Home cleaning line Blueland is planning to bring its brand of easy-to-use, sustainable products into the personal care category.
The company has raised a $20 million round by Prelude Growth Partners, which it will use to expand into retail and personal care.
Blueland launched in 2019 with cleaning products that avoid all single-use plastics and aim to use earth-friendly ingredients.
The lineup currently includes home cleaners, which are made by combining a tablet of cleaning solution with water, powder dish soap that is shipped in compostable packaging and stored in a refillable container, and laundry detergent, which comes in tablet form and can also be stored in a refillable container. Blueland develops all of its products internally, and has 40 patents or pending patents, the company said.
“Our first two years we’ve been incredibly focused on bringing these brand new formats to market,” said Blueland cofounder and chief executive officer Sarah Paiji Yoo. Blueland’s formats require “new behaviors,” Yoo said — customers mix their own cleaning sprays and need to learn how to use powder dish soap, for example.
Blueland has spent the past couple of years formulating those products — “you wouldn’t believe the number of challenges,” Yoo said, that come with eschewing plastic or wanting refills packaged in compostable paper — but also in educating around those products and how to make and use them.
So far things are off to a strong start. Industry sources said the company is doing between $50 million and $60 million in sales.
“When we launched we were squarely focused on being direct-to-consumer,” Yoo said. “When you have that direct relationship with the customer, you have that direct line of communication to be able to collect the feedback on what they’re loving as well as what’s not working, and test different messaging and test different ways to educate folks. ”
“A lot of especially new companies move to the marketing piece too fast, and we were extremely focused on trying to optimize product-market fit,” Yoo said.
But now several years in, Blueland has plans to roll into retail and branch into personal care products this year, Yoo said.
“We’ve always known that we want to be in retail, it comes back to our mission of maximizing the environmental impact we can have and in order to do that we need to make the brand as accessible to as many consumers as possible,” Yoo said.
When it comes to personal care, Yoo said Blueland will take a similar approach as it has for cleaning products — launching a minimal assortment that covers all the basics.
“We’re really focused on delivering an incredible personal care experience where people don’t feel like they have to sacrifice that experience for the planet,” Yoo said.
“The other bit is really how do we shift the mind-set around single-use — especially in personal care and beauty, almost everything comes packaged in single-use plastic packaging or single-use packaging. There’s an opportunity to shift that mind-set … in a Blueland way, where it’s not expecting you to refill your bottle with some pouch of goop,” Yoo said. “How do you make it dead simple and enjoyable.”
To date, Blueland has raised $35 million. Investors include Rent the Runway’s Jennifer Fleiss, Sweetgreen’s Nicolas Jammet and celebrities Justin Timberlake and Adrian Grenier.
Alicia Sontag, cofounder and managing partner at Prelude Growth, said the firm was interested in Blueland because the products and mission “have resulted in unparalleled consumer love in the cleaning category.”
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