A brand that arrived as a circular project: meet 4peoplewhocare
Fritz Hinrichsmeyer, one of the founders and CEO of 4peoplewhocare
Currently, Fritz does E-Commerce and Marketing for his brand 4peoplewhocare. Before that, he was Marketplace manager at Germany’s largest sustainable online marketplace Avocadostore.de. Since he had to onboard brands and retailers from the natural cosmetics sector at Avocadostore based on the internal criteria, he was familiar with the most common seals and certifications. Thanks to his majors in environmental science and social entrepreneurship, Fritz quickly knew he wanted to link entrepreneurship with social value. All that was missing was a business idea. His brother brought it along.
NATRUE: Who are those ‘4 people who care’? When and how was the brand created?
Fritz: It all started in Benno’s favourite bouldering gym in Cologne, or rather after the climbing session. Benno worked as a sports masseur and climbing instructor in the gym, and the chalk, as well as all the time spent on the wall, always left him with rough and damaged hands. The climbing cream that met Benno’s sustainability requirements did not yet exist. So he made his own cream – first for himself and later for his circle of friends – in his shared kitchen. The idea of our first product “Daumenschmaus” was born and Marc, Benno, Lennart and I decided to try it out on a small scale. It was a hobby project in the beginning.
More products should follow, and we needed a superior brand name, so we came up with the ambiguous brand name 4peopelwhocare in 2020. It combines in English what we do (“care products”) and appeals to people who “care/think about something”. Since our founding team (Benno, Marc, Lennart and Fritz) consists of four people who also care about impact and social added value (in this case ecological), the name fitted on several levels. The thing about our Brand and company name is that it can be understood in different ways, and each is right.
NATRUE: Where are your products manufactured? What makes this area special?
Fritz: Nearly all products are manufactured in our own laboratory in Hamburg. And since we are only a small team also the other founders and I do sometimes help in the production. I think this is special at all, because we develop the whole product ourselves. Starting with the sourcing of resources, we are also involved in the packaging, the certifications and formula.
NATRUE: It is clear that you want a make an impact, since you reinvest in the nature that provides your raw materials. How can you do it?
Fritz: The special feature of 4peoplewhocare is our circular idea, which we have thought in all products and our company, and which is conclusive for many and represents a round concept.
Coming from the outdoor section with the day-to-day problem of dry hands after climbing, we decided to develop a sustainable solution: A plastic-free, refillable, and sustainable hand cream that also works and incidentally gives back to nature in which we live (or do sports) habitat, makes sense. So, our products are new in their way and have an innovative approach, but solve everyday problems (dry skin, sunburn or itchy scalp). They are made in harmony with nature and not at its expense. Because apart from the fact that all products are handmade, are a plastic-free alternative. 4peoplewhocare’s products are made from mainly organic raw materials from regional cultivation and direct purchase, and both products and our start-up are certified climate neutral, which means we plant for each product in Germany with selected partners 1 m² of flowering meadow to preserve biodiversity. It is the nature from which we produce our natural cosmetics.
Since 2020 we have been able to plant more than 250.000 m² of flowering meadow in six cooperatives in Germany. This is more than 60.000 Euro impact investment in our biodiversity.
NATRUE: What makes wild flower meadows special? Why is your commitment with this flower?
Fritz: Let me start with this: What the IPCC is to climate, the IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) is to biodiversity. The IPBES experts speak of the sixth mass extinction in the history of life on Earth. Accordingly, the last one occurred about 66 million years ago…
With this as a context, what we try to do with our flowering meadow is to fight against this global process right on our doorstep. Flowering meadow is a fast-growing carbon storage, next to all the monocultures a diverse habitat for insects, bees, birds and at the same time a recovery of the soil from intensive agriculture. From the beginning, we wanted to create a business model that, in addition to monetary profit, also creates social added value (in the form of biodiversity preservation.) My mother would exaggerate and say: “Your natural cosmetics are partly just a means to an end.”
NATRUE: Why did you choose NATRUE? What would you say to brands that want to join NATRUE?
Fritz: You don’t get credibility and trust for free. That is why we rely on transparency and also on well-known seals like NATRUE. We are concerned with independent verification and full transparency. Through NATRUE, we show that we really want sustainability, and we are not afraid to have it independently verified. Apart from that is the NATRUE Logo one of the graphically most appealing and I can work with it much better as a marketing person.
For more information about 4peoplewhocare,
Download this interview here.