Founded in 2021, the American startup Clapoti had developed a small range of foot care formulas packaged in individual recyclable sachets, including single-use disposable socks. Available for pre-order via the brand’s D2C website, the offer included an exfoliating foot mask, a cream foot mask and a gel foot cleanser, all made from a range of extracts traditional Korean herbs from certified organic farms, such as perilla leaves, green tea and ginger.
Korean-born CEO and founder of Clapoti, Marie Perruchet, said the goal was to bring the authentic sauna experience into the homes of beauty consumers.
“Koreans, they go to the sauna, they soak, they scrub and they relax. And we would like people to have access to it, but from their homes,”Perruchet told CosmeticsDesign-Europe at Cosmoprof Bologna Worldwide in April.
The overall experience of self-care, relaxation and grounding experienced in Korean saunas for several hours, with the larger goal of feeling more comfortable in one’s own skin, was what the brand wanted to exploit, has she declared.
You have the “complete map of your body under your feet”
It was also about highlighting the important practice of foot care from a health and wellness perspective, specifically, Perruchet said.
“Foot care is so important because it helps with blood circulation, it removes toxins and it’s the complete map of your body, under your feet. So at the end of the day, if you don’t take care of your feet, like the rest of your body, they age.
“…We are very excited to bring Asian wisdom to consumers around the world,”she says. “In many countries in Asia, people are suppressing their broadcasts; people know how to take care of their feet. And we believe that in western markets, people either don’t have time to go for a pedicure, or they’re embarrassed to show their feet, or they just don’t know where to start or how to take care of their feet.
And bringing attention to foot care via sauna culture, she said, made sense because this area of wellness was so well known and widely appreciated. “Many countries in the world have a sauna culture, it’s not just Korea,”she says. Russia, Sweden, and many countries in the Middle East all had long-standing bathing cultures, and public baths were a cornerstone in the history of many European countries.
As a result, Clapoti foot care products have held “universal appeal”, said Parakeet.
“It’s something everyone can relate to and we hope more people will have access to the right formulas that work to get smoother skin and feel more relaxed at the end of the day.”
Reversing an “old-fashioned” category
Above all, she said Clapoti wanted to offer a new alternative to a very dated, albeit important, growing and therefore “very promising”.
According to Allied Market Research, the global foot care market will reach €4.57 billion ($4.59 billion) by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 7.1% between 2021 and 2027.
“Today’s market, if you look at where to buy foot care products, they are usually very old-fashioned, very cheap, but very unhealthy products,”she says. “…It is very difficult for people to find modern and attractive products that inspire them to start taking care of their feet.”
And most foot care products on the market, she said, were formulated with high levels of alcohol — an ingredient Clapoti had avoided. The brand has instead focused on using as many natural ingredients as possible related to Korea’s history.
“I wanted to have ingredients that remind us of the Korean experience. Thus, green tea, ginger, perilla leaf which is from the mint family. These are very strong and used in traditional cooking but also have medicinal properties.
“…We are looking to target people who really want access to beauty that is effective and also natural and clean.” she says.
Over the next three to five years, Perruchet said the goal is to secure a presence in major retailers in Europe and the United States.