How Every Man Jack Delivers A Conscious Skin Care Routine

Simon Mainwaring
6 min readOct 10, 2023
Photo Provided By Every Man Jack

Isn’t there always a little dirt behind the ears no matter the amount of striving toward Clean?

Hair. Body. Skin. Beard. Is there any reason why men don’t deserve an affordable, effective personal care product line that’s also “Clean” in the way so many new women’s brands are coming to market?

Would men rather begin their day applying tocopheryl acetate and propylene glycol — or coconut oil and aloe vera — to the only body they’ll ever have?

Not anymore, they wouldn’t. Today’s consumers of Gen Z and Y, says Gerry Chesser, CEO of Northern California’s Every Man Jack, actively seek more healthful and enviro-conscious options for their grooming needs. “Everything they need — and nothing they don’t,” Chesser says.

The pioneering men’s grooming and personal care brand Every Man Jack was founded in 2006 by triathlete entrepreneur Ritch Viola. It has steadily grown a loyal troupe of brand ambassadors who share the company’s commitment to using only high-quality, natural ingredients with zero harmful chemicals, says Chesser.

Keep it Clean, Boys!

Conceived by Viola at the base of Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County, California, a hotbed of clean-, active-, and outdoor-focused lifestyles, the company set out to redefine the men’s grooming landscape, and that’s just what it did, says Chesser.

Today, Every Man Jack’s annual revenue exceeds $100M.

From the beginning, Every Man Jack embraced the simple philosophy of “better for you.” That means “Clean ingredients like activated charcoal and shea butter, [which are] not only ‘better for you,’” Chesser argues, “but they’re more effective than harsh, lab-designed chemicals.” They’re also better for the planet, and that’s more than an ancillary benefit: It’s core to the company’s philosophy, the spirit of its branding.

Chesser, with a background at Method, OLLY, OWN, and Clorox, has been helping codify the company’s commitment to sustainability with two main focuses: Honing an internal culture and brand identity that wholly aligns with its purpose, and executing practical proof of the company’s vision that the world can both see and benefit from.

One pinnacle of Chesser’s process was the company’s achieving public benefit corporation status in 2022. Every Man Jack achieved that Certified B-Corp status by virtue of its “robust mission statement, social and environmental decision-making, and implementation of anti-corruption practices and code of ethics.”

Getting the formulation just right

In a world where business often faces tension between profit and sustainability, Chesser’s approach at Every Man Jack is refreshingly pragmatic. He recognizes that achieving sustainability in a complex global supply chain is an ongoing progression rife with “inherent challenges,” he says, especially for smaller companies in an industry dominated by giants that are household names.

Chesser believes that the key to cleaning up faults along the journey to full sustainability is “continuous improvement, striving to do better each year, and making thoughtful decisions that align with the company’s values.”

“To break it down very simply, we can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” says Chesser. “There are tradeoffs we make every day.” And much of the process involves a trial-and-error methodology. “If we look at things like sustainability, there is no perfect answer. Whether it’s the global supply chain or making sure that you have a product that people want to buy, there are inherent tradeoffs. It’s progress — not perfection. And in a lot of decisions, we’re making those trade-offs.”

Partnering for progress: Don’t throw out the man with the bathwater

The company has established partnerships that do not require any tradeoffs, with various environmental and social organizations, such as the National Forest Foundation, Big City Mountaineers, and Rainbow Railroad (The latter rehouses LGBTQ+ people who’ve been victims of abuse and discrimination). Every Man Jack also dedicates a portion of its profits to support relevant causes. The leadership doesn’t see that (loss of “profit”) as a tradeoff, but rather a fulfillment of the company’s purpose.

But, rather than rejecting partners who might not immediately meet strict sustainability standards, Every Man Jack seeks to work collaboratively with them to improve practices. Chesser believes in giving partners “an opportunity to evolve,” fostering a sense of collaborative leadership and shared responsibility.

So, even if a potential partner is struggling with how to reduce its carbon footprint or waste creation the way Every Man Jack is, “We want to work with them. I don’t think we’re serving them if we just abandon somebody who’s otherwise a good partner and who’s doing a lot of good things.”

Selling Every Man Jack & the Big Guys on sustainability: no snake oil here!

That certain tolerance for the imperfect does not mean Chesser and his company aren’t ambitious in their goal-setting. “By 2025, we aim to achieve [certified] Clean formulation standards for all our products,” he says. That means “meticulously evaluating each ingredient for its impact on human health and the environment.”

Of its product line, Chesser says the company “strives to use as many Naturally Derived and plant-based ingredients as possible, while still delivering exceptional performance. No parabens. No phthalates. No dyes. No GMOs. And never tested on animals.”

Additionally, the company is focusing on packaging standards, emphasizing the principles of reduce, reuse, and recycle to minimize its ecological impact. As of now its bottles are made with 50 percent PCR (post-consumer resin), “and we are always striving to do more,” Chesser says.

How do you tell this story of pragmatic striving to the public? Sure, says Chesser, new generations of men are absolutely more savvy and demanding when it comes to sustainability and eco-friendliness and social justice — but that doesn’t mean consumer adoption is not still a persistent challenge for Every Man Jack.

Take those environmentally sustainable packaging improvements. The company’s sustainable alternatives sit squarely amid product categories slavishly reliant on traditional eco-toxic packaging, Chesser says. “If you are into something like deodorant, it’s a plastic business.” And he acknowledges that “for a smaller company, it can be challenging to introduce innovative eco-packaging due to limited resources for marketing and consumer education.”

Nonetheless, the company’s determined, diligently working internally as well as with partners to find innovative solutions and educate consumers about the benefits — if not the necessity — to evolve the entire industry toward a more circular economy. But, Chesser laments that although “There’s no intentional conversations in the industry for us as a small company,” there’s an obvious way to influence the Big Guys with whom Every Man Jack shares shelf space: “We’re just trying to do the best we can and drive and be successful. And I think that success is a good model.”

In this way, in fact, Every Man Jack “Aspires to become an exemplary corporate citizen and set a standard for ethical business practices in the industry,” the company says.

To engage consumers effectively, Every Man Jack maintains open channels of communication. It strongly emphasizes transparency, ensuring customers can access detailed info about its ingredients, policies, and social and environmental initiatives.

The company uses a state-of-the-art CRM system to gather feedback, complaints, and compliments, which informs its product development and marketing team’s efforts. “We should be really listening to what our core consumer is telling us, and being honest about what we hear.”

Again, unusually unidealistic for a visionary leader in an age of possible Clean-washing.

If you’d like to dive deeper with more purpose-led companies like Every Man Jack, check out the Lead with We podcast here, so that you too can build a company that transforms consumer behavior and our future.

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Simon Mainwaring

Founder/CEO brand consultancy, We First, bestselling author of We First and Lead With We, host of podcast, Lead With We.