The Ideas Factory
We're restlessly determined to make products that leave the planet better than we found it. We do things differently – and love sharing our ideas for making things better.
Each week we add to our blog, posting everything from DIY beauty recipes, waste-fighting tips, UpCircle guides and interviews with people and brands who inspire us.
Welcome to the UpCircle blog, we hope you enjoy reading…
Let’s be honest, many of us don’t do as much recycling as we could do. It's not easy to recycle, especially when we don’t see the harmful effects of it, but it’s high time we all turned a little bit more green.
So we've created a handy, go-to recycling guide to make being eco-friendly easier for everyone, including what the recycling symbols mean and some helpful hints on how to recycle smarter.
Masala chai, or chai tea to many of us, is one of the most well-loved drinks in the world. Born in India as an ancient remedy to aches and pains, it is now the new cafe staple. But what is chai? How is it good for us?
Read on to find all about what health benefits chai holds and how we give residual chai spices a new lease of life.
Palm oil is one of the most widely used ingredients in the world, hiding away in everything from bread to shampoo. However, its use has made the news for all the wrong reasons, leading to more and more people jumping off the palm bandwagon.
Read on to find out why palm oil is so controversial and what alternatives are out there.
Society deems it unacceptable to take sweets from strangers or terrify the neighbours, yet on Halloween it’s actively encouraged. However, all of the face-paint, sugar-laden goodies and repetitive grimacing can leave your skin looking a little worse for wear.
Bring your skin back from Zombieland with our original DIY spiced pumpkin latte facemask. Who says your pumpkin has to go to waste?
What was the biggest surprise for us going on the show? Spending over three hours being grilled by the Dragons! Standing the whole time, with bright lights beaming at you, answering question after question.
We had no idea what the BBC would decide to show on TV. It could be the worst moment of our lives: embarrassed in front of millions, laughed at and kicked out of the Den. It was terrifying!
It's often been said that only two things in life are certain; death and taxes. However there is one more one thing that's for sure - the fact that no-one likes to see waste.
Keep that chin up though, there are plenty of ways in which everyone can minimise the amount of waste they produce. So delve into our handy guide and help yourself to help everyone. It’d be wasteful not to.
Hemp is still a mystery material to many people, associated with the kind of baskets carried around by aged hippies - but it's so much more than that. It's an amazing, sustainable and totally vegan material that we just love.
In this article, the Optiat team are here to guide you into the unique world of hemp products.
To chill out, relax and take a load off your mind, there's nowhere better than a day at the spa. Aromatherapy, massages, body scrubs - being seriously pampered is always a great way to spend your time.
In this article, the Optiat team are here to guide you through the spa-going process, to take you to a seriously chilled out world.
According to a quick scour of the internet there are many uses for charcoal, only some of them made up. However, throw into the mix the word 'activated' and suddenly there's a whole world of confusion.
Read on to help tell the fact apart from fiction.
Does caffeine-infused skincare really make you glow or is just your imagination saving you from the embarrassment of paying for snake oil?
Fortunately the boffins in the lab have worked long and hard to get to the bottom of this contentious issue. So grab a coffee, take a sip and read on. Their findings might just cause a bit of a buzz.
It can often seem as though the world's gone a bit gloomy. Oil spills, smoke-spewing factories and unbearable temperatures forcing people to stock up on suncream.
At Optiat we think a different future is possible, a better future. So throw open your blinds and look out. The year is 2040, it's bright outside. Welcome to another possibility.
We’re not one for hyperbole, but we don’t believe we’re exaggerating when we say coffee is quite literally the greatest thing ever.
As such we feel like it’s our duty to help unmuddle the most impenetrable of subject areas - the coffee shop menu.
In the early days people used a fair bit of meat. Cavemen would sit around a fire after the sun had set, boasting about how many gazelles they’d brought home that night.
However nowadays veganism isn't just accepted, it's become a mainstream movement. Come join us on a journey to find out what changed over all those years.
The less coffee we waste the better. Fortunately, a number of clever companies have realised the great potential in leftover grounds.
Here at Optiat, we’re fully on board with that message, and in the spirit of innovation, have lovingly compiled a list of a few of our faves.
Watch the TV for a while and, sure enough, you’ll likely be treated to an advert for some kind of acne skincare - normally involving a 20-something-year-old actor pretending to be a teen with a pimple.
One question though. What actually is a pimple, and how do you get rid of them?
Where coffee comes from is still a mystery to many. Regardless of the reasons, we feel it’s not only important, but fascinating to know a bean's journey from shrub to scrub.
So put on your adventure boots and join us, it's going to be quite the ride!
Microbeads, remember them? They’re those tiny dots that were all the rage a few short years ago. Open virtually any facial cleanser and there they were, glittering in the bathroom light.
Why did they become so popular though? And, more importantly, why did they fall from grace?
In 2011 the first "organic water" hit the shelves of America, well and truly confirming the fact that people will, indeed buy anything.
However, getting under the skin of organic labels shows that there's more than meets the eye, so come - have a peek with us.
Have you ever picked up a bottle of shower gel and seen that little squiggly sunflower symbol on the bottle? It’s often small but the meaning behind it is huge. It's vegan skincare.
Here are just a few reasons that its benefits are more than skin deep.
This weekend marked the official 2nd birthday of Optiat.
We love looking back to see how far we have come between our three experiences at the show, from day zero, to year one, to year two. We thought it would be fun to take a look back at snapshots from each year!
A couple of weeks ago we went to Vevolution festival to pitch Optiat at the Pitch + Plant Dragons’ Den Competition.
We were delighted to walk away as the winners!
We've got two brand new stockists to announce! Optiat scrubs and face masks have recently launched in all five As Nature Intended stores as well as the beautiful Fenwick store on Bond Street!
Some of the most successful people in the world claim to thrive off 3 or 4 hours a night. Is this realistic or sustainable?
We discuss the issue of sleep in our blog post below!
It's no secret that an awful lot of us absolutely love drinking coffee. However, unfortunately the coffee industry isn’t as green as we’d like it to be.
Find out more about how we at Optiat are trying to make a change!