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…

Back and chest acne: what you can do

 

If you’re reading this then you’re no doubt keen to know how to get rid of back acne, as well as acne breakouts on your chest. In this post, we’re going to help you find some solutions.

UPCIRCLE CANDLES: Q&A WITH SUBLUCEO

 

We've just added soy candles to the UpCircle range. We collaborated with Subluceo to create them, so we thought we'd catch up with Sophie, the woman behind the brand, to find out more about why she decided to become a candle maker.

From the inside out: 8 foods for clear, healthy skin


While we know the importance of good skincare, we also know that healthy skin comes from within. So here are the best foods for clear skin.

Argan and skincare – a journey from tree to moisturiser

 

We use the finely ground powder of discarded argan shells in our moisturiser – here we share the story of argan and the benefits of argan oil for skin.

Plastic-Free July: Our Tips... (And Your Tips!)

 

It's Plastic-Free July - whoop whoop! 

We've put together a nifty set of tips to help reduce your single-use packaging materials. It may seem daunting, but remember - every little helps!

Skin Care Tips For Sensitive Skin – We Answer Your FAQs

 

We get asked a lot of questions around sensitive skin – from causes to the ingredients to avoid. Here we share our skin care tips for sensitive skin.

How to live a greener and more eco-friendly lifestyle

 

If you’re wondering how to be more eco-friendly and sustainable, you may not know where to start. Here’s our guide on how to live a greener life.

HOMETHINGS (RE)ACTION PODCAST

Check out this podcast recording with Homethings. 

In this episode, "Repurposed Beauty for a Better World", we ask the question: how realistic is a zero-waste lifestyle?

The ultimate summer-ready skincare routine

 

With the summer months fast approaching, we share our recommendations for the ultimate summer-ready skincare routine – whether you have dry or oily skin.

MORE UPCIRCLER SKIN TRANSFORMATIONS!

 

It's all well and good us telling you how great our by-product beauty products are... but of course we're biased - so let's hand over to our customers to do the work for us.
Have a look and a read through some of our latest UpCircler skin transformations!

SPEAKING AS THE WHITE FOLKS ON YOUR TIMELINE

Staying silent in the presence of injustice is a clear sign you side with the oppressor. Being anti-racist requires action.

We want to turn our words into tangible actions. To simply repost another’s resource or a few links feels passive, performative and insufficient...there are two parts to the action we plan to take.

How to calm facial redness and inflammation


We explain the causes of facial redness and share our top tips for how to calm red skin on face, from soothing inflammation to combating rosacea.

UpCircle: Real People, Real Results!

We believe you shouldn’t have to choose between doing the right thing and getting the best results. With UpCircle, you get to enjoy the uplifting benefits of nature’s own skin rejuvenators – and do the planet some good, too

More skin transformations here!!

 

OUTSIDE LANE PODCAST


Outside Lane tells the stories of the people and businesses inspiring coffee culture today. In this episode, Lane Eight owner George chats with Anna about the UpCircle journey to date, day to day life as a brand founder, and how the coffee collecting idea began!

Urban dwellers: what is skin pollution?


What is skin pollution and what are the effects of it on skin? In this post, we explain how to protect skin from sun and pollution naturally.

UpCircle Before and Afters


We use the highest quality ingredients, for the best possible results. You'll feel, and SEE, the difference!

But of course, this is all very easy to say... The proof is in the before and afters of our very own UpCirclers.

What is my skin type?

 
What is my skin type? The answer to this common question isn’t always clear-cut. We explain how to identify your skin type and choose products accordingly.

THE BUSINESS OF KINDNESS PODCAST

Curious about how our repurposed ingredients are transformed from their first life into their next life as an UpCircle product? Check out our interview for the "Business of Kindness" podcast!

What are parabens and why are they so bad?

 
It’s likely that you’ve heard of parabens and their bad reputation. But what exactly are parabens and why are they so bad? In this post, we explain all.

Our top tips for acne-free skin

 
We share our top tips to clear up acne and keep those blemishes at bay. From keeping your skincare regime simple to making some healthy lifestyle changes.

EASTER NO-BAKE MOUSSE CAKE!

 
What's Easter without chocolate? This is one of our favourite cake recipes for 3 reasons: it only requires 4 main ingredients, takes about 15 minutes to make and is a WONDERFUL vegan and gluten-free alternative to cheesecake!!

UPCIRCLE ON BBC RADIO LONDON!


Anna is interviewed live on BBC Radio London, following the huge response to our NHS pamper parcels send out - have a listen in full!

UPCYCLING INSPO: PLANT STAND!

As you might imagine we get through a LOT of rolls of paper tape at UpCircle HQ. We hired Barbs as our warehouse manager a few months ago and soon noticed that she had begun collecting up the inner cardboard tubes from the rolls and taking a box full home each Friday. Have a read to find out why!!

UPCYCLING INSPO: ALUMINIUM TINS!

Upcycling, the process of making something better from things that already exist. We do it in every single UpCircle product, but upcycling can be applied to much more than just ingredients. 

If you made the vegan chilli recipe that we posted last week you will have been left with a few empty tins. Read on to see how you can give them a another life in a new form!

"THERE'S NO FOOD IN THE HOUSE (OR SHOPS!)" RECIPES

Whether you belong in the panic buying crew or the anti-hysteria crew, we can all benefit from some creative home cooking recipes at the moment.

So, we thought we would share with you some of our favourite tasty meals made from pantry-essentials that you hopefully won't have to venture out to buy, but already have in the safety of your home!

WORKING FROM HOME WITH TEAM UPCIRCLE

UpCircle HQ is a pretty quiet place at the moment, as is to be expected. Half of our workforce (2 out of 4 of us!!) are working from home. However, when your job title is "Warehouse Manager" working from home is a bit tricky! Safe to say we've had to get creative and stay open-minded! 

So let's check in with the "at home crew" and see how they're adapting!

IWD: MEET THE WOMEN OF UPCIRCLE

One of the best things about working in a small team? Every one of us is our own boss. This International Women's Day is about how we each make a difference.

So, let's meet the team and celebrate the vital input of each of the UpCircle gals.

The Step-by-Step Guide To Clearer, Brighter Skin

Ever wondered how to create a full skincare regime using UpCircle products? How often to use them and in what order? We've put together a handy step-by-step guide so you can get clued up on how to create your very own skincare routine, with tips on which products to suit your skin type!

How Used Coffee Became Gold Dust

The less coffee we waste the better. Fortunately, a number of clever companies have realised the great potential in leftover grounds.

Here at UpCircle, 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.

 

Deliciously Easy Vegan Pancakes

Easy, simple-to-make vegan pancakes that are a perfect way to start your day. Have a read and prepare to make your own!

UPCIRCLER TESTIMONY

It's easy for us to tell you how amazing our products are... but we're biased!

Have a listen to some vlogger reviews - because you don't need to take our word for it!

INGREDIENT HIGHLIGHT: OLIVE POWDER

UpCircle is now a business deeply ingrained in the olive ecosystem! How? Because we make our Face Mask from the fine powder of discarded olive stones. 

But what is the process that makes this by-product? And how does it go (literally) from farm to face? 

Join us for a celebration of all things olive. 

HOW OUR PACKAGING SHOULD BE RECYCLED

It's that time, you've used every last drop of serum, scrubbed on every last grain of coffee, there is no evidence your balm jar ever even had balm in it. 

But what now...? What should you do with the packaging? In this blog we go through each individual bit of our packaging so you're clear exactly what to do. 

You'll be pleasantly surprised how simple it is.

Exfoliating Tips for Face & Body

In our UpCircle guide to exfoliating, we share our top exfoliating tips for face and body – from what exfoliator to choose to how to exfoliate.

How To Be Sustainable In Your Skincare Routine

With global warming and #zerowaste at the forefront of our minds in 2019, we’re all becoming increasingly aware of the environmental footprint we are leaving. 

Use our easy guide to assess the sustainability of your skincare routine with easy swaps to ensure minimum environmental impact and maximum results!

Blackheads, Whiteheads and the Grey in Between

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?

Your Veganuary Survival Guide

2019 has been hailed “The Year Of The Vegan”. First, we had Beyoncé and Jay-Z asking us to go vegan. Then, Greggs launched a vegan sausage roll. We’re signing up for Veganuary in record numbers. Being vegan has never been more popular!

Becoming vegan, even temporarily, can be a daunting prospect. So we’ve written a handy guide with key information, easy swaps and things to consider for Veganuary!

New Year, new skincare resolutions

 

New Year, new skincare resolutions.

2020 is here, and we've got plenty of suggestions for easy-to-implement skincare regime upgrades!

THE BLACK FRIDAY CONUNDRUM

The reputation: Pushy, desperate, wild-eyed, greedy, excessive... fundamentally unsustainable. 

Not ideal.

So, as a start up ethical brand, centred around sustainability, why have we chosen to participate in Black Friday this year?

Double cleansing – what is it and how do I do it?

Cleansing your skin is absolutely vital! Most of us are city-dwellers, constantly bombarded by airborne bacteria and pollution.

If we don’t properly clean our skin, these toxins and dirt accumulate, contributing to aging, spots and pigmentation.

Healthy-looking skin is clean skin!

Global Womxnhood: Women Creating Change

As a female founded brand, with a predominantly female team, what it means to be a woman in today's society is something we are passionate about here at UpCircle.

This week we have a guest blog from the girl power duo Hannah and Izzy, the founders of shado mag. Read on for a look into some of the different ways women around the world are creating change.

Love Food. Hate Waste. How you can be a guardian of grub!

We’re here to talk food waste. A recent Evening Standard article discussed how fears of climate change are gripping Britain, with over 85% of the population worrying about how our planet is changing!

Read on for top tips to save your food from ending up in the trash - including a couple of fridge-clearing recipes!

INTERNATIONAL COFFEE DAY: OUR FAVE COFFEE SKINCARE RECIPES

International Coffee Day. A global celebration of our favourite beverage... and our favourite skincare ingredient!

So what better way to celebrate than by sharing our top skincare recipes that all feature (you've guessed it) COFFEE!

*OUTOFOFFICE* AT CLIMATE STRIKE

We'll keep this brief, today a global climate strike is under way, with millions of people protesting for an end to the age of fossil fuels and climate justice for everyone.

Team UpCircle is joining the strike, so forgive us for the radio silence - there was no way we were going to miss this.

If you'd like a little more detail on what all this is about, click below.

SUPER TASTY LITTLE'S COFFEE RECIPES!

Our friends over at Little's Coffee have really come up with the goods... this blog contains their top 3 coffee-based cooking recipes. Because yes, you can drink it, you can scrub with it - and you can also eat it! 

And then, just to finish off, a boozy coffee tipple to tie things all together.

So. Click below and stay on board the coffee appreciation train. 

Are you getting greenwashed?


Let's not beat around the bush, being "green" is pretty trendy right now, meaning lots of brands are jumping on the bandwagon, making marketing U turns in a bid to be the most eco of them all. 


How can you spot unsubstantiated or misleading claims? Who is genuine? Who is just riding the wave?

PODCAST: TRASH TO TREASURE: RECYCLING FOOD WASTE

BUSINESS PODCAST FROM GLOBAL COSMETICS NEWS

We were invited to get involved with the Global Cosmetics news podcast. And with a title like this one ☝️ we practically ran to the studio. 🏃

Click the button below to listen in full!

The Optiat / UpCircle Rebrand - Our First 6 Months!

 
It's now just over 6 months since we switched up our brand, waving goodbye to Optiat and hello to UpCircle.

But how has it all gone? What have we achieved and what have we learned? And, perhaps most importantly, WHAT'S NEXT?

Sweat Vs. Skin. Can Both Sides Win?


Once we're off our bums and at the gym, there seems to be no downside to getting in a good workout — that is, unless post-workout pimples begin to appear.

We hand over to fitness correspondent Molly for her expert tips in managing the workout / breakout conflict.

Did Someone Say Chocolate?

ICYMI: We just dropped our brand new Cacao and Coffee Body Scrub and unsurprisingly the orders went flying out the door. Why unsurprisingly? Can you name one better pairing than chocolate and coffee? We'll wait.

These two are the GOAT. The MVPs. The OGs. So, in celebration of all things chocolate, we've gone into more detail about why it is that we're all so obsessed, and why its not just the taste that's drawing us in.

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