Piyush: We launched Love Beauty and Planet in 2018, starting with hair and skin care products in the US and Canada. Now the range covers every category within Unilever’s Beauty & Personal Care division – adding skin cleansing, oral care and deodorants to the line-up.
Love Beauty and Planet is now available in 50 countries, and it’s moved beyond beauty to become a lifestyle brand with the launch of Love Home and Planet home care products.
Sonika: Scaling up so quickly certainly presented challenges – sourcing recycled plastic for our bottles, for example. Back in the early days, the supply chain simply wasn’t there. The recycled plastic available was strangely coloured, more expensive, more fragile. But we didn’t take no for an answer and in the end, we helped change the system. Now other Unilever brands have been able to follow, sourcing recycled plastic more easily because we helped push that door open.
We also adopted the philosophy that good intentions are sometimes better than perfection. We couldn’t get 100% recycled plastic bottle caps in time for launch. We could have waited a couple of years to launch with bottles and caps that were both completely recycled, but didn’t want consumers spending two more years choosing products in virgin plastic bottles. Instead, we launched and were very open about the fact that we were still working on our caps. We kept pushing and we’ve got them now.
Piyush: I’m immensely proud of what we’ve been able to achieve. We launched a completely new brand in a year and it was a journey of many firsts.
When we talked about creating the first fast-rinse conditioner, designed to help people have quicker showers and waste less water, we were initially told it could take two years to develop. Our amazing R&D teams had it in 11 months. We started small but when what we’re doing becomes something of a benchmark for Unilever as a whole, that’s when we can really see how big our impact can be.
Sonika: From a more personal point of view, working on Love Beauty and Planet has helped me find my purpose. Until I helped to found this brand, I hadn’t realised how much the planet and caring for our environment really affected me. Now it’s absolutely central to the way I live every day. I couldn’t be more thankful for that.