Entrepreneur who set up a natural hair care range with 90 per cent plastic-free packaging is on course to make £2.5M in her first year after her products sold out on ASOS
- Irish born Yolanda Cooper, 33, created a 90 percent plastic-free hair care line
- Says there’s not such thing as ‘good plastic’ and we need to be more eco-friendly
- The London-based entrepreneur wants to educate people on recycling plastic
- After launching in March, beauty line expected turn over £2.5 million in first year
When Yolanda Cooper sat down to plan the release of her line of hair products We Are Paradoxx, she came to a damning conclusion: she needed to create 110,000 bottles of packaging within her first year.
And for the 33-year-old from Belfast, who is now based in London, the thought of creating so much plastic waste was inconceivable.
‘I simply thought “there’s no way I can be responsible for creating 100,000 units of plastic”,’ she told FEMAIL.
Yoland’s range uses natural ingredients such as whiskey for shine, Celtic moss for conditioning and white nettle for volume, and within four months of launching, the line had to be restocked on Asos UK as it sold out.
Now on the verge of launching her hair care line in several U.S stores after overwhelming success in the UK, Yolanda is proud of her 90 percent plastic-free packaging, made mainly of aluminium and stainless steel, and is on course to make £2.5M in her first year.
Yolanda Cooper (pictured), a Londoner from Belfast turned to aluminium in order to launch a 90 percent plastic-free business
We Are Paradoxx’s packaging is made of aluminium and stainless steel, which can be recycled on a loop (pictured: We are Paradoxx’s Game changer’ hair mask)
Yolanda (pictured) started her business with only the help of her friend and marketing director. Both women researched several ingredients present in their hair care products before going to a chemist
‘Even if it ends up in the sea or landfill, it causes no environmental damage,’ she explained. ‘Plus, it can be recycled on an infinite loop, unlike plastic which degrades in quality with each recycling loop.’
It took some time to find the perfect alternative to plastic. The entrepreneur compared plastic with aluminium and glass and said aluminium won every time.
‘It requires the least amount of energy to produce it, it produces the least amount of transportation carbon emission, it releases no toxic chemicals to the sea or landfill and takes the least amount of time to decompose, as surprising as that may be,’ she said.
‘I believe there is no such thing as “good plastic” as most of it ends up in the sea or landfill and every piece of plastic ever made still exists.’
Yolanda’s bet paid off and within four months of launching We Are Paradoxx, she’s in business with 35 UK retailers and about to launch in the US
We Are Paradoxx’ hair products are made of local natural products such as Irish moss, whiskey and Celtic salt
Yolanda added she did not want to be another part of the beauty industry which already produces over 142 billion units of plastic per year.
And following her eco-conscious instincts paid off. We Are Paradoxx launched in March with retailers such as Harvey Nichols, ASOS, Next and FeelUnique.
From five initial retailers, the brand is now in business with 35.
‘The response from retailers has been truly amazing, they all want to be part of this plastic-free movement too,’ Yolanda said.
Just four months later, she is set to launch in the US with Saks 5th Avenue, ASOS, Revolve and Ulta.
Yolanda researched the properties of several local and natural ingredients herself before seeing a bio-chemist (pictured: a presentation or what the products can do to your hair)
As well as being an entrepreneur, Yolanda campaigns to raise awareness on recyling and the environment
And Yolanda’s dream is only getting started, as the brand is in talks to launch in 58 countries, including Italy, Germany and the United Arab Emirates.
Later in the summer, it will launch in Italy, Germany, the UAE and a number of other countries.
‘We’re definitely growing faster than even we expected.’ Yolanda said.
Not only is her packaging eco friendly, but her ingredients are too, drawing on Yolanda’s native Ireland.
She and her her marketing director experimented a lot with lot products in the early stages of the business to find out what worked. ,
‘Whiskey adds amazing shine, hops (like what’s in Guinness) is amazing for bounce, Irish moss is the most insane conditioning agent for hair,’ she said. ‘White nettle gives great volume and Celtic salt can be up to 10 times purer than Himalayan salt, so is less drying to hair whilst still providing serious texture.’
Once they had found these natural ingredients, the two women went to see a bio-chemist in order to get their business rolling.
A closer look at We Are Paradoxx’s ‘super natural’ and ‘secret wesapon’ shampoos, which are packed in aluminium packaging
On Monday 17 June, We Are Paradoxx will take to the streets of London in order to spread the word about how plastic is recycled and the benefits of using aluminium
As well as being a successful entrepreneur, Yolanda campaigns for businesses to be more eco-responsible.
‘We won’t rest until we’ve changed the beauty industry for the better so today marks our first step into encouraging other brands to make a change.
‘It’s also about educating consumers on the facts around plastic in their beauty products, how to recycle correctly and what eco brands are out there that they can buy from etc,’ she added.
On Monday 17 June, We Are Paradoxx will take to the street’s of London in order to spread the word about how plastic is recycled and the benefits of using aluminium.
Yolonda’s top five components to avoid in shampoos
Sulphates – They make your shampoo foam up which seems great, but in reality sulphates can be harsh on the scalp and can strip away the natural oils that keep your hair shiny and soft.
Parabens – Most of us know that they are bad, but not everyone knows why. They are carcinogenic hormone disrupters and have been linked specifically to breast cancer.
Fragrance – Because it can mask almost 4,000 synthetic and potentially cancer causing ingredients. Avoid avoid avoid.
Formaldehyde – Hides behind lots of other ingredients that release it into the air you breathe and onto your skin so you may not even be aware of its presence in your haircare products but it is known to cause DNA damage and cancer and also allergies including asthma.
Triclosan – Registered as a pesticide and highly toxic to any living organism by the environmental protection agency.
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