It's been a wild ride from day one to the present day, five years on. Check out our brand timeline and join us on this topsy turvy journey!
LAUNCHING HEAD FIRST IN COFFEE
What better place to test our coffee-based skincare concept than the London Coffee Festival?
The scrubs flew out the door – whoosh! We came, we scrubbed, we conquered. Maybe, just maybe, we were on to something.
LET’S DO THIS!
It was time to take the leap…the UpCircle sibling co-founders Will and Anna quit their jobs and risked it all to nurture their by-product beauty baby!
URBAN OUTFITTERS – OUR FIRST PARTNER
We sent hand-sealed, sellotaped up prototypes to UO HQ, perhaps we were too optimistic? Perhaps not. They loved the scrubs and became our first retail partner.
Geographical boundaries. Who needs them? Not us. We hopped our scrubs over the channel and secured distribution in not 1, not 4, not 6 but 8 European countries over the next 6 months.
JAN - APRIL, 2017
THE PORTFOLIO GROWS
To meet our ever-growing list of retailers (including online giant Beauty Bay) the coffee shop portfolio had to expand. By the end of 2017 we are regularly collecting coffee grounds from 100 artisan coffee shops.
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Storytellers cotton on to our circular skincare mission. During 2018 the brand is featured by the likes of The Daily Mail, The Independent, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Vogue, The Telegraph, Stylist, Grazia, The Evening Standard, Veggie Magazine, Vegan Food & Living and Women’s Fitness. What a page turner.
We achieved our crowdfunding target of £200,000 in just three days and closed the round overfunded by £17,000. Mic drop.
The return of the soap bar. We’re saving coffee, but why stop there? What’s next on our hit list? Chai. We begin salvaging the aromatic spices brewed to make chai syrup, transforming them into new soaps.
INTO THE DEN
The co-founding siblings take their chances against the Dragons… and walk away victorious. The duo received investment offers from 3 dragons and agreed a deal with Touker Suleyman and Tej Lalvani.
NAME CHANGER GAME CHANGER
As our product ranges expand we take the opportunity to unify the brand, unveiling a fresh new look and name. Our circular economy mission is now front and centre: we’re ready for world domination.
NEW YEAR, NEW HOME
The brand has far outgrown the siblings parents’ home. It’s time to move out. We leave a trail of coffee footsteps and set up in a railway arch.. half office, half warehouse!
A panel of Sainsbury’s buyers listen to fast-paced pitches from six beauty brands shortlisted from over 60 companies. UpCircle is chosen as a winner! We make plans to roll our products out in stores later in the year.
SCOOPING UP AWARDS
UpCircle win the FSB London Ethical Green Business of the year AND are re-awarded Natural Products 30 Under 30. Buzzinggggg!
H&B SOUNDS GOOD TO ME!
Just seven months after rebranding we launch our full UpCircle range into the UK’s leading health retailer – Holland & Barrett.
ONLINE SHOPPING MADE EVEN EASIER
UpCircle launches with online grocers Ocado and Farmdrop, as well as online beauty platform Feel Unique. We all love a virtual trolley!
The brand-new fruit stone range hit the shelves just before Christmas, phew!
TONNES OF LOVE
As we begin a new decade we hit a new milestone – 200 tonnes of coffee saved. Not bad for a team of three!
HOW DO YOU ACCESSORISE?
No one like to see a photo of a seahorse cradling a plastic cotton bud. Time for the UpCircle Accessories range, with everything you need to create zero waste bathroom cabinets!
Anna and Will flew to San Fran to help spread the UpCircle story in the USA... Weeks before borders began to close. UpCircle is now available in the states via Ulta, WholeFoods, Credo and Whole Foods! Yeehaw!
The world is hit by a pandemic that no one could have predicted. Our office is back to a team of two, and we pivot our product offering with the release of a brand-new hand wash.
NEW HURDLES, NEW HURDLERS
As we navigate the many challenges that 2020 throws at us, we decide to bring in some new team members to assist! All via Zoom interviews we grow from a team of three to a team of eight between April and June.
ANOTHER NEW HOME
In 2019 we moved from our parents’ house to a railway arch, in 2020 we’ve outgrown our location once again! We move into a swanky new office by the riverside.
We release THREE brand new products featuring FIVE repurposed ingredients! We’re back on Zoom for a virtual press launch!
NEW YEAR PLEASE
We’ve survived a year like no other, but it wasn’t easy! With barely a breath taken from our last product launches we’re already putting plans in place for exciting things to come in 2021.
In preparation for our departure from the EU we need to start prepping our packaging. Our branding team face the slightly painful task of adding language translations to our entire range. Definitely an “It’ll be worth it in the long run” kind of task!
MANY HANDS MAKE LIGHT WORK
January does not live up to its reputation as the “quiet month”. Quite the opposite. Time for a few more teammates. We open 5 more job roles and commence an interviewing marathon!
YOUR WISH IS OUR COMMAND
Our Coffee Body Scrubs switch from aluminium tubes to glass jars, as requested by you guys - and we can tell you appreciated the switch. Our body scrub sales soared!
SOAPS FOR SIGNATURES
We joined the Sarah Everard campaign and offered Soap Bars for signatures, thanks to all who participated. The team grew once again with four more members joining the gang!
REFILLABLES AND AWARDS!
April saw two major highs for UpCircle! We launched our Refill Scheme (props to Sophie L), helping us close the loop (or, as we prefer, circle) on packaging. Anna is honoured in Forbes 30 Under 30, a truly deserved award for one of our co-founders.
RE-LAUNCH INTO EUROPE
In May we took our website overseas and launched our EU website! We’re thrilled to share the UpCircle mission with even more of you. This was a huge help in navigating some of the post Brexit complications too.
SAVING THE 5000
Thanks to you lot, we've saved 5000 pieces of packaging in the first 3 months of launching our refill scheme! Closing the loop is in full swing and we hope to see even more in the future.
SMILE FOR THE CAMERA
We have grown again, welcoming 3 new team members. This only meant one thing, a team photo shoot! Some of the team also took part in a Beach Clean Up, helping clean up some of London’s Thames beaches.
BROADENING OUR HORIZONS
We release THREE brand new products and TWO revamped products, AND moved our Face Scrubs to glass jars! Chaotic, but worth it. An even bigger perk? All products are now available in the UpCircle packaging refill scheme. We also broadened the team again by welcoming a new Marketing team member and another (much needed) pair of hands at our London warehouse.