Was 2021 unforgettable? Quite. Running a business always presents its challenges. Running a purpose-led business brings even more challenges, and the running theme for us was supply chain. Against a backdrop of lockdowns that caused significant and ongoing disruptions to every aspect of our supply chains, the impact of Brexit tested us even further.
When an ingredient sourced very specifically for its excellent credentials got stuck at the border for several weeks, using an alternative - without the same credentials - was not an option for us. And so we paused sales of one of our bestselling products and delayed the launch of another. When the price of aluminium increased significantly, we took the hit (without passing on the cost to our customers) because we're committed to reducing non-recyclable components in our product packaging. These are some of the choices we've made as a business that puts planet and people before profit.
We didn't always get it right as we navigated through these uncharted waters, and we often had to make hard decisions along the way. Despite everything seemingly working against us, we endeavoured to maintain our service to our customers whilst strongly standing by our values.
Amid those challenges, there were many bright spots for Krī Skincare in 2021. This report highlights some of our key achievements, as well as our plans for 2022 and beyond.
- Rupa Wincell, Founder
We Became a Certified B Corporation
In May 2021, Krī Skincare became part of a global movement of over 4,000 companies that use the power of business to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
The rigorous B Corporation certification process uses credible, comprehensive, transparent, and independent standards of social and environmental performance.
Being certified to the highest verified standards of transparency and accountability provides further assurances to our community that we do what we say we do, and it demonstrates our commitment to continuing to stand by our ethics as our business grows.
We’re also proud to be the first UK skincare brand founded by a woman of colour to achieve B Corp certification.
Continuous improvement is fundamental to the B Corp journey. Learning from what we know now from the rigorous assessment helps us to set better goals for the future.
We have set internal targets to help us increase our overall score by 2024 when we will be recertified, primarily in the areas of Community and Environment. We'll continue to share more details of our efforts to our customers throughout the year.
Since the brand's inception, we've set out to create products that nurture and protect the skin's barrier. The obvious gap in our product range for helping to maintain healthy skin was a sunscreen - until we launched our SPF30 Mineral Sunscreen in April 2021.
Our sunscreen is made only with Ecocert-approved ingredients and housed in infinitely reusable glass jars to make it as sustainable as possible.
Customer stewardship is at our forefront. Following the success of our original SPF30 Mineral Sunscreen, we launched a tinted version in response to requests from customers with deeper skin tones. The tinted sunscreen helps mitigate white cast commonly encountered with mineral-only sunscreen formulas.
Taking Transparency One Step Further
With growing consumer demand for products that are less harmful to the environment, it can be hard to tell what’s genuine and what’s greenwash. In fact, the UK's Competition and Markets Authority says 40% of green claims made online could be misleading.
To help our customers drive change through their purchasing power, we became the first certified B Corp beauty brand to partner with Provenance®, the transparency tech provider. Using 'Proof Points', Provenance connects what we say we do with transparent evidence of our claims.
The product pages on our website include verified evidence of the claims we make, with an emphasis on the reusability and recyclability of our product packaging.
UK-based Provenance is a social enterprise and a B Corporation. They exist to make commerce a force for good.
Reducing Plastic Product Packaging
We launched our refill initiative in October 2019, offering returning customers the option to choose aluminium closures instead of plastic pumps and multi-component pipettes, both of which are either hard to recycle or cannot be recycled.
Refills made up 10.3% of all units sold in 2020, and we made a goal to double that number in 2021. Thanks to our customers, we did it. In 2021, refills accounted for 21% of all units sold on our website.
Overall, taking our sunscreens (which have aluminium lids) into account, 41.72% of all full-sized units sold in 2021 did not contain plastic dispensers.
We won't stop here. We're setting ourselves an overall goal of 60% for all units sold in 2022.
Reusable Delivery Packaging
As an online-only consumer brand, delivery packaging is fundamental to our customer's experience. On the one hand, presentation matters. On the other, we need to carefully protect the glass vessels that house our formulas. We spent countless hours finding a solution to that problem and finally came across Flexi-Hex.
In 2021, we became one of the first cosmetic brands to partner with Cornwall-based Flexi-Hex. Their fully recyclable and reusable FSC certified paper-based honeycomb sleeves help us fulfil both purposes with our delivery packaging, which only consists of biodegradable, reusable and fully recyclable materials.
Flexi-Hex, like Krī Skincare, is a certified B Corporation that's committed to problem-solving through constant innovation whilst caring about people and planet.
Our Charity Partnership
Trees are the lungs of the earth, and everything lives where trees live. That's why we've chosen to support the restoration of forest habitats.
In 2021, we donated 1% of our annual revenue to World Land Trust (WLT), and we have pledged the same again for 2022. These donations will help fund the restoration of tropical forest habitats through WLT’s Plant a Tree programme, working with WLT’s overseas conservation partners.
By planting trees with WLT, local partner organisations around the world are given resources to provide permanent protection for wildlife, and in doing so, lock up carbon and address climate change.
WLT has been saving land for more than 30 years, and today their work to protect existing tropical forest habitat is more important than ever to save what remains of these vital ecosystems.
We always endeavour to align with organisations that share our ethos. In 2021, we changed our corporate banking provider to Triodos, one of the world's most ethical banks, and a certified B Corporation.
Triodos believes banking can be a powerful catalyst for achieving positive and lasting change, and it only welcomes businesses that have proven ethical credentials.
For conscious consumers, banking with values-aligned banks such as Triodos is a way to use your own finances to support positive social and environmental impact.