For the new caring consumer: Hiki and Arfa

Hiki body care sweat set

Pity any new brand launching right now.

I just received a box of Beauty Pie samples (there are new additions* to the Japanfusion line), extolling its new pop-up at Harvey Nichols, which obviously won’t be experienced now for a while.

But worse is Arfa, a US-based direct-to-consumer holding company, whose first brand is Hiki, a bold bodycare line for ‘everyday sweat needs’ (read: deodorant).

Three things of interest here. Acknowledging the mood of the moment, Hiki decided to give its products for free to hospital and medical workers (they just have to pay for part of the shipping), and to everyone else in exchange for a compassionate message on social to reinforce its brand value of ‘kindness’. It’s a way to make the best of a bad situation and bake that situation into its narrative of body care.

Hiki anti-chafe stick

The product line itself is also interesting. It’s a deodorant line that goes beyond a deodorant or antiperspirant stick. As well as deodorants, there’s an anti-chafe stick (above), a talc-free body powder and compostable and biodegradable wipes.They’re all natural, vegan and free from artificial fragrance, in keeping with the trend for natural deodorants that I’ve been tracking.

Hiki antiperspirant

And lastly, in the post-consumerist world, how do we address consumers? It’s become something of a dirty word as we rethink our rates of consumption. Where ‘consumers’ conjures greedy PacMan-esque monsters chomping their way to oblivion on anything and everything, Arfa prefers ‘stakeholders‘. But that’s also because it’s built of a ‘collective’ who earn a percentage of profits in exchange for their feedback and creative input. To quote the website blurb, ‘Arfa is a new consumer goods company that develops personal care brands based on close relationships with the people who use them’.

As all businesses learn to adapt in a post Covid-19 era, it feels like a new consumer landscape is evolving in front of our eyes and this brand will be one to watch…

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links* and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here

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