Custom hair care brand Prose goes climate neutral – USA

Helen Nwosu, Vice President of Social Impact, Prose. Image courtesy of Prose

On 4th October 2021, Prose revealed it has reached climate neutrality and has become a Public Benefit Corporation. The accomplishment comes after the brand celebrated another major milestone in 2020 when, as Prose excitedly shares, it became the first carbon-neutral direct-to-consumer (DTC) custom beauty brand.

Prose was founded to make hair products more sustainable, more inclusive and more effective.

“When it comes to sustainability, our goals are multifaceted and take a 360-degree view at our impact on our people, our environment, and our community,” ​Helen Nwosu, Vice President of Social Impact, Prose told us. “As the VP of Social Impact, my goal is to make sure that we continue to innovate when it comes to being better for the people and the planet and stay vigilant about how we can make a positive impact on the current social and environmental landscape.”​

Sharing its newly-obtained climate-neutrality status and achievement of becoming a Public Benefit Corporation, Nwosu said: “These larger accomplishments were the result of strategic choices focused on sustainability—from environmentally conscious packaging to identifying carbon offset programs that have the highest and most trustworthy level of certifications, to conceptualizing innovative production processes such as our proprietary Automation Machine.”​

Prose is conscious that it continues to create ways in which it can work to cut its emissions wherever possible without sacrificing any element of the brand and product experience it offers to beauty consumers.

From mass production to made-to-order

By leveraging technology to create a better product for individuals, Nwosu explained: “Prose shunned the typical standardization that is so ubiquitous in the beauty industry.” ​

“Instead, Prose celebrates the inherent diversity and uniqueness of each and every individual, and in doing so is leading the shift from a mass production model to a made-to-order earth-friendly model.”​

As a company built on personal care, Prose notes it is “fundamentally committed”​ to caring for the planet, as it recognizes it is the planet’s rich biodiversity that is the source of its beauty products. Its goal is to give back more than it takes, and in doing so, have a positive impact on its customers, suppliers, community, and wider planet.

“Prose is embarking on a new chapter to show the beauty industry sustainable operations are achievable, focused on evolving what it means to be a Certified B Corporation and use its business as a force for good,” ​said Nwosu.

Influencing brand innovation and product creation

Sharing that when it comes to Prose products, “sustainability is in our DNA”​, Nwosu added that the brand believes what it puts into products is as good as what it gets out of them. To date, the brand notes it has done this by using certified clean ingredients and by sourcing the best ingredients gathered using business practices that are mindful of its supply chain.  

“We are constantly looking for a better way forward,” ​she said. “We understand that technology and innovation can lead to new ways of achieving sustainability and when we find them, we take them.”​ Prose is now continuing its efforts to decrease its carbon footprint and has made investments in renewable energy, through offsets.

Noting how it has become the first and only carbon-neutral custom beauty brand since its launch in 2017, Nwosu explained: “With every product launch, innovation, business decision we make, we consider sustainability as a key influencing factor and will continue to do so as we expand.” ​

The role of data in sustainability

The idea behind Prose’s launch was to use customization as a way to create products for the individual versus the masses. “Instead of the industry norm of segmentation—curly, straight, thin, dandruff, etc.—which supports mass beauty brands producing at scale, Prose gets to the heart of one’s hair needs providing a personalized routine,” ​said Nwosu. In doing so, the hair care name aims to help consumers avoid the need to use five different products that are ineffective and don’t achieve the user’s personal hair goals.

Prose engages in consultation, where it finds out its customers’ hair goals and focuses on creating effective products that work. Each product bottle is only created when the customer checks out. As a result, Prose is able to significantly cut down on waste as no product is left sitting on shelves.

The brand has furthered its investment in customization with its proprietary Automation Machine, an innovation that allows Prose to create customized products at scale. Through technology and machine learning, Nwosu said: “Prose’s Automation Machine allows the brand to continue to create customized, apothecary-style products that maintain the same quality and standards we have become known for.”​


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