When Daya Fields learned about the Tmall Global Go Global 11.11 Pitch Fest, she whipped together an entry submission for Pipette®, the clean baby and mother care brand she helms as President, in record time. The beauty industry veteran immediately recognized the scale of the opportunity that working with Alibaba would present for Pipette, which has seen phenomenal growth in the US since launching just over a year ago.
“The opportunity to expand Pipette’s footprint into China is a significant milestone for the brand and an important endorsement of our unique product line by the top ecommerce retailer serving this market,” said Fields, whose previous experience includes senior-level marketing roles at Estée Lauder Companies and Alaffia.
Headquartered in Emeryville, California, Pipette is owned by Amyris, a leader in biotechnology innovation and the delivery of sustainable ingredients to clean health and beauty companies. Just one year post-launch, Pipette has become an award-winning brand well known for offering clean, high-performing, sustainable skincare products for babies, moms and families.
The brand’s exceedingly high ingredient standards are what really set it apart in the increasingly crowded baby and personal care space. Each of the brand’s 32 products has undergone rigorous safety and clinical testing and is verified by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which specializes in research and advocacy in the areas of toxic chemicals, drinking water pollutants and corporate accountability.
“We are setting a new standard in the personal care category by banning over 2,000 potentially harmful ingredients from our labs and all of our products,” said Fields. “The United States FDA only bans 12 ingredients while the UK and EU restrict just over 1,300. At Pipette, those guidelines didn’t meet our differentiated standards. We felt we needed to raise the bar for infants, babies, mothers, and their families.”
The brand’s hero ingredient, which anchors all its product formulas, is a proprietary, sugarcane-derived moisturizing emollient called squalane, which provides weightless hydration on and throughout the skin.
When asked why such a young startup would be so eager to enter China, the first international market that Pipette will “expand into,” Fields said: “The Chinese market has been very receptive to clean Western products that promote formula & packaging sustainability. To be able to venture into China through Tmall Global - which has a phenomenal ecommerce footprint and reputation in choosing the right brands to introduce to the Chinese consumer - Pipette is now accessible and part of the solution in offering safer product options for the whole family.”
For young US-based brands like Pipette, Tmall Global can serve as an important lifeline for global expansion. Since being named one of the Pitch Fest winners, Pipette has begun working with Tmall Global’s business development experts and Fields says her team is already learning key nuances in targeting, engaging and connecting to young Chinese mothers and actively involved grandparents.
In the past, startups could not have taken this step into a huge international market so early, but Tmall Global is changing the game. Fields readily admits that Tmall Global is making it easier to launch in China and that the experience of introducing Pipette to Chinese consumers during the upcoming 11.11 Global Shopping Festival will help the brand learn even more about the market and be in a better position to succeed in China long term.