Nuddy isn’t just a word, it’s a feeling. To feel free + vulnerable, yet empowered. Not just when you’re ‘in the nuddy’, but all day, everyday – Nuddy
Nuddy is a female-led startup. It was founded in July 2018 by 24 year old law graduate Kassi Emadi whose mission, apart from wanting to make the soap bar “cool again”, is for Nuddy to supply its customers with plastic-free bathroom essentials. It all started on 26th November, 2017 when Kassi had her big idea while enjoying a hot shower. With a genuine love of the soap bar, she had difficulty finding a quality bar that met her concerns about sustainability and the environment. She realised she had identified a gap in the market and her creative mind formulated the idea of Nuddy, a cool brand that would create premium quality soap bars. So, shortly after, and a few days before Christmas, she resigned from her job as head of PR for a London-based marketing agency. She started to look for a suitable soap manufacturer partner, which she found and with whom she placed an initial order for 5000 units. Using her PR experience and industry contacts, she secured features in top beauty magazines and began to receive orders, which she serviced from the garage of her parent’s home in the North East of England.
Kassi’s soap bars are free from plastic-derived ingredients such as silicones, parabens and phthalates that not only damage human skin but also the environment and the oceans. Instead, Nuddy’s soap bars contain sustainably sourced raw African Shea butter and 100% pure palm oil. Also, unlike many other producers who use material supplied by companies that exploit their employees or use slave labour, Kassi ensures their products are sustainably sourced, and the business is run in an ethical, responsible manner.
She is also aware that the beauty industry produces 120 billion units of plastic packaging each year, and in the UK alone the 28 million households each use on average 216 haircare bottles annually, while 5.5 million people use disposable razors, which are particularly difficult to recycle. So she has introduced brass razors that last a lifetime, ditched plastic bottles for bars, introduced biodegradable packaging, and only uses water-based inks for printing. In addition, she recognises the negative impact of the beauty industry on animal welfare. She knows, for example, that in the US alone, product testing involves 100 million live animals a year. Not only does this cause animal suffering and death, but animal by-products are to be found in many skin-care, make-up and beauty products. Accordingly, Nuddy is totally against animal testing and its products are 100% vegan and cruelty-free, testing on the brand’s “babes” – employees, friends, family members, neighbours, etc.
According to Kassi, “sustainability is something that’s super close to our hearts here at Nuddy”, so in addition to what they are doing already, they are also helping reduce the amount of water used in the sector. Water is one of the beauty industry’s high demand items, though most of it is not necessary, used to water down products. This reduces the efficiency of the product and requires consumers to purchase more of it. While most shampoos are watered down by 80%, Nuddy’s concentrated shampoo and soap bars are not, and save both water and money. Additionally, and importantly, to offset their CO2 emissions and set a good example to other businesses, they pay a specialist company to plant trees on their behalf to offset deforestation or invest in clean, renewable energy.
While the business has gained customer acceptance very quickly, the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic provided a further opportunity for Nuddy. Not only did panic buying create stock shortages in local retail stores, which Nuddy helped to rectify, but Kassi launched a free soap campaign giving away 30,000 bars of soap to vulnerable people, NHS employees and those most in need. Such activity raised their profile, and in December 2021, they signed an agreement with Sainsbury’s supermarket chain to sell their products in 93 of its stores nationwide.
As Kassi says, “We know that the beauty, skin and hair care industry is a huge contributor to many of the planet’s problems. That’s why we are determined to lead by example when it comes to being a sustainable brand”.
Nuddy is clearly a harmonious enterprise. It focuses on sustainability and ensures the bottom line of profit, planet, and people is in Harmony. In so doing, it addresses SDGs 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), 9 (Industry Innovation and Infrastructure), 10 (Reduced Inequalities), 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), 13 (Climate Action), 14 (Life below Water), and 15 (Life on Land).
- Nuddy is slang for naked or in the nude.
Hughill, S., (2022), Naked Ambition. North East Times. 7th February.
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