The mascara which could help cure blindness in the Pacific

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Seven Sharp

Two young Kiwi women are selling mascara with the help of a Kickstarter campaign in the hopes of cureing avoidable blindness in the Pacific.

Two Wellington women are attempting to change the cosmetics world with their new beauty brand.
Source: Seven Sharp

Hannah Duder and Bonnie Howland, both in their early 20s, met a few years ago on a trip to Kenya for young entrepreneurs.

"Obama was co-hosing this conference it was about entrepreneurship. It was just so fun," says Bonnie.

Now the pair are going beyond their wildest dreams and are launching their beauty company Indigo&Iris with the first product - Levetate mascara.

"This mascara is the best mascara I've ever used," says Bonnie.

"It's vegan, doesn’t test on animals, has coconut oil from Samoa, but it’s just the product – the product is insane."

Not only is the mascara sustainable, it's also socially responsible, with half of the profits going to The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ which helps restore eyesight.

"Every time we sell one we're helping someone gain their sight which is just an incredible change to someone's life," says Hannah.

"So as you're putting on the mascara in the mirror you know you can really think, 'wow we've helped someone restore their sight', which changes someone's life."

It's a feel-good project which Indigo&Iris want Kiwis to support through crowdfunding.

"Kickstarter is our way of kick-starting our business," says Hannah.

"We need our crowd to go on, prove they want the product and purchase the mascara and we have to reach our target of $75,000.

"If we don't get the money, no one gets mascara, and we don't get to help end avoidable blindness."

So far the pair have exceeded their goal of $75,000 and have currently raised $113,990.

The business partners' hard work is already getting international attention, securing them an invitation to one of the fashion world's biggest events.

"Yeah, basically we've been invited to New York Fashion Week. One of the most amazing events of the entire year in fashion to launch Indigo&Iris globally," says Hannah.

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