6 months after our dramatic re-brand we thought it would be a good time to catch you all up on what we've been up to and how the first 6 months have gone down. What have we learned, what have we achieved and what are our future plans?
60 TONNES OF COFFEE SAVED
It’s been a busy 6 months at UpCircle HQ, it’s pretty crazy to take a step back and see how far we’ve come in just half a year. We have now rescued 60 tonnes of coffee from cafes and coffee shops across London, transforming them into our coffee-based skincare range. Based on our current growth rates it is estimated that we will have saved an additional 1000 tonnes in the next 5 years. That’s a pretty exciting prospect.
3 MAJOR RETAILERS!
We’ve also got our new brand into some pretty epic retailers – first we flew into 740 Boots stores across the country, and more recently we launched with Holland & Barrett and Urban Outfitters. Not a bad start.
To account for our new-found shelf presence we’ve increased our list of coffee shop collaborators. When we first started out we were collecting and repurposing used coffee grounds from just one roastery, we now work with approximately 100 coffee houses across London – and our list is always growing! Fortunately, coffee remains as popular as ever, so there’s no issue with supply!
We are also determined to keep on innovating – and this means new products. Saving used coffee grounds was a great starting point for our brand, but we had a lot more than just coffee in our sights! Shortly after releasing our coffee range we released our palm oil free soaps made from residual chai spices that were previously used to brew chai tea.
They went down a storm – the feedback tends to focus on not only their gorgeous scents (mad to think all that goodness could’ve been destined for the bin if we hadn’t stepped in) but also their 100% plastic free packaging. Afterall, there’s no point making sustainable formulations if the packaging falls short.
We had hoped to have our Chocolate Charcoal soap ready a lot sooner, but turns out there's a reason so few people have truly natural chocolate scented products - it ain't that easy to do! Our Cacao Body Scrub was released in May and we've FINALLY approved the Chocolate soap formulation. It's now in the stability testing phase after which follows the actual manufacturing of the bars. We've learned from our mistakes so we won't promise you a release date just yet - but it's on the way, we promise.
IN THE PRESS
The circular economy sits at the heart of what we do – we even named ourselves after it! UpCircle also hints at ‘upcycling’, the process of making something better from things that already exist. Our ultimate mission is to leave the world better than we found it by transforming ingredients that would otherwise be discarded into natural, organic beauty products – better for you, better for the world.
We believe circular beauty is the future – and based on the press attention we’ve been getting recently we think more and more people are joining the movement! We’ve just had a run of four weeks of features in four different articles by The Sunday Times – we couldn’t believe it! But the likes of Forbes, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, The Independent and Refinery 29 have also helped tell our story over the last couple of months. How. Excited. Are. We???
UPCIRCLE DOWN UNDER
Mid July saw the launch of UpCircle in Australia - and we weren't exactly subtle about it. We launched the brand with an event so beautiful it would be hard to forget in a hurry. Breakfast, banquet table, press and bloggers galore, hanging baskets, goodie bags - great vibes all round.
NEW NEW NEW
We are due to launch 3 new products before Christmas. We won’t give too much away just yet but we’ve focused on saving and repurposing fruit stones this time round – packed with lipids and antioxidants – AKA ideal skin food! Luckily, we are also looking to expand our team with at least two new members by the end of the year to help us with all the mayhem. Two became three when William and I (Anna) welcomed Sophie (below) to the team in July, but already we can see that there's plenty more to be done. So, let's grow this family!!
As always, thank you for your love and support along each step of our journey. We appreciate you - and couldn't do it without you.
Onwards and upwards - and here's to the next 6 months!!
Lots of love,
Anna, Will and Sophie x