Startups invited to partner with Unilever for sustainable beauty solutions

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva


Unilever Foundry, the global FMCG giant’s collaborative innovation network, has launched the second series of its sustainable entrepreneurial challenge that invites startups to create sustainable beauty solutions through its Positive Beauty Growth platform. 

The beauty sector generates up to 120 billion pieces of plastic packaging annually, contributing to the loss of nearly 120 million acres of forests each year. Furthermore, cosmetics are usually filled with toxic chemicals that eventually make their way into oceans and landfills, harming wildlife. Because of this, companies are attempting to innovate and create sustainable solutions for a better future. 

According to the company, the challenge aims to find the next generation of biodegradable packaging, sustainable ingredients, and materials that still benefit consumers while supporting the company’s goal to do more for the planet.

“Startup-led partnerships are an important pillar to drive growth and innovation,” shared Baz Saidieh, global head of Unilever Foundry. 

“The Positive Beauty Growth Platform is a catalyst for finding the greatest startup innovations and powering experimentation at scale.”

Innovative startups, scaleups, and spinout companies will have the opportunity to present their unique ingredients and packaging solutions to its Beauty and Personal Care leadership and expert practitioners. 

During the challenge, leading ideas will be given a chance to explore partnership opportunities worth over €20 billion, with well-known brands including Axe, Dove, Tresemme, Rexona, Vaseline, and Love Beauty & Planet.

“Collaborating with disruptive new players in this space will lead to even more breakthroughs as we grow our business and portfolio for a future where people and planet can thrive together,” said Richard Slater, chief research and development officer, Unilever. 

Last year, almost 300 startups joined the sustainable challenge with 33 candidates shortlisted – from seed-stage to billion-dollar businesses. Many are now set to launch pilot projects with the company’s beauty and personal care brands.

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

A digital content manager based in the Philippines, Kaycee Enerva has written for multiple publications over several years. A graduate of Computer Science, she exchanged a career in IT to pursue her passion for writing. She's slowly practicing sustainability through period cups, and eating more plant-based food.