SOLOS works with a factory owned by the founders’ close friends in Petaling Jaya Malaysia, whom they visit frequently around 3 to 5 times a year. This factory branched out from its original business to focus on Asian formulas and markets. They have also produced many name brand cosmetics internationally. The factory ensures their wages and safety are above board regulations.
SOLOS Cosmetics creates formulas from a clean ingredient list to ensure harmful elements are not included. They ensure their formulas are vegan and don’t test on animals. Instead, during sampling, the team tests all of the products on themselves and close friends for at least 3-6 months. After thorough testing, they will finalise the product formulation and colours and then begin work on any other product. A key aspect to their testing is to make sure the product performs well in Southeast Asian climates – where high humidity is a concern for long-lasting formulas. Their cosmetic formulas or “recipes” are sourced from Italy, Korea, Japan with technology partners that conduct R&D in accordance with EU standards (i.e. animal testing, animal product, palm oil etc). SOLOS’ manufacturer sources the raw material in bulk from Europe and the brand sources palm oil from a supplier who is part of the RSPO.
The brand tries to minimise its plastic to product ratio. For example, their Lipmattic resembles other liquid lipsticks from the outside but SOLOS’s version contains 10g of the product whereas other brands are between the range of 4 and 7g. To further reduce packaging per unit, they do not use individual paper packaging. Instead, they seal products in one vacuum bag, for online orders.
SOLOS Cosmetics is slowly developing ways to be more environmentally friendly at their own capacity. All of SOLOS products are made without mineral oils, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, toluene, and are free of animal-derived ingredients. They don’t have major waste as they churn their samples into usable products or otherwise circulate amongst their close friends. They are also able to use recyclable plastics and are working towards closing the production loop.
The founders created SOLOS Cosmetics as a response to overpriced cosmetics in the market. The founder explains how these hiked-up prices were not reflective of the quality of the product. Instead, consumers were paying for the marketing and advertising fees, as well as for the big brand names. The team wanted to challenge this idea and disrupt what they know beauty to be. Most importantly, SOLOS believes sustainability and quality shouldn’t come with a hefty price tag, especially as beauty and cosmetic margins are so high. It should be accessible and affordable. They greatly care about animal protection and advocate against animal testing, which really should be the foundations of all beauty brands. The team also values inclusivity – in terms of their use of models and colour & formulations.