You Don't Have to Be 'Beauty Obsessed' to Shop With Birchbox

Here at Sweety High, we're all about sustainability.

We love being introduced to brands that have either been sustainable from the start, or that are actively changing their ways. Birchbox is one of those brands, and we wanted to find out all about what they're doing. The CEO of this subscription beauty box service, Katia Beauchamp, sat down with us and answered all of our most pressing questions. Plus, she told us all about one of Birchbox's latest sustainable launches! Keep reading to find out all about it.

Sweety High: For those who are unfamiliar with Birchbox, how would you describe it?

Katia Beauchamp: We're a beauty company, but we're not beauty obsessed. We prefer the term "beauty casual." We believe in products that work, that are simple to use and that make us feel beautiful. Our subscription service and curated online shop make it easy to find those products.

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SH: What's the process like of building a Birchbox?

KB: There's a lot that goes into curating our boxes each month. The total process is very intricate and thoughtful, with the goal of creating experiences that make discovering new results-driven products simple and fun. Our merchandising team spends a lot of their time researching and talking to brands and trying products to handpick the best of the best that's out there. Our business intelligence, data and operations teams pair up the right sample with the right customer based on their beauty and grooming profile. Our marketing and content teams create the total box experience—the theme of the box, the design on the box (or sometimes we'll choose to transform the box into something else), all of the finishing touches inside and works with our merchandising team to break down what each product is, why it was chosen and how to use it. Our operations team works closely with our warehouse to make sure everything is put together and shipped out to get into customers' hands in a timely manner. Our product and tech teams think of the most creative, delightful and effective ways to build and evolve our customers' physical and digital experience. Our customer support team relays customer feedback to all of the teams to help us continually improve all aspects of our business.


SH: What do you mean when you say "beauty casual"?

KB: Beauty casual is about caring about the beauty stuff that you use but not wanting to work hard to find it. It describes people who enjoy beauty, but it's not their passion. Most people want to find products that work, that are simple to use and make them feel great. The process of finding that stuff can be overwhelming—there are thousands of options out there!

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SH: Tell us about your sustainability journey! How does Birchbox practice sustainability methods?

KB: We plan to tackle sustainability from multiple angles:

Reducing waste through the launch of Re.fil, removing 70% of unnecessary packaging from samples featured in boxes by end of year, partnering with more brands that have sustainability at their core (we've committed to ensuring that 10% of samples by end of year and 10% of full-size products sold in the shop by 2023 will be from sustainable brands), partnering with more brands to create reusable box transformations and we're committed to creating a recycling program to make it easy for our community to recycle their empty samples and products.

Increasing recyclability through finding a recyclable alternative to the foam insert in subscriber's boxes (after which, 100% of Birchbox-produced packaging will be recyclable!) and seeking recyclable alternatives to brands that Birchbox produces by 2025 (Arrow Beauty, Love of Color).

We're increasing education and awareness of the proper ways to reduce waste and recycle.


SH: Tell us about Re.fil Beauty Balm! What is it?

KB: The multi-use Re.fil Beauty Balm can be used anywhere your skin craves moisture—lips, brows, cuticles, elbows, etc. The clean and vegan formula leaves a soft, protective layer on skin to lock in moisture and block environmental aggressors. Key ingredients include a blend of natural oils, squalane (derived from plants), ceramides and chamomile.

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SH: How will Re.fil Beauty Balm help the environment?

KB: Hundreds of millions of people buy (and re-buy) lip balm every year, and a majority of those tubes end up in landfills. If people switched to Re.fil, a refillable alternative, that small tweak could make a massive difference in the amount of plastic tubes that are thrown out. Re.fil prioritizes sustainable materials—each Re.fil Beauty Balm refillable case is made from PCR (post-consumer recycled) plastic rather than virgin plastic. The product comes packaged in a 100% recycled cardboard canister. The Re.fil Beauty Balm refillable case can be refilled endlessly, and through purchasing refills, helps keep unnecessary plastic waste from our landfills.


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