With a $20 million investment, celebrity favorite zero-waste refillable cleaning products brand Blueland is now setting its sights on cleaning up the personal care aisle’s plastic problem, too.
Shark Tank Season 11 alum cleaning products brand Blueland secured an initial investment from Kevin O’Leary in 2019 for its innovative tablet system that eliminates plastic waste and reduces volume and weight common in water-based products, two of the cleaning aisle’s biggest sustainability challenges. Now, the brand that also counts Justin Timberlake as an investor, is expanding its zero-waste range to include personal care products.
With its new $20 million in funding, Blueland says it’s working to further its growth and expand into new product development after two successful years since its launch.
“When we started Blueland, we set out to change both consumer behavior and industry practices around plastic consumption and production,” Sarah Paiji Yoo, co-founder and CEO of Blueland, said in a statement.
“We’ve seen tremendous positive reception as the first and leading brand to use no single-use plastic across all our cleaning products, and we are excited to expand into additional categories and channels and reach more consumers to maximize our impact on the planet.”
Blueland’s concept is fairly simple. It reduces cleaning products to dry tablets and eliminates the need for single-use plastic packaging, containers, or spray bottles—the most common delivery methods for cleaning products.
The company prides itself on being entirely plastic-free; there are no plastic wrappers, pouches, or dissolvable films like those found on laundry and dishwashing pods.
By dehydrating its products into tablets, Blueland says it drastically reduces the product’s weight, too—most liquid cleaning and personal care products are predominantly water. Removing the water decreases shipping emissions and costs, reduces storage space, and introduces consumers to sustainability in new and approachable ways.
Plastic bottles are a big problem for the planet. Cleaning products contribute to the more than 480 billion plastic bottles used every year. Fewer than ten percent of plastic bottles are recycled, and that number is on the decline globally as more single-use products come to developing countries where recycling industries aren’t well established.
But even in places where recycling systems are robust, facilities are often not the final destination for plastic. Much of it still winds up in oceans or landfills as recycling centers are overtaxed and often underfunded.
For the household goods industry, the issue is further complicated by ingredients that can be petroleum or palm oil-based—both of which are tied to industries driving large percentages of global carbon emissions, as well as contributing to deforestation, and eroding soil and water quality.
For Blueland, the clean ingredients and zero-waste concept has been a hit; in its second year in business, Blueland says it grew sales 400 percent. It has sold more than ten million products and grown its customer base to more than a million members. This, it says, will help divert more than one billion plastic bottles from landfills and oceans—a move supported by its B Corp status and Climate Neutral certification.
With its latest funding round, Blueland says 95 percent came from female investors, with Prelude Growth Partners leading the way. To date, Blueland has raised $35 million, including the $270,000 Shark Tank deal with O’Leary and investments from Adrian Grenier, Rent the Runway’s Jennifer Fleiss, as well as funding from Sweetgreen’s Nicolas Jammet and Thrive Market’s Nick Green, along with funding from Timberlake. The pop singer and actor is also an investor in Bowery Farming, a vertical garden system that raised $300 million last year.
“Blueland’s high-performance products combined with its mission to eliminate single-use plastic have resulted in unparalleled consumer love in the cleaning category. The brand is one of the fastest-growing in its space, with exceptional demand and extremely strong loyalty,” said Alicia Sontag, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Prelude Growth Partners,
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Sarah and John as they continue to build Blueland into an iconic powerhouse brand.”
Blueland says it’s now working to expand into sustainable personal care products with launches scheduled for later this year.
“At Blueland, we’re focused on bold innovation that makes sustainable products for planet and people. No shortcuts, no greenwashing,” says Blueland co-founder and COO John Mascari,
“Our goal is to make switching to Blueland such an obvious, no-compromises, feel-good choice that in just a few years from now most households in America (and eventually the world) will look back and think, ‘Remember when we used to ship all that water and plastic around? That made no sense!’”
Blueland joins a booming category as cleaning and personal care products are becoming both more sustainable, and plastic-free. The laundry detergent aisle is seeing higher-quality products emerge, and actor Courteney Cox also recently launched into the sustainable cleaning space with Homecourt.