Category_Au coeur de l'entreprise

The Unscented Company: for a healthier lifestyle

Unscented Company

More and more fragrance-free products have appeared on the market in recent years. They are presented as a more ecological, natural and healthier option. But can they really perform effective cleaning? According to Anie Rouleau, founder and president of The Unscented Company , the thought that a product can only clean well if it emits a strong odor is a myth. On the contrary, fragrance-free products would provide more benefits than their competitors with chemical scents.

The Unscented Company

A niche poorly served by large companies

Anie Rouleau has lived for a long time with an intolerance to fragrances found in cleaning and body products. Her search for fragrance-free products having been fruitless, she began in her twenties to make them herself. . “It was a product category that was not well served at the time. »

Anie Rouleau, Founder and President

Anie Rouleau, Founder and President

In her forties, she finally took the plunge into entrepreneurship by starting her own company in 2012, dedicated to the manufacture of exclusively fragrance-free body and cleansing products. Since 2017, the products have been branded as The Unscented Company, reflecting the company's mission to "set the benchmark for fragrance-free."

Changing preconceived ideas: a major challenge

The use of scented products is well anchored in our habits as a society, but also in our psyche. Big-budget companies have long sold us on the idea that if a product doesn't emit an odor, it won't offer as much cleanliness benefit. Because basically, if it doesn't smell like roses, or even chemicals, does it really clean? Some companies are even selling “in-wash scent boosters” to keep your clothes “smelling fresh” until the next wash.

Unscented Company

The perception that a product is less efficient if it smells nothing is wrong, according to Anie. On the contrary, their use can have harmful repercussions on health. Moreover, recent studies have shown that the use of scented products can lead to health problems such as asthma, headaches, skin rashes or even allergies. The company therefore offers its customers a healthier alternative, without dyes and containing far fewer ingredients than those of its competitors.

Unscented Company

Yet it is a belief that is difficult to deconstruct. “We have to bring about change. One of my big roles is to educate,” Anie tells us. As part of her work, she strives to combat misperceptions and encourage the consumption of products that are inclusive and socially and environmentally responsible. “People are resistant to change. However, educating the customer, I never saw that as a challenge, but rather as the raison d'être of the company. »

Environmental impact in the foreground

The consequences of overconsumption and the sale of single-use items is one of the reasons that motivated Anie to start her business. “This is an extremely polluting industry which contributes to the environmental scourge of single-use packaging. She has always had this concern in mind and it is what has pushed her to try as best she can, with her company, to reduce her ecological footprint by limiting the use of plastic packaging as much as possible. plastic. “Profit is okay. But not at the expense of the community and the environment. On the contrary, Anie believes in a holistic approach that can benefit the company, the community and the environment all at the same time.

Unscented Company

In fact, one of the programs it enthusiastically promotes with its partners is that of reusable containers. The company offers its partners (and the general public) the possibility of obtaining refills of four or ten liters to refill liquid products, which makes it possible to reduce the quantity of small plastic bottles sold. Convincing people to switch to reusable containers is not an easy task, but Anie and her team persevere. “I'm not trying to fix all the problems on the planet; I attack one. »

Unscented Company

However, this strategy seems to have borne fruit: during the pandemic, online sales increased by 400%, including strong growth in the sale of product refills, even among individuals. The craze for buying local stimulated sales in Quebec and there was mutual support among local entrepreneurs. “We bet on Quebec during the pandemic. Even Bell Canada reportedly placed an order for twelve thousand bottles of hand soap last spring.

Transparency as a commitment to the community

Transparency is another great value of the company, since it represents a guarantee of trust in its customers. For example, the company's website has a comprehensive chart of ingredients used in product design. This list is much shorter than those found on most bottles found in big box stores.

Unscented Company

In fact, up to a hundred fragrance-only ingredients can be found in a single consumer product, many of which have detrimental effects on the environment. That said, there is no legal obligation for companies to disclose all the ingredients in their products and there is sometimes a lack of transparency in the list of ingredients on products sold by large companies.

The Unscented Company provides its customers with its complete list of ingredients so that they can easily check the components with which their body will come into contact. “The great ecological movements are not only about plastic. This is part of the company's strategy of transparency and social responsibility towards customers and allows it to educate the public on the subject.

Finally, this is only the beginning!

Anie was able to truly demonstrate that it is possible in Quebec to start a profitable, but also sustainable business, without sacrificing what is important to you. “We are able to build a profitable business while keeping our values, contributing to the local economy and being concerned about the environment. She continues to inspire many people to adopt a healthier, more sustainable and ecological way of life, and will undoubtedly be able to inspire many women with the desire to follow in her footsteps in this great adventure that is entrepreneurship.

Unscented Company

It plans to redouble its efforts in the next two years to continue exporting its products to the United States, a process that has been delayed due to the pandemic. She will also work to obtain the company's second “B Corp” re-certification as a company acting in the general public interest.

Unscented Company

In addition, it will continue to seek innovative ways to offer plastic-free products. His ultimate goal? “To have succeeded in my mission to offer products without plastic packaging. The ideal solution would be to offer products in solid rather than liquid format, which would reduce the use of plastic bottles and encourage the use of cardboard packaging, for example. On the other hand, according to Anie, the chemistry does not yet exist for all the products and the public is not ready to switch to the solid format for several of them. It would nevertheless be a big step forward for the environment. In the meantime, trendsetters can already pick up certain products in solid form from The Unscented Company, such as the shampoo and conditioner bar.

Unscented Company

Finally, Anie admits that the transition to fragrance-free is a change that is not necessarily easy for everyone. “There are connotations with the fragrances. Smells can be associated with memories or well-being. But for those who use products with fewer home and body chemicals, going back to products with fragrance would be difficult. “When you take the fragrances off, you notice it right away. It feels good not to smell the perfume. For those curious who are considering making the transition to fragrance-free, The Unscented Company's blog will inspire you.

Ariane Blondin

Reviewed by MF Editorial

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