It all started about three years ago now. My brother William (my co-founder) used to make his own coffee each morning using a cafetière. Living in central London he didn’t have a garden and so didn’t have enough plants he could use the coffee grounds on, so instead he was simply throwing them away. He asked his local coffee shop what they did with their waste coffee and was shocked to hear that they were producing so much that they had to pay the council to have it removed and disposed of on landfill sites.
He decided it was a great starting point for a business idea, but wasn’t sure what that idea was – that’s where I came in. Throughout my teenage years I wanted to be a makeup artist so always had a keen interest in beauty and skincare. I knew that coffee had loads of great skincare benefits, so… lightbulb moment! Why not repurpose the coffee into sustainable circular skincare products?We pride ourselves on making super soft ethical yoga clothes, if your brand had to be remembered for one thing, what would it be and why?
We are proud to be the first brand who has made “circular beauty” its entire focus. Salvaging and transforming leftover natural ingredients into sustainable skincare products is our core mission. We aim to shake things up in the beauty industry by promoting the circular economy – challenging perceptions of what we are currently considering as waste.
Yes, our products deliver results, but they also have unparalleled sustainability credentials: Vegan, handmade, plastic free, palm oil free, recyclable packaging, cruelty free, organic, sustainable, upcycled, made in the UK - we are doing it all, at once, in a way nobody else is.
Put simply, we would like to be remembered as the pioneers of by-product beauty.
We try not to follow trends because they are fleeting and are usually aimed at ‘seducing’ a consumer. Sustainability is not a trend. That is where the issue of greenwashing comes in and as both a consumer and a producer you have to be really careful. We try to be really transparent. The best way to stay sustainable as we evolve is to make sure sustainability is at the heart of every decision at every level… Business cards? Let’s make them out of recycled cups. How do we get to work? We cycle. Wholesale packaging at the office? All recycled from goods received into our warehouse. How can we avoid unnecessary product packaging? Let’s offer customer refills.
As soon as you become complacent quality slips, it is our responsibility to ensure that we are keeping ourselves informed of the latest innovations so that our products are the best that they can be! You’ve mentioned the key element of this in the question, and that is seeing your brand, product or business as constantly evolving – that’s very important to us here at UpCircle.If you could share one tip for someone who wants to live more ethically and sustainably in 2019 what would it be and why?
I would simply reiterate that change happens gradually. Often when people make the decision to try to make more eco-conscious choices they think the first thing that they need to do is throw away everything that they own that no longer suits their new green lifestyle. However, this is counter-productive. There is no point in creating waste in an attempt to try to minimise waste! Use up what you have, and then next time, think about what improvements you can make in each of your purchasing decisions. Or even better, think about whether you actually need to buy each thing you’ve previously owned at all!
I get asked about my skin and makeup routine all the time – people are often shocked by how limited and simple it is. Quality over quantity is what sustainability is all about!
From the current range, if I was forced to only use one product, I would have to go for our serum. I use it every evening to keep my skin properly hydrated. It goes everywhere with me. It’s also a god send when I travel because it’s so multi-functional (hair, eyebrows, cuticles!) My skin can’t get enough! If you don’t believe me, just check the reviews… they speak for themselves!And finally, is there anything you would like to share with our readers?
Try the new UpCircle face moisturiser when it launches.
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You can find out more about UpCircle and their sustainable skincare here...