Plant-based hair extensions attract investment, support environmental justice

January 24, 2022 |

In North Carolina, plant-based hair extension company Rebundle has raised $1.4 million to increase production, but will continue to prioritize the environmental justice and equality principles it was founded to address.

Rebundle was established in 2019 to offer an alternative to the synthetic hair extensions commonly used in African American braiding. Not only are these extensions not biodegradable, they also often contain scalp-irritating chemicals. Rebundle’s extensions are made of banana fiber without irritants and are biodegradable. 

CEO and co-founder Ciara Imani May tells TechCrunch the money will be used to add staff and production capacity. 

The company is also active in environmental justice and health campaigns. Rebundle accepts used synthetic hair extensions, which are shredded and incorporated into things like outdoor furniture and garden tools. The company estimates 30 million pounds of petroleum-based hair extensions are thrown out annually in the United States.  It also launched pink hair extensions to raise awareness of the disproportionate impact of breast cancer on black women, noting that personal care and beauty products formulated or marketed for black women are more likely to contain carcinogens. “We’re [Black women] also at the highest risk of severe health impacts from the disease,” Rebundle says on its site. “According to Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP), the mortality rate for Black women diagnosed with breast cancer is 42% higher than the comparable rate for white women.”

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Category: Chemicals & Materials

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