You may have heard the old phrase that beauty is only skin deep. However, the concept of beauty has recently transcended its traditional understanding. Those in the beauty industry are now banding together to fight for worthy causes, not to simply create products that may make someone appear beautiful on the outside.
At the start of the pandemic, many beauty brands altered their production lines to manufacture hand sanitizer for medical and essential workers amid the shortages. And many more committed to making contributions to charities that support similar efforts. However, leaders from some of these beauty empires realized that their efforts could go even further. This led to more than 40 beauty and wellness groups coming together to support those on the front lines of the pandemic. And with that, BeautyUnited was born.
Support for Frontline Workers
BeautyUnited was launched in April 2020 by Kendra Bracken-Ferguson and Moj Mahdara. Joined by such notable faces as Gwyneth Paltrow (goop), Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (Rose Inc.) Drew Barrymore (Flower Beauty), Bobbi Brown (Evolution_18), and Victoria Beckham, the founders of BeautyUnited launched the organization, combining the might of all of their brand platforms to support doctors, nurses, and all of those on the medical and social frontlines. Some of the support included organizing a fundraising drive and donating essential supplies where possible. The support was carried out through two major initiatives:
To date, the BeautyUnited initiatives have raised over $8.2 million for the Frontline Responders Fund, which transports medical supplies, such as personal protective equipment (PPE), to where the frontline workers need them the most. Members of BeautyUnited have also donated their own brands’ personal-care supplies to these workers and other healthcare workers.
“I stand in solidarity with beauty and wellness founders to mobilize the resources we have to support doctors, nurses, and all the healthcare workers on the front lines of this pandemic,” said co-founder of BeautyUnited, Moj Mahdara. “We are resolved to support collective actions that can have a big global impact. Now is the time to be united.”
Fighting for Racial Equality
As the pandemic continues, more and more people have recognized a surging economic crisis, as well as the continued crisis of racial injustice. BeautyUnited gathered its network of supporters, including celebrities and influencers, to raise awareness for these issues. On July 1, 2020, BeautyUnited also launched the BeautyUnited Mentorship program to help address the lack of Black and Indigenous beauty and wellness founders within the industry. At the conclusion of the program, BeautyUnited had provided 312 hours of mentorship, 11 hours of education curriculum, and support materials to 52 Black and Indigenous beauty leaders.
BeautyUnited also joined other organizations to expand their overall mission of promoting diversity, equity, and culture. BeautyUnited partnered with the nonprofit Tides Center on May 16, 2021 and started their journey from a grassroots effort into a global beauty and wellness stakeholder. As the coalition grows, they will be working to establish the organization’s next Mentor Program launch and educate the community to support access, diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. This includes holding a BeautyUnited Job Fair to expand access to the industry and create a pipeline of talent for brands.
Hope Smith, BeautyUnited, and MUTHA™
There have been many well-known names attributed to BeautyUnited and their initiatives, including former model, philanthropist, and beauty-guru Hope Smith. Hope and her company, MUTHA™, of which she is founder and CEO, are Champion-level donors to BeautyUnited, and Hope continues to be a member of the committee. Hope and MUTHA™ have also put their support behind other organizations that have similar goals as BeautyUnited, including The Conscious Kid, which is an organization that helps families and educators take action to disrupt racism, inequality, and bias. In fact, 100% of proceeds from the MUTHA™ F* Racism candle go to the organization.
The future of BeautyUnited appears bright, as its leaders and supporters help to make positive change in their current fight for racial equality. Aside from the positive change the organization has made on frontline workers and those fighting for equality, BeautyUnited has proven that the beauty industry has broad interests beyond cosmetics. The organization’s most notable leaders have banded together to prove that beauty is now more than skin deep.