*This feature is not sponsored or paid for in any way by YUNI or any other invested party
In 2016, Merriam-Webster added the word ‘athleisure’ to its ever-growing dictionary after a much-publicized use in the years leading to it. Athleisure is defined as ‘casual clothing designed to be worn for both exercising and for general use'. Fast forward to 2020, athleisure has grown from a buzzword used by celebrities and models off-duty to the official outfit of CoVid lockdown. Athleisure was the missing piece between loungewear and street fashion that celebrities like Rihanna models like Gigi Hadid made seem very effortless and chic. While many clothing labels have skyrocketed to fame as the go-to athleisure brand, the focus on clothing has left a big gap in the beauty market catered for those with active lifestyles.
Enter California-based brand YUNI. If you’re a yogi with a love for all things natural beauty, you may have heard of this brand. Inspired by athleisure, their range includes natural aromatherapy, body care, skincare, and hair care products that are made to address the needs of active health seekers.
YUNI’s website says their products embody responsible beauty. They believe that “people should be empowered to take responsibility for their own wellness.” They also stress on their website that what they’re not just about personal wellness, they care about the wellness of the planet we live in and the other people and animals that live in it - expressing a desire to share their message with the world through their products.
To learn more about the brand beyond its marketing, we reached out to YUNI’s co-founder and CEO, Emmanuel Rey. Here’s what we know:
YUNI is YUNI Beauty LLC and it was founded by natural beauty pioneers and yoga teachers Emmanuel Rey and Suzanne Dawson. But just because they aren’t owned by a huge parent company doesn’t mean they aren’t heavyweights on their own. This husband and wife duo had years and years of experience in beauty marketing before launching Yuni. Rey has spent 10 years at L’Oreal before moving to Aveda and helping it become the natural and sustainable beauty brand that it is today and Dawson was responsible for its launch in Australia. After the couple left Aveda to pursue personal growth, they soon received their Ashtanga yoga certification in 2012. Their passion for the active lifestyle and their strengths in beauty brand management combined eventually led to the launch of Yuni in 2015. Since then, Rey has been at the helm of YUNI Beauty while Dawson continued to work in key leadership positions with global brands such as Murad and Ole Henriksen. You can read more about their journey here.
As a vegan-friendly brand, YUNI Beauty’s mindful approach is applied in their selection of natural ingredients that enhance health and they make it a point to avoid artificial ingredients that may cause harm. Their formulas are non-toxic, plant-based, and free of parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, petrolatum, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates, mineral oil, synthetic colors or fragrances, GMOs, PABA, EDTA, or PEGs.
INGREDIENT SOURCING & MANUFACTURING
Yuni aims to provide its consumers with organic, sustainable, and fair-trade ingredients. Although the ingredients are not certified, YUNI assures us that they go out of their way to work only with fair-trade growers utilizing eco-friendly cultivation and harvesting methods. On top of that, the products are manufactured in a solar-powered plant which totally gives us a new meaning to Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations)!
As part of the Leaping Bunny certification process, Yuni asks their contract manufacturers to require raw material vendors not to do animal testing.
PACKAGING & RECYCLING OPTIONS
Inner peace is at the heart of yoga practice and YUNI helps with that by minimizing clutter with modern and beautiful packaging. It also helps that their tubes are made of bio-resin, bottles from PCR (post-consumer resin), with unit cartons FSC certified and printed with soy ink. That eco-friendly thoughtfulness certainly gave us inner peace! They do not have a recycling program yet, but a refill program will roll out soon.
Some companies or brands get involved with charities for purposes other than goodwill, but when we see brands supporting relevant organizations, we know it reflects the brand’s value. YUNI is proud to support Yoga Gives Back – a unique non-profit organization by yogis for impoverished mothers and children in the birthplace of yoga. The non-profit claims to be inspired by Nobel Peace Prize recipient Dr. Muhammad Yunus‘microfinancing program and created their own with a minimum five-year commitment to each person.
Yuni also supports the National Forest Foundation which aims to conserve forests, watersheds, wildlife, and recreation resources with the help of companies through their tax-deductible donations. Corporate support generally flows to funds for tree planting, stewardship, and carbon capital.
DIVERSITY & INCLUSIVITY
With a brand that is generally targeted to women (although I personally believe that men should up their post-workout hygiene game too), YUNI is raising the bar on employment with 95% women and 75% minority in their team. Indeed, no one knows women like fellow women.
YUNI wants to create a big impact among the consumers with as little footprint as possible. With their vegan and cruelty-free formulation, they are definitely here to stay.
YUNI ships to most countries around the world and offers free shipping to all US orders over $35. It is also available at Target and most Sephora stores worldwide.