Home Natural cosmetics Unilever calls on start-ups and spin-outs to partner with beauty brands

Unilever calls on start-ups and spin-outs to partner with beauty brands

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By Becky Bargh
March 9, 2022

Developers working on biodegradable and sustainable ingredients and packaging have been urged to submit their work to executives, which could net them a contract worth 20 billion euros

Successful applicants will sign an agreement to work with Unilever’s Dove, Vaseline and Ax 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.

Launched today, the call has gone out to the next generation of developers of biodegradable and sustainable ingredients and packaging.

The candidates could sign a partnership agreement worth more than 20 billion euros which will cover Unilever’s Dove, Axe, Rexona, Tresemmé, Vaseline and Love Beauty and Planet brands.

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

“We are 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 director of research and development.

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

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

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

“Startup-led partnerships are an important pillar for driving growth and innovation,” added Baz Saidieh, global head of Unilever Foundry, the company’s collaborative network.

“The Positive Beauty Growth Platform is proving to be a catalyst for finding the best start-up innovations and fueling large-scale experimentation.

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

“If this call is half as successful as our last challenge, we should have stunning results.”

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

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