Former 30 Under 30 winner Brandon Morrison’s company is coming back with a revamped look and purpose
“It’s been sort of a wild ride,” says Brandon Morrison over the phone.
At the time, United & Free Skincare, the company Morrison runs with his sister, Kaleena, had a half-dozen vegan skincare products in some 30 stores from Vancouver Island to New Brunswick. The duo had big expansion plans, too, hoping to take Surrey-based United & Free worldwide in five years.
That didn’t end up happening. The company decided to undergo a fairly extensive rebrand, maintaining the status quo with sales and the like while switching up its mission statement and brand identity. “It felt like our intentions were there, but the execution wasn’t lining up as well as it should have been,” Morrison says. “We were still using plastics, for instance, and so we started looking in-depth at ourselves and seeing what we wanted to hit on and how we were missing it.”
The Morrisons worked with Vancouver design firm Arithmetic Creative to develop a more inclusive approach that focuses on people over product.
“We were always really focused on product, wanted to be this gender-neutral, inclusive product line,” Kaleena Morrison says. “But then we thought we could do more than just create a product—let’s go deeper and look at how can we get more representation in our industry, especially from BIPOC business owners, more representation of all humans.”
That’s obvious from the company’s new website, which does its best to cater to a wide demographic. But the product also saw a mini overhaul, resulting in what the Morrisons call “inclusive, conscious, multi-purpose hair and skincare—three needs in one container.”
That folds into sustainability, another big mark the duo really wanted to hit. The Morrisons are working on gaining B Corporation certification as well as partnering with Mission Blue—a portion of all proceeds goes to the latter and its goal of establishing a global network of marine protected areas. United & Free has been especially involved in Mission Blue’s Salish Sea Hope Spot initiative.
“One of our philosophies is that nothing exists alone,” Brandon Morrison says. “We all create that human experience, being able to share, feel, be loved. We truly believe that once you’re able to care for yourself and you have that, you’re able to bring that back to the Earth and nature. With our rebrand, we’ve been trying to speak to that—we want people to be loved, have that human experience and then bring that caring for nature along with it.”