INSIDER Q&A: SUE CAMPBELL, FOUNDER OF KIND2

Welcome to the next instalment of the #beautyinsider Q&As, where you can read about how beauty experts got into their field of work. This month’s guest is Sue Campbell, Founder of Kind2 which offers vegan solid shampoo and conditioner bars. If you haven’t noticed the steady rise of the solid shampoo then where have you been? Oh yes that’s right, home. Where some fearless individuals have used lockdown as an excuse to stop washing their hair. Please don’t. Founded in 2019, Kind2 introduced us to a sustainable haircare option when there really weren’t many solid haircare formats available. I’ve been using bars on my hair for a few years now, and discovered Kind2 on indie beauty destination Seekology, and I’ve not had any pression urge to return to the more traditional liquid format. After all there’s nothing more satisfying than coming to the end of your beauty product and having nothing to show for it – i.e. no packaging waste, no empties (even though I’m a beauty empties post fan), just clean healthy-looking hair. So read on to find out about the message behind the brand name and what Sue and her team will be launching next.

Image courtesy of Nuraan Ackers (all rights reserved)

1. Hi Sue, thank you for being my Insider Q&A guest this month. Let’s start from the beginning: every beauty brand has a story, what’s KIND2’s?

While living and working in Hong Kong, I found it heart breaking to see plastic pollution literally everywhere we travelled across the region – even in some of the most remote places you would expect to be pristine. And as big consumer companies continue to grow and produce more plastic bottles it was accelerating, with little prospect of slowing down or stopping. I wanted to create a business with a positive impact on the planet and finding out that shampoo is 80% water was a lightbulb moment, it convinced me that this was an everyday product ready for innovation. Many of the bars on the market were soap based and so not great for hair due to the high pH causing dryness or irritation. There was a need for a high-quality solid product that worked as well as regular liquid shampoo, but without the plastic. We were one of the first pH balanced solid haircare brands in the UK. I’m absolutely convinced solid products are the future of hair care.

Image courtesy of Nuraan Ackers (all rights reserved)

2. I always find the inspiration behind a brand name intriguing – how did the name KIND2 come about?

I wanted a name that was short, ideally one word, aligned to our purpose, easy to spell and not already taken by another business – actually, not as straightforward as it sounds. After brainstorming and starting with a very long list, I did lots of research on trademarks, social media handles and domains to find out what was already taken – this eliminated quite a few of the early choices. In my last corporate role, I was criticised for being too “nice” but being kind is something I’ve always thought we needed more of in society and so I wanted that to be the ethos of our brand.

3. Solid shampoos and conditioners have become increasingly popular haircare formats in the last few years. Why is that?

In a pretty short period of time, it’s gone from solid shampoos and conditioners being virtually unheard of, to being stocked in supermarkets. Although, solid products are still a very small percentage of the haircare market and a bit of a novelty for many people. In a positive trend, it’s all part of an overall rise in the environmentally conscious or “green” consumer and “blue” beauty, with people caring more about the planet and the ocean, the impact of single use plastic and over-consumption. Once people find out that their hair actually feels healthier and looks better too, they are converted.

4. What exciting projects are you working on right now?

We’ve got some new products launching this year – expanding our fragrance-free range based on customer requests and we’ll be launching our first “non-hair” product later in the year in time for Christmas (that one’s still a secret for now!). We’re also expanding our physical and online stockists to make it easier for our customers to buy and for new customers to discover us.

5. As founder of KIND2, what so far has been your proudest career moment?

Winning our first industry award within 6 months of launch, with Best Zero Waste Product at the 2020 Beauty Shortlist and Wellbeing Awards for our solid shampoo bar, The Hydrating One. We’d spent so much time and energy on getting our formulations right, and we were an unknown brand – it was an exciting moment to get this prestigious industry recognition. Since then, all our products have won industry awards and it’s always exciting!

Image courtesy of Nuraan Ackers (all rights reserved)

6. Insider news please! What haircare trends do you think we should look out for?

Our prolonged lockdown(s) has changed people’s hair and beauty habits with many opting for at home treatments and to go more natural. With a lower maintenance routine, I absolutely think there’s going to be more embracing of silver and more natural, easy to manage styles. In terms of products, there is a rise in demand for sulphate free shampoos since they are more gentle and fragrance free is gaining momentum as well.

7. And finally – what do you get up to in your spare time?

I’ve always been a passionate traveller, but of course that’s been on hold recently. This year, we are planning to do more exploring in the UK. Photography is a great creative outlet for me, so it will be lugging the tripod on holidays this year!

If you have any burning questions you’d like to ask Sue why not leave a comment below? Or you can get in touch on Instagram.

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