Editor’s Spotlight

Small but Mighty: how mission-led indie beauty brands are sharing the wealth

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / (borgogniels)
© Getty Images / (borgogniels)
At a benefit event in New York City last week, Linda Treska, founder of the waterless makeup brand Pinch of Colour, announced the launch of Blue Angel Charity, a nonprofit working in tandem with the brand to “combat the global water crisis.”

Her initiative is just one example of how cosmetics, personal care, and fragrance startups are exploring and investing in conscious commerce. “In just 2 ½  years Pinch of Colour has taken its waterless products and its water conservation message to over 12 countries,”​ brand founder and CEO Linda Treska told those gathered at the love & give benefit event last Wednesday in New York City’s Hudson Square neighborhood.

For beauty corporations and brands of every size, CSR initiatives and charity give-back campaigns are fairly common. But indie beauty makers like Pinch of Colour are hoping to go further and build new business models that are as much (or more) about social and environmental betterment as they are about profit.

“At Pinch of Colour, we believe in beauty with a cause. And we have used our business platform to do good,” ​says Treska, adding, “I am proud…that Pinch of Colour’s mission has been to generate a positive impact in economic, social, environmental, and cultural sectors around the world.”

First a brand

Treska registered the Blue Angel Charity as a non-profit in 2016, at the same time that she launched the brand. In the intervening years, she’s been running Pinch of Colour and learning and planning how the charity would function.

Still, all along, Pinch of Color has been working to “combat the global water crisis.” ​In 2016, the brand partnered with Clean Water for Children, sponsoring a well that benefits over 1,000 people in West Bengal, India, Treska told benefit attendees last week.

In 2017, the brand used a portion of its proceeds to fund similar clean water solutions with an NGO called the Healing Water Organization. And in 2018, Pinch of Colour worked with Ekenywa, an NGO based in Nairobi, Kenya.

And now this year, Blue Angel Charity will continue the work started by Pinch of Colour and collaborate further on sustainable clean water projects with Ekenywa.

Now a non-profit

As valuable as water is, the dollar amounts involved are quite modest. Ticket sales for the love & give benefit event marking the official launch of Blue Angel Charity raised some $5,000 (according to Treska’s remarks that evening)—well over 10% of the $37,000 target set for this year’s project to bring rainwater harvesting, toilets, handwashing, and related education to over 500 children in Kenya. Additional funds were raised that evening by silent auction and charitable donations.

“Together we can help others reclaim their health and humanity through clean water and preserve this precious resource for future generations to come,”​ believes Treska; “Tonight…we are finally launching the Blue Angel Charity, our very own nonprofit with a mission to make clean water a basic human right.”



Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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