A Dundee woman plans to revolutionise the beauty industry with a razor made from recycled ocean plastic.
With the Brickazor, Jennifer Rao-Williams plans to reduce plastic waste while sending the pink tax to landfill.
The shaving product will be geared towards different hair and skin types rather than genders.
It will come in a kit free from single use plastic and include care products such as organic shaving foam, soap and balm.
A percentage of each sale will go towards marine conservation projects.
Jennifer says it is more important than ever to offer responsible products.
“Conscious consumerism is no longer a trend, it’s really an urgency,” she says.
“The cosmetic market is an exciting place to look at tackling some of those environmental challenges.”
Business couldn’t wait
While working on her PhD in human geography at Dundee University, Jennifer started the J-RAO Conscious Cosmetic Collective in 2017.
She was already running her own cleaning company, but wanted to work on something she was more passionate about.
The environmental researcher thought the business was too important to wait until her PhD was done.
“I felt a strong sense of urgency – while I thought logically I could wait – I felt this really has to happen.
“When I was six I started experimenting with nature, like cutting my neighbour’s roses down to try making perfume. I wasn’t allowed in their garden after that.
“I did terrible things like that because I’ve always enjoyed working with nature and creating natural cosmetic products.
“J-RAO started because what felt great on the body had a negative impact on the planet, so it wasn’t a feel-good product.”
Brickazor to reduce ocean waste
The first J-RAO products – three different bath salts – hit the market after Jennifer completed the Elevator accelerator programme.
The 36-year-old is now working on an organic soap inspired by the flowers of the British Isles, as well as the Brickazor.
In a bid to raise £10,000 to begin manufacturing the razor, a crowdfunding campaign has been set up.
Jennifer’s ultimate goal is to cut down plastic waste from the shaving industry by 300 tonnes in a year.
“To imagine that we could manufacture this in Angus and Dundee with plastic from Scottish seas is amazing,” she says.
“I’ve had a lot of support so far, a grant from Scottish Enterprise allowed me to work with a V&A award winning designer to develop the Brickazor.
“Raising £10,000 means we can apply to Dundee City Council’s innovation fund to match the amount.”