ROUT Combines Sustainability, Confidence, and Community With New Facial Razor

by Marisa Sanchez-Dunning on 09/10/2021 | 6 Minute Read

ROUT is a new Latinx-owned DTC beauty brand. The first sustainable, non-toxic, inclusive, and cost-friendly facial razor—designed for all humans with hair on their faces.

They approached my agency, If Only Creative, to help build and create a brand launch strategy, including its marketing communications, social media strategy, and content creation. Specifically, ROUT was looking for a partner to bring its brand to life. 

When ROUT's founder, Veronica Jimenez, reached out, the political and social climate was tense. A massive shift in our society was starting to happen. People took to the streets protesting what they believed in, and communities took notice of what they were consuming, the impact it had on the world, and more importantly, started questioning how they could do better.

We were hoping to help change and challenge social norms around the idea of beauty, what it is, and what it should be. And so, there we were—two Latinas on a mission to build a brand that disrupts the beauty industry.

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The Process

We started getting to work building ROUT’s strategy—hours of research, interviews, and competitor reviews and uses. When writing ROUT’s strategy, we decided that the brand needed to feel powerful, bold, relatable, and human. We needed to write an effective brand strategy to ensure that the Latinx community and beyond not only felt represented but proud to be a part of ROUT’s journey within the beauty industry.  

With Veronica, we came up with the core values of the company—sustainability, inclusivity, self-value/self-love, and simplicity. In other words, uncomplicated self-care.

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“After shaving my peach fuzz for years with the regular eyebrow razor, I was horrified at how much it contributed to plastic waste," said Veronica. "That’s why I decided to design a better eco-friendly version while not compromising on quality. My facial razor, Adios Peach Fuzz, will deliver the best glow you’ve ever seen or felt.” 

We tapped into our collective upbringing and recognized that, out of necessity, sustainability was a consistent thread throughout our lives. We needed to communicate this through ROUT—that being sustainable, inclusive, and feeling good about yourself (inside and out) isn’t something that has to be expensive or luxurious. Little by little, you realize that just a little becomes a lot more than you can imagine. 

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A few sustainability wins that we implemented for ROUT: 

  • The razor body is 100% PCR (post-consumer recycled) plastic. 
  • ROUT’s packaging is 100% recyclable, made out of paper and earth-friendly inks. The packaging is also plastic-free, reducing ROUT’s carbon footprint. 
  • No virgin plastic. The blades come wrapped in PCR (post-consumer recycled) plastic and last several shaves. 
  • An affordable refill subscription will also be available—helping to cut down on the plastic waste the beauty industry creates every day. 

When it came time to design ROUT’s packaging, it needed to stand out within an already saturated beauty industry. We were tired of the colors associated with gender-specific facial razors and blades. And we were exhausted from the amount of single-use plastic we came across during the R&D phase. 

Through extensive research of dermaplaning facial tools on the market, we realized that almost all of ROUT’s competitors used single-use, clear plastic and packaging that generated too much waste while delivering underwhelming performance results. We also found no brands that we felt represented the Latinx community in an honest, open, and supportive way. 

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We designed ROUT’s packaging with the intention of reuse and simplicity but also to stand out in a bathroom cabinet, purse, or travel suitcase. Basically, wherever your skincare products live.

From there, we designed a custom paper tube with The Paper Tube Co. as no one in the market we were focusing on at that time was putting facial razors in those containers, especially ones made from 100% recycled paper. We chose a paper tube to eliminate all plastic, help make our packaging and product cost-effective, and kill secondary packaging when sold in stores. Better still, we loved how the vessel elevated the feel of the brand, and the blade refill mirrors that. Not only is it minimal, but it can be carried or fit anywhere and potentially saved and repurposed by the consumer.

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Delivering on the Brand's Mission

As a Latina, I rarely see any real representation of my community in beauty brands or on the TV. Due to the lack of genuine, honest, and raw representation, we make sure ROUT challenges the cookie-cutter beauty standards by embracing womxn of every color, sex, and size.

Most critically, ROUT takes responsibility for our waste. Whether it's by educating our community on recycling and making sure its packaging is 100% recyclable to using post-consumer plastic in our products. From design, manufacturing, and packaging to educating its customers on living more sustainably, we work hard to make the best choices for ROUT and Madre earth. 

The brand is also about good self-love. We celebrate braveness through unapologetic self-acceptance. Go on, chingona, live life on your own terms! 

Once we figured out the brand launch, social media, and marketing strategy, we needed to execute ROUT’s content creation. The creative direction for the photography had to be bold, inspirational, and human. We wanted to radiate the simplicity of self-care and self-love, so we went minimal with prop use. 

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ROUT’s hero product is their "Adios Peach Fuzz" set—a facial razor with one 4-pack of replacement blades. Knowing we wanted ROUT to appeal to all folks, we leaned into the name of their hero product and drew what we could use for inspiration—the peach.

Peaches symbolize goodness and universal appeal. Plus, they don’t discriminate against age, sex, size, or gender. Peaches are also known for what lives on their skin—their iconic fuzz. And so, we decided to embrace the peach and all of its fluff throughout ROUT’s brand and product photography.  

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Results 

After months of sleepless nights, too much coffee, and a lot of hard work, we were ready to introduce ROUT to the world. Helping bring a brand to life whose product will empower those that might not feel confident, bold, or beautiful in their own skin has been one of the most fulfilling experiences within my career thus far. Building ROUT within a pivotal time in history—socially, economically, environmentally, and politically—fueled the creative and bold energy behind the brand. It was an honor to be a part of that journey. 

Join us on our mission to help change the conversation, break stigmas and challenge societal norms around facial hair on humans while elevating Latinx representation within the beauty industry. 

ROUT launches at the end of September 2021. 

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