In conversation with Maggie Hureau
We had a pleasure speaking with Maggie Hureau the head of Social Impact at Harry’s Inc.
Can you tell a bit more about the brand you work for?
Harry’s journey began seven years ago in NYC, USA, when Jeff & Andy (co-founders of Harry’s Inc.) set out to try and fix the shaving category by offering high-quality razors for a fair price. The plan worked. So much so, in 2017 we crossed the pond and brought Harry’s to the UK and now to Europe with the intention to make shaving and grooming better and more accessible for all guys.
Harry’s was set out to be different. So rather than overdesign or overcharge, we prioritize quality craftsmanship, simple design, and fair value for guys who know they shouldn’t have to overpay for a great shave.
As a men’s care brand that cares deeply about men and their lives, we’ve also spent years promoting better mental health care for men and shattering narrow stereotypes about masculinity.
You are working as the lead for social impact at Harry’s. Can you tell us more about your job and what you do on a daily basis?
I may be biased, but I think that I have the best job at Harry’s in that I get to think all day, every day, how we can do better in the world and make an impact in our communities as our business continues to grow. On any given day, I’m lucky enough to work with our nonprofit partners on how to bring their programming to life, working with our brand teams to ensure our customers not only know about our social mission but can find resources themselves or helping our team get out and volunteer and give back (all employees get paid time off to volunteer with organizations of their choice).
Why do you think this goal is important, especially among men?
Mental health is an issue that disproportionately impacts men with millions suffering from mental health issues each year and higher rates of suicide, in part due to the outdated expectations around what it means to be a “man” and therefore unable to ask for help.
Since Harry’s launched in 2013, we’ve given 1% of sales back to causes we care about. A few years ago, we honed in on mental health as a cause area, and we work closely with a number of amazing organizations across the world to drive impact in local communities. By focusing on an issue that directly impacts the customers we serve, our social mission makes sense for our business, and has a real impact in the world.
As a personal care brand that serves over 10 million men worldwide, we’re uniquely positioned to have a big impact on how people talk about their mental health and how easily they can access care.
To date, we’ve reached over 850,000 men making sure they would have access to the mental health care they need. Globally, we have donated over $6M and partnered with 14 charities worldwide.
As a brand that focuses on mental health, what is your biggest outtake from the current period of time we are living in?
When we first decided on this cause area a few years ago, mental health wasn’t a topic everyone was discussing and in many ways there was a stigma around the cause area itself. Now, we’ve all experienced collective trauma together during the pandemic and we find that people are truly embracing mental health as a cause.
The pandemic brought mental health to the forefront worldwide as people from every background grappled with grief, worry, and solitude. Sleep problems and loneliness increased, as did depression and anxiety.
But there is an exciting upside to our collective year of emotional upheaval: People are talking about mental health more than ever before, and experts are encouraged by how much the pandemic has simply helped normalize talking about mental health and seeking help. In fact, we asked our US customers and found that 78% of all consumers agree that mental health is currently in a state of crisis in our country. Over 50% of consumers have struggled with their mental health this year or feel the pandemic has had a negative impact on their mental health. However, only 29% have reached out to mental health professionals during this time. Which tells us that not only awareness is needed but real connection and access to resources.
What does self-care mean to Harry’s?
We look at self care a bit differently at Harry’s! Of course, it means taking time for yourself (which may involve our products,) but we also think true self care is about setting boundaries, saying no when needed and, most importantly, having access to mental health care. While we love our products and think they can help with your self care routine, we also realize there is no substitution for talking to professional mental health providers or asking for help when you need it.
What are your plans for taking over The Netherlands?
Our goal is to make the shaving and grooming experience better and more accessible for Dutch guys. This means being readily available however and wherever Dutch guys want to shop (strolling by the streets and popping to Etos stores or online via harrys.com)—and continue to give to organisations that promote better mental health care for men.