DUBAI: A UAE-based entrepreneur has opened a new online store selling ethical, clean beauty brands in the Gulf region.
Amy Wilkinson-Lough’s platform Project bYouty features a host of cruelty-free, vegan, organic, halal, sustainable, clean beauty, and wellness brands from around the world.
The UK businesswoman told Arab News that the idea for her online platform came after she saw a business opportunity in the Gulf countries.
Having worked in the music industry for 20 years, she said that when the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic hit, she found herself with “some extra time on my hands,” and Project bYouty was the result.
“I think I kind of gave myself a benchmark of if I have six or 10 brands, I’ll just run it and see what happens. And by the end of week two, I had close to 36 brands. I realized very quickly that this was absolutely not a side hustle. This was a real business opportunity that was GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) wide,” she added.
Her website now has more than 80 international brands many of which are exclusive and/or regional firsts, such as True Skincare, Votary, Mal and Mod, Mara, Augustinus Bader, Algenist, Emma Hardie, Bolt Beauty, Hayo’u, Bynacht, UpCircle, and War Paint for Men.
“The GCC is witnessing a premiumization trend within the beauty industry; consumers know what they want but are often overwhelmed by misinformation, unrealistic, heavily filtered imagery, complicated ingredient lists, and unnecessarily high price tags. That frustration led me here to all things Project bYouty,” Wilkinson-Lough said.
The online platform also tests every product on its website.
“There is a huge gray market issue in this part of the world. I mean, people are essentially going to the US or to Europe stocking up on their favorite (creams), coming back, setting up a Shopify site and that’s it. They can claim anything, and nobody would know any different.
“We decided that if we were going to do this, we were going to do this officially. And there is not one product including devices on our site that is not tested … as part of municipality regulation.
“It’s the only place in the world that you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. It had to look wow from the moment that you landed on it,” she added.
Determined to lead the way in reducing unnecessary, oversized packaging Project bYouty not only uses entirely recyclable packaging but also acid-free tissue paper, printed with soy-based inks.
Compostable mail bags are made from a combination of PBAT, a bio-based polymer, and PLA, regular field corn and wheat straw, while water-activated tape used to hold everything in place is recycled.
Wilkinson-Lough promises that orders in the GCC countries of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman, will be delivered within 24 hours from checkout.