On Monday, Rebundle, a St. Louis plant-based hair extension company, reportedly landed $1.4 million in early-stage funding through M25, a venture firm focused on investing in the Midwest, said CEO and co-founder Ciara Imani May to TechCrunch.
May, along with Danielle Washington, now Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, raised six-figures worth of grants and other non-dilutive financings, she said to the outlet before the firm’s initial investment.
Rebundle is the first hair brand to manufacture and sell non-toxic and biodegradable hair extensions, according to its site. May wanted her company to address the health and environmental discrepancies in the hair extensions industry and create sustainable beauty products that remove synthetic hair waste.
In addition, she intended for Rebundle to provide Black women a replacement to synthetic material that causes scalp irritation, May said to Teen Vogue in a July 2021 interview.
One of the extension lines, named Braid Better, was created with banana fiber as its main ingredient, and it comes in various colors like black, blonde, brown, auburn, blue, and pink.
Adding the color pink to their product offerings is especially important to the company because May noticed the irregular statistics concerning Black women and breast cancer. Rebundle found that Black women are excessively exposed to breast carcinogens linked to their personal care and beauty products.
The company shared on their blog, “We’re [ Black women] also at the highest risk of severe health impacts from the disease. 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.”
Although it has temporarily halted this service, Rebundle offers recycling assistance through the mail to sustainably dispose of extensions, even plastic, synthetic hair. The hair is separated by plastic, shredded, and reimagined into outdoor furniture and lawn and garden tools.
Approximately 30 million pounds of plastic, synthetic hair occupies US landfills annually and Rebundle collected 235 pounds of synthetic hair extensions before they stopped their service.
May is building production facilities in the United States and will use the money raised to develop and invest in her team and supply chain.