Unilever sounds call for start-ups and spinouts to partner with beauty brands

By Becky Bargh 9-Mar-2022

Developers working on biodegradable, sustainable ingredients and packaging have been asked to submit their work to leaders of the beauty giant

Successful candidates will ink a deal to work across Unilever's Dove, Vaseline and Axe brands

A search has begun at Unilever for the best start-ups and academic spinouts to develop cutting-edge products for its beauty and personal care brands.

Launching today, the call out has been made to the next generation of developers in biodegradable and sustainable ingredients and packaging.

Candidates could ink a partnership within Unilever’s Beauty & Personal Care business, with scope to work on Dove, Axe, Rexona, Tresemmé, Vaseline and Love Beauty & Planet.

The beauty heavyweight’s Positive Beauty Growth Platform is the vehicle for the drive, which launched last year with a call out to fast-growing developers in the world of social commerce.

“We’re creating the next generation of technologies and ingredients for our beauty and personal care products that are not only highly effective, but also natural and sustainable,” said Unilever’s Chief Research and Development Officer.

“Collaborating with disruptive new players in this space is going to lead to even more breakthroughs as we grow our business and portfolio for a future where people and planet can thrive together.”

Unilever’s sustainability goals include making all product formulations biodegradable by 2030; cutting virgin plastic by 50% by 2025; and halving its greenhouse gas footprint by 2030.

Becoming net zero by 2039 is also in Unilever’s pipeline.

“Start-up-led partnerships are an important pillar to drive growth and innovation,” added Baz Saidieh, Global Head of Unilever Foundry, the business’ collaborative network.

“The Positive Beauty Growth Platform is proving a catalyst of finding the greatest start-up innovations and powering experimentation at scale.

“For our latest challenge, we’re keen to engage and explore partnerships with innovators developing biodegradable and sustainable ingredients and packaging for the future, something we know is increasingly important to people around the world.

“If this call-out is half as successful as our last challenge, we should be in for some stunning results.”

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Unilever said that nearly 300 start-ups applied to its latest venture, with 33 candidates shortlisted.

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