5. Wild

Wild is encouraging consumers to ditch single-use plastic from their bathrooms, with a sustainable product line and a passionate user base.

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Sustainability Award Shortlisted

Whether in its business operations or its business model, the winning startup will be a sustainability leader that prioritises the health of the planet as part of its company mission.

Startups 100: Sustainability Awards

Founders: Charlie Bowes-Lyon, Freddy Ward
Founded: 2019
Website: wearewild.com

UK households throw away a staggering 100 billion pieces of plastic packaging a year. It’s in that context that Wild is on a mission to entirely eradicate plastics from the nation's bathrooms, with its natural, refillable deodorants.

Its mission statement is clear: demonstrating a desire to ‘shake up the throwaway culture of bathroom products with high-performing products that never compromise on convenience or efficacy.’

And the brand's determination to achieve this cannot be questioned. Wild has come on leaps and bounds since it featured in our index last year. The natural deodorant startup has amassed well over 200,000 followers on social media, as well as 5,500 five star reviews on Trustpilot.

The enthusiasm of the founders shines through as they talk about their product and the potential of the brand.

What makes Wild so unique, apart from the fact it was the first refillable deodorant brand to launch 100% biodegradable refills, is its incredibly creative marketing campaigns. Cofounders Charlie Bowes-Lyon and Freddy Ward have excelled in the consumer goods space by forging an important bond with their loyal community of cotton-candy scent lovers (the brands top selling refill) through clever ads and marketing ploys.

The enthusiasm of the founders shines through as they talk about their product and the potential of the brand. “From our iconic aluminium cases to our crazy scent launches – which have included Toffee Apple, Candy Floss and Pine Tree – we have looked to create a sustainably-focused brand that appeals to a wider and more diverse audience than traditional eco brands,” says Bowes-Lyon.

We have a bit of a formidable and loyal community who love our Wild nature, and the fact Wild allows them to switch without compromise.

The company recorded 400% year-on-year growth in 2021, selling over 2.5 million deodorants. And earlier this year, it celebrated a huge £5 million investment that has helped it move one step closer to their ambition of every UK household using Wild deodorant, instead of throwaway plastic.

Along the way, Wild has gone from an online-only purchase and subscription model, to a product that is now available in major high street stores, including Waitrose, Sainsburys and Boots. It’s amassed over 11,000 five-star Trustpilot reviews, and has a social media following of over 300,000 – there aren’t many deodorant brands that could claim such passion from their users. “We have a bit of a formidable and loyal community who love our Wild nature, and the fact Wild allows them to switch without compromise,” says Bowes-Lyon.

For Wild, this is just the beginning – and their product line ambitions go beyond deodorant alone. The founders have big plans to become a £150 million-plus profitable business at the forefront of the refill revolution, and we are looking forward to watching them succeed.

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