Brite, one of the four brands in the Department of Brands portfolio, has launched an industry-first product, Naturally Brite, 100% plant-based hair colour free from ammonia, bleach and peroxide.

Inspiration behind the hair colour came from increasing demand for clean and natural ingredients, particularly among Gen Z consumers, according to founder Bex Gold.

“Part of the problem with boxed colours is the chemicals used, especially PPD (paraphenylenediamine) so customers told us they wanted something more natural, a quality product that was plant-based and affordable,” she told Retailbiz in a recent interview.

“I looked at henna – by far the most superior hair colour pigment. It coats the hair, gives gradient, unmatchable colour, depth of pigment and shine compared to other dyes, and as a result, it is the superior way to colour hair.”

However, Gold discovered a lot of cheaper henna products on the market that are full of nasties and don’t work because it is almost too natural and can be hard to mix and apply.

“I wanted to create an experience of semi/demi permanent, so created a way to mix henna pigment in a pre-mixed base, which is a ground-breaking new technique for boxed hair colour,” she said.

Naturally Brite has been nominated for various Beauty Awards, following strong distribution, and climbing sales.

“The product resonates with consumers due to the strong pack callout, and unique formulation for clean colour. It’s a really differentiated product for our retail partners too,” Gold said.

“Awareness and demand for sustainability continues to grow. There are global trends of having a healthier scalp, and we are seeing skin care claims and benefits coming into hair care.  There is more focus also on individual expression, Covid fatigue and lockdown blues, particularly in Australia at the moment.”

When asked about plans for Brite – and The Department of Brands more broadly – Gold said the product ranges across the portfolio will growth in both width and depth.

“We are going to be launching new innovation, new formats, and expanding our reach into some new categories. Our expertise had always been in bringing trend-based products to market quickly due our agile formulation development and go to market approach. Even with current Covid issues, our standard manufacturing time is time is less than 21 days. It is going to be an exciting end to the year.”