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Blueland: FUTURE50 2023

Published May 4, 2023
Published May 4, 2023
Graham Pollack

Blueland incited a new wave of refill models in the personal care space, previously considered impossible, with the launch of body wash and facial cleanser. After three years of research and development, Blueland is the first brand to create a gel―the most commonly found format in personal care―from a two ounce packet of powder, and the first to successfully package a refill in compostable paper. The brand is  excited to shift the personal care space from one of single-use to one of reuse because nearly 100% of products in the personal care space come in single-use packaging  that often is not recyclable or compostable.

Founder: Sarah Paiji Yoo

Founded: 2018


  • Sarah Paiji Yoo, Co-Founder,  CEO
  • John A. Mascari, Co-Founder, COO

2023 Full Year Expected Revenue Range: $20 to $30 million

Primary Beauty Category: Personal Care, Skincare

Primary Distribution Channel: DTC, Mass, Grocery

Total Funds Raised: $35 million

Notable Investors: In February 2022 raised $20 million growth investment led by Prelude Growth Partners with participation by Able Partners, Comcast Ventures, and Global Founders Capital.

What are some of your key business initiatives for 2023?

Pushing the industry for change has always been a part of Blueland’s DNA, but never before has it been as visible as 2022.  1) We used our brand as a vehicle for a large-scale campaign petitioning the EPA to regulate the use of plastic film (PVA) in laundry pods and laundry sheets, 2) We created an initiative called Beyond the Bottle that helped consumers recycle their beauty products, and 3) We launched a first-of-its-kind, powder-to-gel body wash and facial cleanser―a never before seen format in the category. We will continue to push forward on these fronts this year.

What are you most proud of having accomplished?

Blueland has continued to demonstrate how business can be used as a force for good by putting purpose before profit, innovating beyond preconceived category limitations, and advocating for change with the EPA. With our successful launch into the personal care category, we’ve set a new standard for packaging―demonstrating the power of refill over recycle. If we were to reuse just 10% of our products, we could prevent almost half of the annual plastic ocean waste. We met with the EPA last December and will continue to push for change until PVA is a regulated material.

What aspect of your brand DNA fuels your competitive advantage?

The biggest hurdles for us continue to be related to creating products that have never been created before and reinventing an industry that hasn’t historically been set up to put the planet first. We have been working on our two newest products―powder dish soap and dishwasher tablets―for over a year. In this process, we’ve had to create brand new manufacturing and supply chains, convince ingredients and packaging companies to create custom solutions just for us, and create over 100 iterations of these two products before landing on the final formulation.

Please share your insight on the future of the beauty industry.

Our mission is to eliminate single-use plastic packaging by giving consumers an easy and accessible option to reduce their plastic consumption. While we started with cleaning products, our goal is for Blueland to one day be a global company with products across other categories like personal care, beauty, and possibly even packaged food and beverages. The Blueland home will be filled with beautiful reusable containers that can be conveniently and affordably refilled.

We want to set a new standard for businesses to rethink how they produce and package their products and empower people around the globe to be more thoughtful about how and what they consume.

"Blueland has continued to demonstrate how business can be used as a force for good by putting purpose before profit."
By Sarah Paiji Yoo, Co-Founder + CEO, Blueland

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Start before you’re ready! Most of the time, you’re not going to feel 100% ready, or 100% prepared, or 100% not scared at all. Think of how far you can be by next year if you just start today. I think that it's  so unfortunate that these doubts kill way more dreams than failure ever will.

Paying it forward, what advice would you give to someone contemplating launching a beauty brand?

Be resourceful―leverage your network, ask friends, and friends of friends for intros. Scour the internet and LinkedIn. Pick up the phone and cold call, and if it’s a dead end, ask those people for other introductions. Be tenacious. It’s going to be a long, iterative path, and there will be breakthroughs sometimes when you least expect it.

If you could change one thing in the beauty industry what would it be?

Beauty is a massive industry. There is so much consumption, and it’s only accelerating. For a category that is so large and relies on frequent repurchasing, it’s a huge detriment to the planet that it doesn't have clear labeling or instructions on how to recycle its products. If the industry had clear labeling, it would help consumers properly discard products (especially materials that are recyclable) and educate them about different material options that are available and what materials are best for the planet.

With Blueland’s initiative, Beyond the Bottle, anyone can tweet at the brand with a picture of their product, the name, and where they live. With that information, Blueland will reply with whether or not the product can be recycled and if so, how to do it. Recycling is extremely local and rules/regulations for recycling a product vary greatly depending on location. For the first time, it’s easy and free to get detailed instructions on how to properly dispose of your specific product. Blueland hopes this initiative incentivizes brands and retailers to develop and merchandise products in better materials, thus creating a virtuous cycle that the planet can benefit from.


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