Burt's Bees are even more beloved than they are ubiquitous. With a philosophy of "Earth friendly, natural personal care", Burt's distributes nearly 200 products - for facial, body, skin, lip and baby care, men's grooming and outdoor remedies.
Burt's Bees can be found in over 30,000 outlets - grocery stores, chemists (drugstores in the US), boutiques and more - throughout the US, UK, Ireland, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Environmental technology is a prime focus in the process of manufacturing at Burt's. Distillation/ condensation, extraction/ steam distillation pressure cooking and hydrolysis are utilised to maintain the purity of all natural ingredients. Every product has a "natural bar" - indicating the percentage of natural ingredients, with detailed descriptions of each.
Using "the greater good" as a business model, Burt's Bees ensures that all their practises must be socially responsible. The philosophy manifests itself through a preponderance of natural ingredients, environmentally friendly trade policies and humanitarian community support.
Beeswax candles - from Burt Shavitz's leftover supplies - were the foundation for the start of Burt's in Maine during the 1980's. High quality led to bottling and selling of honey, which later was transformed from direct sale into a component for products blended with beeswax - including edible spreads and furniture polish.
The next frontier was personal care.
Highlights of Burt's Bees : 1984 - / $200 - at a High School Craft Fair - grows to $20,000 by the end of opening year. - 1989 - / Zona - a New York boutique- orders hundreds of beeswax candles. 40 additional employees come in to Burt's, and an abandoned bowling alley is the new manufacturing base. 1991 - / Incorporation - Candles, Natural Soaps, Perfumes and - eventual best-seller - Lip Balm - 1993 - / Burt is bought out. Increasing demand and ever-expanding product lines necessitate a move from Maine HQ to North Carolina - site of other personal care line manufacturers. Burt's shifts focus exclusively to personal care products. 1994 - / An 18,000 sq. foot former garment factory in Creedmoor, N.C. is Burt's new manufacturing base. Such automated machines as a former mixer from a Duke University cafeteria are introduced to increase production. Burt's remain steady in their "home made" theme. - 1st retail store opens - / Chapel Hill, N.C. - offering 50 natural personal care products. - Japanese market enjoys an explosive opening. - 1998 - / 1,000 Natural Care Products - 4,000 distribution locations - sales of over $8 million - High-end national retailers such as Whole Foods and Cracker Barrel sign on. - Travel-size skin and hair care lines introduced. - 1999 - / New HQ - Durham, N.C. / Research Triangle Area. - Sugar and milk-based products introduced. - e-commerce website launched - / opens distribution to a much wider, nationwide scale. - 2000 - 2003 - / 1st Toothpaste - 1st Shampoo - Introduction of Baby Bee line/ Infant Personal Care -Profits are dedicated to the preservation of 185,000 acres (750 sq. km) of forest land in Maine, establishing a bond with The Nature Conservancy - an international organisation committed to environmental protection and conservation. - 2004 - / AEA Investors - private equity firm - purchases 80% of Burt's. - 2005 - / Executives Douglas Haensel (GE / Athlete's Foot / 21st Century Newspapers) and Michael Indursky (Garnier/ Unilever) take charge of Executive VP/ CFO (Mr. Haensel) and Marketing/ PR (Mr. Indursky) posts. - 2006 - / Jean Repogle (Unilever/ Skin Care Division) named CEO/ President. - 2007 - / 150 products - 30,000 retail locations - Sales over $250 million - Satellite offices - / US - UK - Ireland - Canada - Hong Kong and Taiwan.
In a stunning development that highlights 2007, Burt's extracts an iron-clad commitment of extraordinarily heightened environmental awareness - including support of environmental organisations and rapid roll-out of Green Product Lines - as a fundamental quid pro quo of sale to Clorox - for an astronomical $925 million.
In "A Letter to Our Loyal Customers" - Burt's pledges to stand steadfast in its roots and values of raising environmental awareness and producing top-quality natural products.
2008 - Burt's announces that they are implementing a Totally Cruelty Free Policy / No animal testing of any kind for all Burt's items.