Everist is a beauty brand that focuses on revolutionizing the beauty industry, which is known to create plastic waste. They launched in 2021 with the first waterless shampoo and conditioner concentrate that comes in aluminum tubes. This solution solves the UN Sustainable Development Goal of responsible consumption and production as the aluminum tubes are infinitely recyclable, the ingredients are biodegradable, and the product contains no water making it a third of the size of a regular shampoo or conditioner product.
Jia Wai Cheng
York University- Schulich School of Business
Everist is based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and was founded in 2019 by two former beauty executives, Jayme Jenkins and Jessica Stevenson. Previously, they held positions at companies such as L'Oréal, The Body Shop, Revlon, and Nude by Nature. They describe their zero-waste innovation as something the imperfect environmentalists can use. “A full bottle of shampoo is traditionally 300ml. We’ve taken all the water out and shrunk it down to a third of the size. It’s a 100ml fully recyclable aluminum tube. You just take a little strip of the paste in the tube, and you activate it with the water in your shower to have that premium shampoo, conditioner, and body wash experience,” says Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer Jayme Jenkins.
Having seen the environmental impact of this industry, they wanted to find a way to reduce the waste produced. The innovation process was longer than coming up with an idea of solving the problem. Other than liquid shampoo, they knew of shampoo bars and powders. They landed on the waterless paste concept after seeing the trend in the home cleaning industry where companies were selling concentrates without water. It made no sense to them that shampoos and conditioners were over 70% water. They applied the idea of removing the water to their products. They enrolled the help of a chemist and a manufacturing partner to create their zero-waste innovation.
The product is innovative in three ways. First, by removing the water in shampoo, they are reducing the emissions that are needed to transport the extra weight. Second, using 99.7% pure aluminum tubes instead of single-use plastic reduces the waste that can end up on landfills or even in oceans. Finally, by using biodegradable ingredients, there are no microplastics from petrochemicals. Having all these factors give users of their products a sense of purpose as they are minimizing their impact on the environment when they are looking to take a shower.
Years before starting Everist, Jayme got more into sustainability when she was on maternity leave with her daughter. She wanted to learn more about the products that she was using and the kind of world that she would be leaving her daughter with. She then went back to her full-time corporate job with the desire to start something. After her second maternity leave with her son, she decided to have a go at the idea of starting a zero-waste beauty company with Jessica. They resigned from their full-time jobs when they landed on the waterless concept, which needed their full attention to develop. It took 2 years for the idea to come after seeing what products were available in other industries.
The two founders are motivated by their desire to give regular consumers a choice in making a positive environmental impact. They believe that everyone can make an impact even if it’s through small changes. The spark came when they realized that things needed to change in the beauty industry. “We are personally very values driven, motivated by the cause, and providing solutions to some of the problems. We wanted to first change our organizations that we were working in from the inside, but then we realized that the magnitude of the change that was needed was a much bigger step change than the small change that the bigger organizations were making,” Jayme said. They realized that if they wanted to see the changes, they would have to do it themselves.
Given that Everist was started in 2019 and the product was launched in early 2021, the impact has only been in the short term. By giving consumers a more environmentally focused product, they were able to reduce the environmental impact from the beauty industry for each product that they sold. They have also sparked the interest of consumers as evidenced by the number of mentions on popular beauty magazines and being selected as one of the best inventions in 2021 by TIME. They have grown to over 10,000 followers on social media in a short period of time and are expected to continuously grow. This gives them a platform to change purchase decisions by consumers.
The long-term impact has yet to occur but as mentioned by Jayme, “Everything we do is with a long-term effect in mind.” They are preventing bottles from going to landfills, reducing the carbon impact of the product, and minimizing the impact through the formulation of the product. The beauty industry creates billions of plastic packaging that ends up in landfills every year. When we look at just shampoo bottles alone, over 552 million bottles can end up in landfills (Unwrapped Life, 2019). As Everist grows and the beauty industry takes notice, we could see this waste drastically being reduced globally.
They also have three other initiatives. The first is their voluntary commitment to donating 1% of their sales to support sustainable projects. The second is to clean 1lb of ocean-bound plastic whenever someone subscribes to their email. Finally, they have a cap back program to give their recyclable PET plastic caps a second life. All these initiatives will have a greater impact once the company continues to grow.
The innovation is the launchpad for the business as it’s what the business is known for. It has enabled them from a brand and public relations point of view to tell an interesting story creating awareness in only the first year on the market. The products are unique given it’s the first of its kind in the industry. From a revenue perspective, it is their main product and has driven sales and positive customer feedback. It is a win-win for all parties as the business is growing because of the innovation and consumers are getting a product that has much less impact on the environment as compared to traditional beauty products.
In terms of the benefit related to employees, they have been able to find two additional talent who believe in the business and the positive impact they are making. The founders bigger mission is to prove that being environmentally conscious can be for everybody and not just environmentalist who are the users of products like shampoo bars. They want to make it easier for society to change their purchase decisions. It’s important to the founders that their employees believe in the mission and the products that they are selling.
Originally, they started off with only shampoo and conditioner but have since introduced a body wash. The innovation made it easier to create new products and they are looking into providing more offerings in the future. In terms of investment opportunities, the innovation has allowed them to secure funding from the Toronto-based impact investment firm, Good & Well and the founders of apparel brand, Knix. This proves that people believe that Everist can transform the beauty industry.
In terms of the society, the innovation has changed the consumer behaviour of those that they have been able to convert. It is still only over a year that the product has been in market, but we can see the potential benefits to society. Consumers will be able to use a range of natural products that are convenient to use. They don’t have to compromise to be conscious of the environment. The innovation has also pushed the industry further in thinking about how their products are made and what consumers are thinking when they use products like shampoo and body wash. According to Jayme, “businesses are willing to try new things and to address that new customer desire for products that are more sustainable and have more clean ingredients.”
It is more evident that the innovation has a bigger benefit to the environment as stated by Jayme, “Every product sold is one plastic bottle not going to a landfill. Every product shipped is one third of the carbon impact.” As the company grows, they will be able to replace the plastic bottles that potential consumers currently use for their beauty products. This will help tackle the problem of plastic bottles in landfills. We know of the impact of carbon emissions and by cutting the emissions in this industry by a third can make a difference. She also mentions the ingredients are safer for the environment as no petrochemicals are used and it’s all biodegradable and plant-based. As stated by the company, “imperfect environmentalists welcome”, they will lead both consumers and the beauty industry to a more sustainable future.
Jayme Jenkins, Co-Founder & Chief Brand Officer
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Toronto, Ontario, CA
Business Website: https://helloeverist.com/
Year Founded: 2019
Number of Employees: 2 to 10
Everist is a sustainable consumer goods company focused on getting single-use plastics out of the beauty industry. The founders, Jayme Jenkins and Jessica Stevenson, want to make it easier for consumers to make sustainable choices in the products that they purchase. They launched with waterless shampoo and conditioner concentrates in early 2021.