From self tanning to sun care: How Australian Glow is taking on the US

ill be the target of Australian Glow’s growth strategy following the investment round, aimed at finalising a deal with an unnamed retailer that would add approximately 3000 extra stores, and would be worth $7 million per year.

According to founder Elizabeth Agresta, the brand started off focused purely on providing natural tanning solutions, but after the level of success Australian Glow achieved overseas, she realised it could be far more.

“We don’t see it as just a tanning brand [anymore],” Agresta told Inside Retail. 

“We don’t think brands need to stick to one category anymore, there’s so much opportunity out there – we’ll be launching into suncare by the end of the year, and who knows what’s after that?”

Agresta started Australian Glow after she realised the number of ingredients in tanning products that react badly with her skin. Inspired, she decided to create a more natural and sustainable solution for an industry that consumers can use frequently. 

As a way of demystifying the products’ ingredients, the business is currently redesigning its entire product range’s packaging to show not only which ingredients are being used, but the purpose they serve within the product, such as the use of goji berry extract as an antioxidant and skin conditioner.

According to Agresta, throughout the e-commerce boom witnessed during the pandemic, the business was discovered by people stuck in lockdown who turned to self-tanning when salons were closed and they wanted to feel good about themselves. The business has since turned over around $4 million in revenue.

It also pioneered a more sustainable refill and reuse model for the industry by selling bottles made of reclaimed ocean plastic, which can later be refilled with plastic pouches purchased online, limiting the amount of plastic waste produced through its supply chain. 

Moving forward, Australian Glow is looking into how it can recycle or reuse the pouches it creates to deliver a closed-loop system.

“The pouch uses 80 per cent less plastic than a standard bottle, and it’s a very simple and easy process,” Agresta said. 

“Everyone is very conscious about these things, and so we’re in the process of finding out what we can do with [recycling the pouches].”

Power to the people

Australian Glow is just the latest in a string of direct-to-consumer brands that have turned to equity crowdfunding to power the next phase of their growth, following in the footsteps of Zero Co., Outland Denim, and Memobottle

Many of the brands taking to equity crowdfunding, Australian Glow included, wear their sustainable and ethical focus on their sleeve – something that is increasingly attractive to younger customers that often support businesses based on what they say and do.

“We have so many changes that we want to bring to the brand, and we feel like that will be for the better,” Agresta said.

For example, the business is cutting back on a number of its aerosol tanning products, and is instead focusing its product development on more sustainable options. 

“We initially launched with the [refill] pouches, but there is so much that we’ve learned along the way that we could be doing – it’s been a huge learning process. With the crowdfunding campaign, we really want to take the business to the next level, and really make those changes to the business.”

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