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Meet the Australian clean beauty brand generating millions through word of mouth

WORDS BY RACHAEL AKHIDENOR

“They told me what I wanted to bring to the market literally wasnt possible,”

In a world inundated with fashion and beauty brands, there are few that truly impress me. Words like cleanand naturalare so often bandied about, and I am left wondering if they even hold weight anymore.

So, when a wellness brand crosses my path that is heavily entrenched in science, with a page on its website entirely devoted to the research papers that inform its productsformulations, I’m immediately curious, intrigued, and even a touch perplexed.

That is exactly what happened when I came across Imbibe Living, a Byron-based wellness brand with a product line and reputation so impressive, its bound to convert any cleanbeauty sceptic in a matter of minutes. Best known for its probiotics and collagen that have changed the lives of hundreds, the brand has amassed a cult-like following of devoted customers who value performance, potency and 100 per cent natural products.

It all began in 2014, when founder Felicity Evans, a new mother of two, was handed an autoimmune disease diagnosis, after battling severe indigestion and bloating and dealing with lacklustre skin. She knew she needed to overhaul her health, so she put her background in gut health and fermentation to good use and began formulating probiotic drinks in her kitchen.

When friends began commenting on her increasingly vibrant skin and rapidly improving health, she decided to start selling her creations. “Very quickly within the year, it blew out to having 300 stockists across Australia,” she tells me over the phone.

While her original probiotic drinks had already amassed an impressive customer base, she wanted to create something with even greater potency. Working with a team of microbiologists and scientists, Imbibe created an incredibly robust probiotic that, along with the collagen, became the brand’s star product. “It took me so long to formulate because it had to do more than just be a probiotic,” Felicity says. “While it is a probiotic concentrate, it also offers hydration as well as antioxidants… it really is a three-in-one concentrate.”

Today, Imbibes product range spans from ingestible beauty products like the Miracle Collagen and Beauty Renewal Probiotic Concentrate to science-backed Australian-made skincare that continues to impress customers. “We dont spend a lot of money on marketing or advertising,” Felicity points out. “What happens is that women have incredible results and then they just have to tell their friends. And then their friends tell their friends.”

Imbibes immense growth – from a grassroots start-up to now generating millions of dollars in revenue – can be attributed to the glowing recommendations of hundreds of overjoyed customers.

“We get literally a hundred messages a day from women saying, Youve cleared my psoriasis, My bloating is gone, My eczema has cleared off my handsand My acne has completely disappeared’,” she tells me. It’s her customers that give her the drive and dedication to continue producing products that remain in alignment with Imbibes core values of performance, potency, and 100 per cent cleanliness.

But it hasnt been an easy ride. To create products of such a high calibre and to such precise specifications seemed, to many in the industry, impossible. The brand’s skincare range, for example, which is vegan, sustainable and showcases the very best of Australian botanical ingredients, was knocked back by eight manufacturers.

“They told me… what I wanted to bring to the market literally wasnt possible,” she says. “It wasnt possible to bring high performance products with clinical results that are 100 per cent natural with certified organic ingredients.”

Even after finding her team of organic cosmetic chemists in Byron Bay, Imbibe went through 97 test formulations to get the product just right.

Imbibes commitment to its values renders it somewhat of a unicorn in the beauty and wellness industry. As Felicity says, “In an era where products are literally just fresh to market, where companies are capitalising on a trend that is just a trend… we are the opposite.”

With a large portion of budget dedicated to research and science, each Imbibe product is truly innovative. “If its not innovative, you wont see it coming out of our company,” she tells me.

So, what’s next for this Byron-based business? With two more products coming out this year – one of which is an Australian-first – the future is looking bright. While sustainability and the brand’s ‘First do no harm’ ethos have long underpinned its products and operations, Felicity tells me that in 2021, Imbibe is committed to doing even more. “Its just one step in front of the other.”

You can explore Imbibes full range of products here.

imbibeliving.com

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