Interviews, insight & analysis on Ecommerce

The ECA Interview: Freddy Ward, co-founder, Wild Cosmetics

In the latest in ECA’s interview series with founder and CEOs of innovative ecommerce brands, we speak to Freddy Ward, co-founder, Wild Cosmetics.

Can you tell us about Wild Cosmetics?

Wild is the UK’s number one leading natural deodorant brand. It is an effective, natural deodorant that’s kind to the environment and operates on a flexible subscription-based, direct-to-your-door service, (so no commitment required!). Wild is also the first plastic-free, refillable deodorant brand.

Our scents are unique in comparison to the typical deodorant fragrances available in the shops with quirky scents such as: Fresh Cotton & Sea Salt, Lavender Haze and Coconut Dreams to name a few. Wild’s cases are single-use plastic-free and designed to last a lifetime, whilst our bamboo refills are 100% biodegradable, vegan-friendly, cruelty-free and free from nasties such as aluminium salts, parabens and phthalates. It’s eco-friendly, 100% effective and aesthetically pleasing and our quest is to really shake-up the throwaway culture of throwaway bathroom products!

What were the key drivers for creating the company?

Charlie [Bowes-Lyon, co-founder of Wild Cosmetics] and I both enjoy a challenge and I think there are few more exciting or difficult challenges than tackling our reliance on plastic packaging across the household. We quickly focused in on the bathroom due to the very low percentage of products recycled and the opportunity for sustainable packaging-led innovation.

If everyone is now using a reusable water bottle why are we still buying all our personal care products in single-use plastic? We believe the personal care market in particular has been stagnant for too long and provided the perfect space for disruption with high performing, convenient and natural alternatives to mainstream brands all delivered in sustainable and refillable packaging. Wild’s mission is to help people replace these daily personal products without compromise.

What type of customers do you attract and is it an educational challenge to broaden your base?

Our customers tend to be what we call eco-curious. They want to do their bit to improve their individual impact on the planet and are often interested in switching to more natural products but they are not willing to compromise convenience, efficacy or brand alignment. I think this is one of the fastest-growing consumer segments so the challenge is to stay relevant to these customers and continually find our products and propositions to suit their needs.

What is the opportunity to expand the range?

To date we have been very focused on perfecting being a great deodorant brand but our vision has always been to help remove single-use plastic from people’s everyday personal care routines so this gives us a lot of white space to go after in the coming months and years.

Would you look to sell through retailers alongside your DTC proposition?

We launched into retail last year with Sainsbury’s and plan to expand our retail footprint after successful trials in Sainsbury’s, Boots and Waitrose in 2022.

Can you share some numbers – regular customers, frequency rates, average spend etc…?

Wild has delivered over three million deodorants since we launched in 2020 and grew at over 400% last year.

What challenges have you faced and what elements have you had to adapt?

We have been growing pretty quickly and that makes it harder to create the necessary processes and plans for each phase of growth. We have also had to react to a number of unprecedented events from COVID to Brexit, which has forced us to be a very agile business that has had to be adaptable and entrepreneurial.

Any technology-related plans for the next 12 months?

We will continue to invest heavily in our tech and data systems to ensure we can deliver a seamless customer experience and use the significant amounts of customer data to build a competitive advantage

What is the greatest opportunity for the business?

There are so many opportunities for Wild but I think the ability to move from a one-product business into a multi-product company solving single-use plastic in the bathroom is something that gets me out of bed every morning

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