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50 Leading Companies of the Year 2018

An Interview with The Palmers, TropicSport Co-founders ‘Our Reef-friendly Mineral Sunscreen Products are Designed to Protect you and the World you Love’

thesiliconreview-tony-palmer-lisa-palmer-co-founders-tropicsport-18“We are continually pursuing new ways to improve products, our packaging and, at the same time, finding other like-minded organization to partner with.”

The next time you take a dip in the warm waters of the Caribbean or Hawaii, think about this — you aren’t just swimming in seawater. There may also be as many as 82,000 kinds of chemicals from personal care products that have made their way into the world’s oceans, according to a report by Marine Life, a marine conservation NGO. And one of the biggest and most permanent contributors to this massive pollution is sunscreen. In 2015, it was estimated that around 14,000 tons of sunscreen are ending up in the world’s coral reefs and causing irreparable damage.

In light of the above-mentioned scenario, we’re thrilled to present TropicSport.

The company manufactures a complete line of reef-friendly mineral sunscreens, as well as after-sun face and body cleansers and moisturizers in a complete skincare system that protects, cleanses and replenishes.

TropicSport sunscreen products are made from non-nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide which is key to shielding the skin from the sun’s harmful rays in a non-goopy formula that doesn’t leave a ghostly white glow. It is one of the only sunscreens on the market that meets the U.S. FDA 80-minute and Australian 240-minute water resistance tests, which is three times longer than others on the market. Free from harsh, active chemicals that harm our bodies and the planet such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, avobenzone and octocrylene, TropicSport is safe for your skin and the earth. All products come in recyclable containers and are environmentally friendly.

The company was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

Lisa and Tony Palmer,

Co-founders of TropicSport, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Why was the company set up? And how did you expand your company and its offerings over the years?

Tony: After taking a long break from surfing, one holiday in Australia I was back in the water teaching my young twins how to surf. I quickly realized how much damage had been done to the ocean from so many things including pollution, global warming and chemical sunscreens. Having grown up in the water, I had a lot of friends who suffered from skin cancer. My research showed that chemical sunscreens were not only toxic to the reef but also that they get into the bloodstream and are toxic to people. As a Lymphoma survivor, the fact that chemical sunscreens are absorbed into your blood and are hormone disruptors – was extremely personal to me. Armed with that knowledge, I was inspired to protect my young children and others I care about by creating a non-toxic highly effective, aesthetically pleasing product. It wasn’t long before I started embarking on the four-year product development journey which would become TropicSport sunscreen.

What kind of responses have you received from your consumers over the years?

Lisa: Most of our customers are very environmentally conscious like ourselves. The response to the brand and product has been incredibly positive from those who have used it. The only negative feedback has been that it is expensive. However, once people realize it lasts for four hours, they understand that the cost per use is actually on par with others. One main reason our product is expensive is that we use only uncoated, non-nano titanium dioxide and non-nano zinc to ensure that no harm to the reef or people can occur.

“Earning trust and respect of consumers all around the world is through consistent focus on delivering high quality in all of our actions.” How do you interpret this statement?

Lisa: That could be one of our mission statements. There are many less expensive mineral sunscreens on the market made by big and small brands. We have not made any compromises on quality or aesthetics. We also focus on a truly seamless purchase and delivery experience and exceptional customer service. Our aim is 100% customer satisfaction.

For example, we have found that many companies will put ‘reef safe’ on their containers even though they have simply removed one bad ingredient only to be replaced by another harmful one. In our case, you get a great product that is good for you, good for the environment and lasts three times as long.

How do you stay relevant to the consumer interests and needs in this highly volatile market?

Lisa: We are ahead of the curve as our product is harmless; it does not contain any ingredients that were banned by Hawaii. Also, our goal is to reduce waste by putting an end to single-use plastic samples. We will be fielding our larger 32-ounce container, instead.

If you have to list five factors that have been/are the biggest asset to your organization, what would they be and why?

  • The best mineral sunscreen product on the market
  • Customers and world-class
    brand ambassadors that truly love our product and are maniacal about our brand
  • Product launch coincided with the market disruption brought on by Hawaiian ban on chemical sunscreens
  • Board can rival that of a fortune 500
  • Management team is comprised of industry experts

How do you and your company contribute to the global IT platform and society at large?

Lisa: From inception, the business was conceived as a technology company. Our priority is improving the customer experience by collecting and analyzing our customers’ behavior.

Moreover, we believe in giving back to like-minded organizations and donate up to 20 percent of sales to organizations that protect our health, children, families, communities and the environment.

Do you have any new products ready to be launched?

Lisa: We just launched a mineral face stick and lip balm. And soon we will be launching SPF50 – our much-awaited product.

Where do you see your company a couple of years from now?

Lisa: Our mission is dictated by 3Cs, care for you, care for the Ocean, and care for the communities. In pursuit of this, we are continually pursuing new ways to improve products, our packaging and, at the same time, finding other like-minded organization to partner with.

The Palmers: A Brief Background

Tony Palmer & Lisa Palmer, Co-founders: The husband-and-wife team has a successful track record of leading outstanding businesses. Tony has had a long career in senior rolls within the consumer goods industry. Lisa worked in finance and as a fashion buyer before staying at home to raise the couple’s now 16-year-old twins.

“We are ahead of the curve as our product is harmless; it does not contain any ingredients that were banned by Hawaii.”