Balancing purpose and profitability

March 18, 2024 | By Rupkatha B

Hannah Curran, Founder, PureBorn

The global biodegradable diapers market is estimated to be worth $8.0 billion by 2032. Balancing purpose with profitability, biodegradable diapers are thus gaining traction. One such UAE-born sustainable diaper brand, PureBorn is also recording significant growth in the region and beyond.

PureBorn at a Glance

  • Year of Launch: 2017
  • Founder: Hannah Curran
  • Geographical Footprint: GCC, Levant and Europe
  • 3,000+ points of sale

The idea of Pureborn was conceptualised more than a decade ago in 2012. The brand’s backstory goes like this; Hannah Curran moved to the UAE with a job opportunity, but quickly found herself setting up a day nursery echoing the steps of her mother who worked in the UK nursery sector for many years. Running a business in the early years sector, Curran soon spotted a gap in the market for “genuinely” high-quality, eco-friendly baby care products. Fuelled by a desire to create something unique, Curran embarked on intensive research and product sourcing, which ultimately led to the PureBorn diaper range, made from sustainable bamboo materials that launched in 2017.

Six years on, PureBorn has expanded regionally and is now available across all major European markets from November 2023. In this exclusive Q&A with IMAGES RetailME, Curran shared her learnings, roadblocks and future growth plans.

Let’s start with some milestones that PureBorn has achieved over the years.

The first milestone was signing up with Babyshop as our first retail partner with an initial order of 3,000 products. Within 12 months of starting the business, I gave birth to my son which opened a whole world of new insights into products that mothers didn’t have access to [at that time]. I decided to diversify into new product categories which helped us to expand the brand presence in grocery retail chains including Carrefour, Lulu Hypermarket and Union Co-op. Within the first few years, we expanded regionally into Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Jordan. From November 2023, PureBorn products are available across all major European markets. PureBorn is also present in markets such as Maldives, Seychelles and some African countries. Our overall sales have doubled year-on-year since Pureborn’s inception, and we expect to continue this growth trajectory. In 2021 our online sales represented around 20% which increased to 50-60% in 2023 across all markets. We expect the online figure to increase further in 2024 with the launch of PureBorn’s new website and our online push in Europe and KSA.

What are some strategies that worked well for the brand?

I think our focus on quality and the fact that we interact directly with consumers have helped us to build a strong relation with them and in turn gain their loyalty. We have always listened to what parents want for their children and developed products which weren’t readily available. Having this level of connection with our customers who trust us has been a key driver for our success.

Tell us about a setback that served as a lesson and helped the brand to innovate and evolve.

During the early stages of the business, one challenge that I faced was deciding whether to look for investment. I decided to raise a small amount of funding from a private investor, soon realising that we weren’t aligned in our vision, so we repurchased the shares taking back 100% ownership. A lesson I learnt from this incident is the importance of maintaining a long-term perspective to ensure our decisions reflect the overall vision of the brand.

Looking ahead, what are your growth plans for 2024-25?

There are lots of new developments on the horizon in terms of both our team and product lines. We are looking to introduce new categories and new experiences for parents, giving the whole family what they need to flourish and grow. We are also looking to raise Series A investment sometime around the second quarter of 2024, which will pave the way for product and market expansion and overall growth.

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