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Shopping without a guilty conscience


Hamburg-based Terrorists of Beauty seeks social rethink with natural ingredients as tools

Violence is not their thing. Natalie Richter and Mar Navajas Garcia, the founders of Terrorists of Beauty, see their provocative company name as a kind of communication strategy: “We do not identify with terrorism, but understand the term as a metaphor for our actions,” said Richter. Their aim is to initiate genuine and radical change in thinking, away from overconsumption and towards greater sustainability.

Soap for battling overconsumption and plastic

About a year ago, the duo banned plastic from their bathrooms. Four bars of handmade soap based on traditional recipes and suitable for hair, body and face replace the row of shampoos, shower gels and facial cleansers on their bathroom shelves. The idea matured in their flat shared with others involved in start-ups. “We are all freelancers, founders or are planning a start-up,” said Richter. “Mar moved in in summer 2018 and was looking for a start-up idea. At the time, we were concerned about overconsumption and plastics, and we tried out a range of sustainable products.” Yet, none of them proved convincing. Eventually, Richter and Navajas Garcia decided to launch their own start-up.

Luxury of reduction

From the very beginning, however, the founders have set their sights higher and not simply on a sustainable product. “Our goal is to bring about social change, a rethink on the part of consumers and within corporations,” Richter stressed. The start-up opposes the dictates of the beauty industry and associated animal experiments, chemical ingredients or microplastics. The duo behind “Terrorists of Beauty” are instead advocates of individual natural beauty that does not need much to shine through. The “current type of spiraling consumption simply cannot last,” said Richter and comes out in favour of reduction as a luxury. She pointed out: “We want to convince people to opt for a few, high-quality and therefore high-priced products rather than a large number of cheaper ones.” The hope is that such a business model proves viable for large corporations as well.

Trade sector showing interest

Mit Blockseife gegen Überkonsum
© Terrorists of Beauty

“When we achieve this and the shelves are full of sustainable products, we will withdraw and turn to another problem,” said Richter. And the duo has taken the first step towards their goal. Various health food stores, the Budni drugstore chain and individual Edeka stores have added the Terrorists of Beauty soaps to their range, which has taken them by surprise. “We actually decided on a rather bold name and thought that we were too peculiar for everyday trade.” But, interest is growing. The founders are holding talks with the Douglas perfumery chain and other drugstore chains. More and more consumers want to shop with a clear conscience.

Fair and vegan – from content to packaging

“Our bars of soap are based on a maximum of 15 vegan, organic ingredients, are delivered with certified fsc and climate-neutral packaging. When it comes to the logistics, we work with the Stiftung Mensch foundation,” said Richter. This venture is likely to lead to a more relaxed Christmas season this year. The close of 2018 saw the company launch online in time for brisk Christmas business, and coincided with their friends lively social media activities. “We received orders from day one and were busy packing parcels until late into the night.” The first batch of 1,000 soaps sold out in three weeks.

Sources and further information:

Melissa KnausDec. 20, 2019
nachhaltigkeit startups