We’re marketed towards the supposed deficit in the way we look our entire lives, with the implication that if we buy X, Y and Z we will finally (albeit temporarily) be complete. We think that’s bogus. While it’s obviously okay to want to feel good about the way you look, we believe you’re worthy just the way you are — even without purchasing that 10-step skincare routine.
Troupe is our answer to many of the problems affecting the lives of beauty lovers everywhere, ourselves included. To better understand exactly what Troupe is, it’s important to look at the issues we seek to address.
More to be enough culture sucks
Eurocentric beauty standards are lame
For too long, Eurocentric beauty standards haven’t been serving anyone other than those that fit within their limited confines. The idea of beauty feels unattainable and even when you’re feeling yourself, it’s easily shattered by the simple act of scrolling through social media feeds spattered with aspirational mega influencers. The irony behind this – it’s an even more difficult experience for people of color. Troupe is building a platform that believes in better beauty. We want all faces, body types, and skin colors represented because for too long, the beauty industry simply hasn’t been doing enough.
Young people are worries about money
55% of American millennials have no retirement savings whatsoever and 81% of GenZers say that money stresses them out on the reg. And it’s no wonder! Wages are stagnant and the cost of living is skyrocketing in nearly every metropolitan city across the U.S.
1099 culture leaves workers without resources
46% of Americans work some sort of side hustle to supplement their monthly income, but the gig economy still isn’t providing their labor force with access to resources to save for retirement. People are forced to side hustle to survive but don’t have the tools to actually improve their lives in the long term.
The beauty industry is dated
75% of beauty lovers look to their friends and family for product recommendations before buying. That means big box retailers are benefiting from the recommendations of real people all over every single day. We believe that rather than those recommendations benefiting the executive teams and shareholders of the same companies telling you that you need more to be enough, that money should stay in the communities where they’re made.
We pledge to always do better. We recognize our impact as a company is only as good as our commitment to continually improve upon what we have done before — for those who have been overlooked by the beauty industry for so long, our people, our communities and our planet.
diversity + Inclusion
Listen, y’all — we’ve seen all of the same super nice, well-meaning inclusion statements from all of those big fancy companies. We’ve also seen how those commitments and promises fall incredibly flat, especially when you get to the executive level of the aforementioned big fancy companies.
In order for us to build a company that solves real problems for real people, Troupe must be made up of a dimensional team of intersectionally diverse people. We commit to building a team that meaningfully represents persons from all backgrounds beyond symbolic tokenism.
While Troupe is founded by two white womxn and we have no employees currently, we commit to building a team in which only 25% of all roles are held by white folk.
Troupe requires 75% of brands on our platform to be owned by womxn, and 60% of brands to be owned/founded by BIPOC. Gone are the days of ole white doods dictating aspirational beauty standards (not that white womxn have done an exceptional job of being inclusive).
Additionally, the reality is, if a major retailer creates more space for brands owned by Black people, they still might not be able to afford to participate. Big box retailers require high margins from independent beauty brands, money to be returned for discounting and significant costs to participate in in-store marketing – all of that adds up and can be cost-prohibitive for any independent brand.
Troupe will absorb those costs and never charge a Black-owned independent beauty start-up those expenses.
The beauty industry is notorious for its negative impact on the environment. It’s actually insane.
120 billion pounds of plastic is produced by the cosmetic industry annually. On top of that, beauty products are renowned for their use of non-renewable resources (i.e. petroleum and pals) in their formulations. Don’t even get us started on those really pretty, incredibly wasteful PR packages your favorite influencers unbox on the reg. It’s time for beauty to aggressively combat climate change and the industry’s impact on the only home we have.
Troupe will always make it easier for you to identify brands who are mindful of Mother Earth with our shop by badge option so customers can identify companies who are carbon-neutral, products that are plastic-free and formula who upcycle their ingredients.
When it is feasible for us financially, we will be participating in Terracyle’s recycling program because contrary to popular belief, most of the components in beauty products can not be recycled by your local waste management company. The bare minimum cost to participate is $50K which is why we aren’t starting off with the program out the gate (bootstrapped startup life lol), but we want you to know that it is in the queue.
investment + acquisition
White supremacy, classism and misogyny are alive and thriving in the world of venture capital. To date, we have received no investments from venture capital firms (although things probably would have been a lot easier if we had lol).
That being said, we pledge to evaluate potential accredited investors by asking what portion of their portfolio is dedicated to BIPOC founders, womxn and what tools they are implementing to ensure they’re working to continually improve the diversification of their portfolio. If it doesn’t meet our standards – we’re not in.
We’re in it for the long haul, y’all, but we want to address this out the gate. Troupe will never sell to any company whose values do not fully align with the initiatives we have outlined here. If we ever do sell, we will have a thorough legacy plan in place to protect the livelihood of our people, our brand ambassadors, the brands on our platform and our sustainability initiatives.
Here’s the deal. Words matter. Sincerity matters.
Words and sincerity alone have no impact without sustained action. It’s about our actions tomorrow, next month and in the subsequent years down the line. In order for us to fulfill our pledge to always be better, we will provide biannual updates on these initiatives in the same fashion a tech company would if they were to deploy changes to their software.