
“It’s been encouraging to see people demand from brands that they take ownership of the impact they have on the planet,” says Jenkins. Although individual actions matter, Jenkins and Stevenson realize it’s a brand’s responsibility to do their part and offer those sustainable solutions. “As a business, we’re responsible for being zero waste. We have to take that on,” says Stevenson. “There’s too much responsibility is put on the customer and it’s really daunting.”
Everist isn’t about being a perfect environmentalist. It’s about finding those simple changes you can make in your everyday life. That’s what the term “Everist” means, Stevenson explains. “Our customers are the Everists. They are the ones who are making the small daily changes and making the impact. They are the hero.”
As for the future, we can expect more than hair care from this power duo. Some solutions to other everyday essentials are already in the pipeline, including body care and skincare.