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Unilever invites startups to partner on next generation of sustainable beauty products

Sophie Smith
09 March 2022

Unilever’s collaborative innovation network, The Unilever Foundry, has launched a new entrepreneurial challenge focused on sustainable beauty solutions.

Launched through its Positive Beauty Growth Platform, which was created last year to support Unilever’s Positive Beauty vision, the initiative invites startups operating in social commerce to enter a series of pitch competitions and entrepreneurial challenges.

Launching today, the Growth Platform’s second challenge aims to find the next generation of biodegradable and sustainable ingredients and packaging. The initiative is looking for materials that deliver benefits to its consumers, while supporting the company's vision to do good for the planet and help achieve its goals to protect and regenerate nature.

Unilever is searching for "innovative scaleups, startups and spinout companies" to give them the opportunity to present unique biodegradable and sustainable cosmetic ingredients or packaging solutions to the Unilever beauty leadership and expert practitioners. The leading ideas will then be given the chance to explore partnership opportunities within Unilever’s beauty and personal care business.

Richard Slater, Unilever’s Chief Research and Development Officer, said: “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. 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.”

Baz Saidieh, Global Head of the Unilever Foundry, said: “Startup-led partnerships are an important pillar to drive growth and innovation. The Positive Beauty Growth Platform is proving a catalyst of finding the greatest startup innovations and powering experimentation at scale. If this call-out is half as successful as our last challenge, we should be in for some stunning collaborations.”

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