Why makeup pencils
Why it makes sense not only to plant pencils but also makeup pencils
So Michael, we’ve just heard that Sprout has launched a plantable make up series. Why?
First of all, because we think it’s a brilliant idea. It’s a natural development of the successful plantable graphite pencil that we launched in 2013 and has become a symbol of sustainability, with over 35 million pieces sold worldwide. Just like the pencil, the makeup pencils are also covered by our global patent on “plantable writing instruments”.
The market for makeup pencils is huge and constantly growing, with 10-12 billion produced each year. Most makeup products, including eyeliners, are made with chemicals and plastics that generate piles of waste when the product is finished with. We want to challenge that by designing high quality makeup that can get a second life and give back to the planet instead of ending up in the trash.
If we can meet the growing demand for more eco-friendly makeup for our customers and at the same time push the industry in a greener direction, we’ve reached one of our goals.
Why should consumers plant their makeup pencils after use?
Our plantable makeup pencils are made to inspire you to take more sustainable actions in your everyday life. If you can plant an eyeliner after use, what else can you do for the environment? It’s just one of many little changes you can make.
The makeup pencil boxes are ideal for gifting because they send a message that both the giver and the receiver care for the planet. Not only is the makeup pencil developed with high quality materials, sustainably certified wood, natural formula, allergy tested and without microplastics, it’s also produced and hand assembled in the EU under ethical working conditions by a brand that has sustainability in the very DNA of our business. We do much more than required because we want to be at the forefront and show that it’s possible to build a business successfully while doing good at the same time.
We know that planting a makeup pencil stub won’t save the world, but we also know that we can make a difference at a more holistic level, simply by being an inspiration for so many people and companies.
What role would you like Sprout World to play in the makeup industry (if any)?
First of all, Sprout is not a makeup brand and we are not trying to compete with huge players such as L’Oreal, Chanel or Lancôme. Collaborate yes, but not compete. The ideal role for us would be acting as a small independent brand that brings innovation, a breath of fresh air and a new way of doing things into the cosmetic industry. Innovation and sustainability are highly needed values on this “use and throw” market that is luckily starting to change now.
We’re still in the process of mapping out how far we want to go with the makeup series. Everything related to new colors, products or sales channels will be decided in 2022 when we have more knowledge about sales, markets, and countries.
12-14 billion makeup pencils are produced on a global scale every year. What are your expectations to this new patented product?
That would be a dream scenario, for sure - I wouldn’t mind seeing 12-14 billion makeup pencils growing into wildflowers next year!
On a more realistic note, we already see a very positive reception of the products from both consumers, influencers, and the press. Trendhunter, a world-leading publication that spots new trends, has called our Sprout pencil “the future of sustainable makeup” and we’ve had coverage in a huge number of global magazines, which is all very exciting. Consumers purchase the products on Amazon and in our European web shop, and the pattern is typically that they try it first and then purchase more, presumably for gifts.
The typical Sprout World customers are 80% businesses and 20% consumer. How do you plan to work with the makeup pencils, which are more of a consumer product?
It’s true that we cannot sell the pencils to the same customer base that buys our pencils. It’s an interesting challenge for us that forces us to look for other sales channels, for example direct online and retail partnerships as well as inflight sales.