Part 1: How AmorSui is revolutionizing PPE for women in the cosmetic industry

By Cassandra Stern

- Last updated on GMT

"In some cases, based on fit, bullying, and other factors, women are choosing not to wear PPE, which puts them at an even greater risk of injury," said Beau Wangtrakuldee, PhD, founder and CEO of AmorSui. © Sean Anthony Eddy Getty Images
"In some cases, based on fit, bullying, and other factors, women are choosing not to wear PPE, which puts them at an even greater risk of injury," said Beau Wangtrakuldee, PhD, founder and CEO of AmorSui. © Sean Anthony Eddy Getty Images

Related tags Manufacturing Industry Cosmetics Personal care Sustainability

In part one of this two-part series, we interviewed Beau Wangtrakuldee, PhD, founder and CEO of AmorSui to learn more about how the company is working to meet the needs of women in the cosmetics and personal care product manufacturing industry by developing sustainable and effective PPE options.

According to a recent report by IBISWorld, "there are 49,286 people employed in the Cosmetic & Beauty Products Manufacturing industry in the US as of 2023," with all of those employed on the manufacturing line or in formulation labs required to wear PPE in the course of completing their daily tasks. While statistics regarding the gender breakdown of these employees are not available, an article published in Professional Safety​ in 2019 notes that "PPE is traditionally designed and manufactured for men, who typically have a larger bone structure than women as well as wider hands, feet and facial features." 

Beau Wangtrakuldee, PhD, founder and CEO of AmorSui is committed to addressing this issue by addressing PPE safety for women working in cosmetic and personal care product manufacturing and supply companies. In part one of this two-part series, we spoke to Dr. Wangtrakuldee for her insights into AmorSui's mission and the ways the company is working to provide women in cosmetic and personal care product manufacturing with safer and more sustainable options for PPE.  

CDU: Can you tell us about AmorSui's mission, and how it intersects with the issue of PPE safety, particularly for women in the cosmetic industry? 

Beau Wangtrakuldee, PhD (BW)​: Our mission is to protect people and the planet. We’re doing this through our high-performance personal protective equipment (PPE), which is focused on providing safer and more sustainable products across all sectors. Specifically in the cosmetic industry, we know personnel are interacting with chemicals on a regular basis.

PPE is an essential layer of protection to ensure professionals can complete their work safely. However, despite the increasing percentage of women employed in the cosmetic industry, standard PPE is still designed for the average white male’s body shape and functional capacities​.  

Poor-fitting PPE on women presents safety hazards​. For example, extra material from oversized garments can snag in machinery and oversized lab coats may allow chemicals to seep through and burn the wearer.

Beyond putting safety at risk, poor-fitting PPE has actually led to women being bullied or harassed on the job​, impacting their confidence and productivity. In some cases, based on fit, bullying, and other factors, women are choosing not to wear PPE, which puts them at an even greater risk of injury.  

AmorSui ensures gender-inclusive protection by offering PPE that is designed for all genders, shapes, and sizes. We have gone above and beyond to elevate safety, comfort, and sustainability for PPE users by offering best-in-class protective textiles, functional designs (like an adjustable waist drawcord), and 100% recyclable products.

We are looking to set a new standard for inclusive PPE and bring the rest of the industry along with us.  

CDU: What inspired the founding of AmorSui, and how does the company address the unique challenges faced by women in industries requiring PPE? 

BW​: The idea of AmorSui was inspired by my personal experience. I was severely burned in a chemical spill accident because the low-quality, too-big lab coat failed to protect me.

After this incident, I discovered the gap in the PPE market for products that prioritize the safety of users and the health of the planet, especially for women.  

I was looking for a better lab coat that would fit me and found that the only available options were just smaller sizes of menswear. I shared this frustration with my female colleagues and was surprised that we all faced similar challenges, including having been injured due to ill-fitting PPE.

We all agreed that we needed products with narrower shoulders, more room in the chest and hips and consideration for those with shorter builds. These options weren’t available anywhere. 

This conversation led to the idea that became the main value proposition of AmorSui in its early days, which was to develop PPE that prioritized both safety and comfort for women. With all of our products, we consider unique features that accommodate diverse body types and provide the necessary protection without sacrificing comfort or sustainability. 

Specifically for the cosmetic industry, we developed a lab coat that is tailored for women of all shapes and sizes. It includes an adjustable waist draw cord for a custom body fit as well as more room at the hip. The lab coat also features a back vent for breathability and mobility, which we know is especially important for women entering or experiencing menopause.

Additionally, our fabric is anti-odor and fluid resistant, protecting against chemicals that women in this industry may work with on a regular basis such as formaldehyde, paraformaldehyde, methylene glycol, and more. 

CDU: How does AmorSui approach the design and development of PPE to ensure both safety and sustainability, especially in industries like cosmetics where traditional PPE may be inadequate or environmentally harmful? 

BW​: In addition to fitting better, AmorSui lab coats and isolation gowns offer superior fluid-resistance compared to cheaper washable or disposable options. Our lab coats protect cosmetics professionals from small spills and in larger spills provide a barrier from chemicals long enough to allow for the removal of contaminated PPE.

All AmorSui products can also be washed up to 100 times and are 100% recyclable through our take-back program. Through meticulous design and continuous innovation, our team ensures that all products offer superior protection while minimizing environmental impact.  

CDU: In what ways does AmorSui collaborate with companies like Glow to promote safer and more sustainable practices in the cosmetic manufacturing sector? 

BW​: AmorSui works with companies like Glow to offer another option for PPE that is more sustainable and safer for their employees. Glow in particular is focused on developing cleaner, more sustainable products, and AmorSui offers a PPE solution that is aligned with their mission.  

One way that we work with organizations is through our subscription program. The subscription program allows companies to order our PPE in bulk, such as our lab coats or isolation gowns. Once items have been worn, the company can send them back to AmorSui who will have them professionally laundered and returned back to the company for reuse.

At the end of the product's life (usually 100 washes), AmorSui will handle the recycling of the product and the company can then buy new products to start the cycle again. This takes the work out of reuse and recycling for the company, helping them to seamlessly implement safer and more sustainable PPE solutions.  

Additionally, we aim to raise awareness about the importance of proper PPE and advocate for the adoption of safer and more sustainable alternatives across the entire cosmetics industry. By partnering with industry-leading organizations like Glow, we can spread awareness in the industry of our PPE solutions, ultimately driving positive change and advancing safety in the industry.  

CDU: Could you share your perspective on the role of innovative PPE solutions, such as those provided by AmorSui, in advancing safety and sustainability goals within the cosmetic industry? 

BW​: Innovation in textiles, garment design, and digital technologies definitely offer more options for the cosmetic industry to elevate safety and sustainability in the workplace.  

With PPE, it all comes down to safety and comfort for the employees. Innovation in materials contributes to products that are superior in protection, more comfortable to wear, and also sustainable. For example, AmorSui lab coats are made of fabrics that are not only fluid-resistant and breathable but washable up to 100 washes and 100% recyclable at the end of their life.  

Garment design has also come a long way to allow for features that offer better fit and functionality for ease of use and wear. We built an adjustable drawcord feature into our women’s lab coats to allow for a more custom fit and included a back vent to increase breathability and mobility.

Lastly, digital technologies have made it possible for us to optimize circular logistics for cleaning, recycling, and data reporting on the environmental impact of our products compared to others in the market.  

All of these innovations make it possible for the cosmetic industry to promote safety and sustainability without extensive work upfront. 

CDU: What steps do you believe are necessary for increasing awareness and adoption of PPE solutions tailored to the specific needs of women in traditionally male-dominated industries? 

BW​: I believe a multifaceted approach is needed. This includes education and training programs to raise awareness about the importance of proper PPE, as well as advocacy efforts to promote the development and adoption of gender-inclusive PPE solutions to close the gender gap on safety.

Many STEM fields are beginning to recognize the need for gender-inclusive solutions, but there’s still a long way to go. We hope that by leveraging the AmorSui platform as a thought leader, we can drive change and empower women in STEM and industrial professions.  

CDU: Can you discuss any upcoming projects or initiatives that AmorSui is undertaking to further its mission of promoting safety, inclusivity, and sustainability in the workplace? 

BW​: This year, we are working on partnerships with universities and medical schools surrounding the annual White Coat Ceremony. In memorable events for medical professionals to signify their commitment to serve others, AmorSui is honored to protect them while prioritizing the health of the planet.

We are actively seeking to support professionals in other fields, including the cosmetic industry. If your team is interested in exploring partnership opportunities, please reach out to us. We’re all ears. 

From the longer-term perspective, our team has a vision of how we want to disrupt the PPE industry and the medical supply space broadly. This outdated sector has heavily relied on disposable items that deliver inadequate value to users, affecting the health of our society and the environment on a large scale.

Our goal is to build a brand and platform that will allow everyone to make conscious purchases on PPE and medical supply products. We envision a marketplace where everyone will be able to buy quality, size-inclusive, and circular items, track their progress towards carbon emission reduction, and get rewards from adopting more sustainable practices.

Our team is building out the technology behind this marketplace right now and hopes to have it available within the next year or so. Our line of inclusive, better quality and sustainable products are just the beginning. There’s a lot more to come. 

CDU: Finally, how do you see AmorSui's commitment to PPE safety and sustainability aligning with its broader vision for empowering women in STEM and industrial professions? 

BW​: For us, better PPE is not just about protecting workers, but also the secondary benefits that it provides. Studies show that when women are provided with better PPE, they are more confident and motivated to perform their best at work​. When women perform better, they’re able to advance into leadership roles, and more women in leadership means more inclusivity for everyone. Women’s perspectives are crucial to ensuring other women are protected, motivated and celebrated in the workplace.  

If we want to close the gender gap in traditionally male-dominated professions, we have to consider women’s needs, including their safety.  

It’s my goal to get AmorSui into the hands of women across all industries so they can have the tools they need to thrive in their careers.  

If you enjoyed this article, stay tuned for part two, where we interviewed Glow CEO Julia Croddick, a second-generation cosmetic manufacturer and product developer, for a closer look into safer and more sustainable PPE for cosmetic and personal care product formulators and manufacturers. 

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