There's a new beauty brand on the block with big aspirations: “Odist was born because of a disconnect I felt within the beauty community,” explains Founder Amy Hanbury. “Despite having a passion for beauty and creative self-expression as a whole, I felt estranged from an industry I loved. I knew if I wanted to seek a deeper connection, I would have to start my own niche. Cue Odist.”
Odist sets out to bring people together to do good through the voice of beauty. Oh, and it also makes cruelty-free, vegan make-up brushes. Hanbury goes on to say that community is at the centre of everything they do, and they will continue to evolve the product range through co-creation led by said community. “In the coming months we’ll launch an inclusive platform on odist.com that helps facilitate a bottom-up development approach for future products and curate conversations around topics that are close to our heart.”
Having just launched, odist set itself up for a struggle, considering we’re still in the midst of a global pandemic. However, it’s come out on top, even if initially they underestimated the time it would take us to develop the range of brushes: “we knew how important it was to work through a number of pre-production samples to get the final product right but considering the manufacturing and transit and lead times to/from our vendors, each batch would take over a month to produce and test.” In the end, the team flew out to work directly with vendors and managed to get them to focus solely on our development over the course of that week. “We probably squeezed four months of work into four days,” admits Hanbury.
The outcome is a collection of ten exceptional brushes. The hair needed to be synthetic – giving them their vegan status – and odist can proudly say they hold the Peta Beauty Without Bunnies certificate, meaning they do not conduct, commission, or pay for animal testing on any products and do not include any animal ingredients in the development phase or within the final product, “we have spent two years developing three high-performing vegan hair types, each designed to work with specific textures and formulas that out-perform natural hair.” And when it comes packaging, everything is as sustainable as possible: “we made the commitment from day one to be free of single use plastic. All of our packaging is recyclable and is made from recycled materials where possible.”
#QUARANTINELIFE changed many a perspective on beauty: “It’s been so refreshing to see fresh, unfiltered faces over social media during quarantine - I’ve personally loved exploring new skincare and found some gems in the process,” divulges Hanbury. “Whilst the Middle East is traditionally a very glamorous place and we do statement makeup very well, I do feel that there’s been a behavioural shift in recent years and people, particularly the Gen-Z, are finding comfort in their authentic selves and embracing natural beauty.”odist facilitates this by offering people the tools to express themselves through beauty and unapologetically represent themselves in any way they wish.
Not only does odist create in a cruelty-free, sustainable fashion, but it also plays a role in the fight against climate change: “Our actions, however small, can have a profound impact when working together to make a difference.” It’s starting by donating Dhs10 from each order to Gold Standard to help fund local and global sustainable and community-driven projects. But this is just the beginning of Odist’s climate commitment explains Hanbury.“As a start-up with more agility than most, we believe it’s our responsibility to take action now and do all we can to be a catalyst for change within Odist, the beauty industry, and in the wider region by quickly becoming a carbon negative organisation.”
At the moment, Odist’s focus is on establishing itself as a high-quality, homegrown beauty brand through its core brush range, however, their vision includes diversification to skincare and colour cosmetics. When the time’s right, of course.
For more information, and to shop sustainable, vegan and cruelty-free make-up brushes, head to odist.com.