Shellworks wants to crack makeup’s single-use plastic problem – TechCrunch

Is the wonder trade prepared to wean itself off single-use plastic? Shellworks is betting on it.
Targeting cosmetics manufacturers, the London-based biotech startup has scooped up a $6.2 million seed spherical to show it may possibly scale its petroleum-free, compostable packaging, which “performs like plastic” however breaks down in a few yr, the corporate claims.
Shellworks’ first plastic-like product was developed utilizing shellfish waste, however lower than a yr into its existence the startup pivoted to utilizing a fat-like substance extracted from bacterial cells, which “behaves like a pure polyester” and is vegan, in accordance to co-founder and chief product officer Amir Afshar.
Like Fifth Harmony, Shellworks saved its identify regardless of the lineup change.
“Our imaginative and prescient is to break the reliance on the petroleum trade by constructing a brand new commonplace of packaging that’s performant, price aggressive and really sustainable,” stated CEO Insiya Jafferjee, who co-founded Shellworks after spending practically three years at Apple.
Containers comprised of Shellworks’ plastic various. Image Credits: Shellworks
So far, Shellworks has labored with magnificence manufacturers Bybi and Liha, in addition to perfume firm Sana Jardin. Down the road, the startup says it could increase into different areas, together with cleansing merchandise.
Shellworks is among the quite a few corporations busy creating alternate options to plastic packaging, with out the nasty 500-year decay time that’s estimated for some petroleum merchandise. Other such companies embody Notpla, which makes seaweed-based pouches for sauces, Avantium, which is creating sugar-based containers for soda and beer, and Cruz Foam, which turns shrimp shells right into a Styrofoam various.
Packaging is to blame for roughly 70% of the wonder sector’s carbon emissions, per the British Beauty Council, an trade group.
London-based VC LocalGlobe, backer of companies like TweetDeck and TransferWise, led Shellworks’ seed spherical, which can go towards increasing the agency’s staff. Other buyers within the spherical embody Cambridge-based seed investor Founder Collective in addition to former Blue Bottle CEO Bryan Meehan.

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