Reflecting movements that have taken root in the menswear market in recent seasons, men’s grooming brands are now becoming more authentic, artisanal, and upscale. Introducing Kent & Bond -- the first and only organic men’s grooming brand, offering handcrafted bar soap, body wash, deodorant, body moisturizer, and beard oil all made in the USA. A complete shave line including organic shaving cream, soap, pre and post shave products, and select skincare products will launch for 2016.
Friends Kent Santin and Benjamin Bond launched the brand in 2015, with no prior experience in the field. They've established the brand via a modern approach to brand building -- Kent & Bond’s brand cornerstones are quality, convenience, and social commerce.
We spoke to founders about the brand
(C) Tell us about the brand’s aesthetic and materials?
K&B: Our brand was designed to have a sophisticated, heritage aesthetic. We wanted the design to feel very raw, and masculine; something that all men could relate to.
Some of our most commonly used ingredients are organic shea butter, organic coconut oil, organic jojoba oil, essential oils, finely ground pumice, etc. All our ingredients come directly from nature, with the majority of our ingredients being sourced organically whenever possible. This is extremely important to us.
(C) How do your backgrounds in Maine and Canada impact the brand?
K&B: As guys who grew up in the great North, we have an appreciation for wilderness and all things authentically raw. We experienced nature first hand and love it for what it is, knowing that it’s best in its purest form.
(C) Did you have previous experience making grooming products?
K&B: Neither of us had previous experience in men’s grooming other than using products personally. Kent came from management consulting and before that studied at Columbia University where he received a Masters of Science in Sustainability. Ben previously worked in the world of fashion, managing key wholesale accounts for Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. With that said, Kent & Bond was conceived in mid 2014 with lots of learning being done by the two of us. Some areas we focused our education on were understanding ingredient attributes, natural substitutes for chemicals, common grooming habits, product chemistry, contacting industry experts, and ultimately lots of trial and error with focus groups.
(C) What are your best selling items?
K&B: The Charcoal Pine Body Brick - People love this function packed bar, from the activated charcoal to the fine pumice, and finished with a scent that makes you feel like you are walking through a pine forest.
Bentonite Clay Deodorant - Men are clearly becoming curious about natural deodorant alternatives, but many are frustrated that most don’t offer the performance that they need to keep them odor-free all day, and more importantly all night while socializing. Simply put, ours does!
(C) Can you tell us more about your 'buy one, we give one’ initiative? Why did you think it was important to do that?
K&B: Giving is at the core of Kent & Bond. We believe that it is possible to sell a great product and help people at the same time. Buy 1, We Give 1 was a concept that we immediately gravitated to. With so many people around the world without access to hygiene products we knew that this would be an area where we could make a difference. This is such an important part of what we do because soap donation has the ability to play a big role in helping impoverished people around the world. Research shows that simple soap washing can reduce the risk of death from diarrheal diseases and acute respiratory infection by 50%; both of which are responsible for millions of deaths each year. We work with a global foundation that distributes soap to people in need around the world. We wanted to leverage the capabilities and reach a large global foundation has over trying to do it ourselves.
(C) You offer free shipping and free replenishment on your website. Why?
K&B: We know that convenience can be a big differentiator for men. As men who buy online, we understand shipping fees can be a deal-breaker when ordering products online. We never want shipping fees or forgetting to refill your favorite products to be a reason why our customers run out of their daily essentials.
(C) What is one grooming habit that you think more men need to include in their daily regimen that many do not do now?
K&B: Here at Kent & Bond we are all about sticking to the basics. Whether it’s having a great barber, keeping head and body hair well groomed, or simply staying hydrated - our top tip is for guys to just focus on the basics to start. We also created a great article here that covers our Top 5 Commonly Forgotten Grooming Tips!
Visit Kent & Bond in the Sundries section of Capsule New York Men's, January 26-28