Personal care retailer By Humankind landed $4 million in seed funding led by Lerer Hippeau with participation from Red Sea Ventures, BoxGroup, SV Angel, Great Oaks, SoulCycle co-founder Elizabeth Cutler and others, according to a TechCrunch report.
By Humankind produces all-natural products including deodorant, mouthwash and shampoo, with an aim to reduce single-use plastic waste, according to the company's website. Shoppers purchase one container and then continually refill it by signing up for a subscription service to replenish the product. The container has a lifetime guarantee.
By Humankind's major investor, Lerer Hippeau, is a venture capital fund that has also invested in Allbirds, Casper, Everlane and Glossier.
More than eight million tons of plastic are dumped into the ocean every year, with packaging accounting for over 40% of total plastic usage, according to Plastic Oceans International.
Retailers and consumers are in the early stages of addressing the problem. Just last month dozens of major brands including Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Unilever and The Body Shop partnered to introduce a reusable and refillable packaging model.
Other companies are also experimenting with means to reduce waste. Calvin Klein's underwear products now feature detailed instructions on how to recycle its packaging, and last spring REI revealed standards to advance sustainability efforts through its supply chain.
By Humankind states that in one year a consumer will save up to five pounds of plastic waste per year through the use of its products and refill system.