King of Shaves warns of hit to profits from plastics pledge

British shaving brand King of Shaves has vowed to go single-use plastic-free within four years to help tackle pollution, but said the move will hit its profits.

The group revealed that it has already spent £120,000 on its shift to refillable products, with its first range, Code Zero, being rolled out from July.

Founder and executive chairman Will King said that, while the switch away from single-use plastic will eventually double annual revenues – from around £3 million now to about £6 million – it will knock profit margins in the short term.

He said: “This is a hit that, as a company, we will be absorbing due to the responsibility we feel we owe to the environment.”

He added: “As a responsible branded goods manufacturer, selling millions of units each year, we strongly feel it’s our responsibility to future generations to help consumers make a sustainable change without it costing them more.

“There should be no sustainable packaging tax or cost increase.”

The company already spends around £1 million a year on packaging, but said the cost will increase initially under its plan to switch to durable packaging.

Andy Hill, managing director of King of Shaves, said: “If the consumer engages with the refills, then over time the ongoing investment in packaging will reduce.

“However, this will be a marathon, not a sprint in terms of cost reduction.”

The group’s Code Zero range of lifetime use, refillable products will include shaving, skincare, deodorants, lip balms, hair styling and oral care products.

They will use aluminium and cork in production and packaging, with refills sold in fully recyclable or compostable formats.

Its first product – a shave stick – will be available to pre-order in advance by backers on crowdfunding site Indiegogo from April 10.

The initiative is backed by the Surfers Against Sewage organisation, which is campaigning to cut plastic pollution.

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