This week we spoke to Jo Chidley, founder of Beauty Kitchen to learn more about the ethical, Scottish beauty brand.
How did Beauty Kitchen Begin?
This was a dream of mine that was a long time in the making! My background is in chemistry and my hobbies include botany and beekeeping, so I’ve always had a passion for natural beauty. I searched for years to try and find beauty products that were totally natural, sustainable and effective but when I found nothing completely ideal for me, I decided to take matters into my own hands and alas Beauty Kitchen was born.
We began back in 2014, and from the start we’ve followed cradle to cradle principles which mean we are passionate about creating products with the end in mind, creating minimal waste. We like to talk about Beauty Kitchen as being “the sustainable beauty company” – we do things differently because we want to help change the face of beauty for the better.
You’re a Scottish Business – why is it important for consumers to support local and ethical businesses?
Scottish born and bred! We’re located just outside of Glasgow in a small place called Wishaw where we have an amazing team at the Beauty Kitchen HQ. It’s not one of Scotland’s most well-off areas, so it’s one of our long-term goals to bring more jobs and business to the town.
I also believe it’s important for businesses to support their local community in return, which is why I love getting involved in any nearby opportunities. I recently spoke at the Lanarkshire Women in Business talk to encourage more women to explore business and self-employment, which was an incredible experience.
You’ve been voted as a Disruptive Company – what does this mean?
A great question! This is such a compliment to us as it is indeed our aim to revolutionise and shift the way the beauty industry works and views the environmental impact they are creating. It’s estimated that by 2050 there could be more plastic in our oceans than fish…I feel as a business we have a moral obligation to make a change to this.
We’ve just been awarded Skincare Brand of the Year by the Sustainable Lifestyle Awards too which is incredible recognition for us. When it comes to any Beauty Kitchen item, we like to think beyond the actual product too. We’ve designed every element in a way that kick starts the lifecycle all over again to eliminate waste – from the natural and microplastic-free ingredients, to the aluminium and rock paper packaging.
We want to create change without having to compromise on quality! With these small changes, we can create big impact. This is something we’re already doing with our Return • Refill • Repeat program.
Tell us about your Return • Refill • Initiative! How many bottles have you received so far?
This is a new venture of ours that we recently launched to. Shockingly, when it comes to the beauty industry, just 14% of packaging makes it to a recycling plant with only 9% being fully recycled. Recycling has of course been a vital part of sustainable living for years, and although we highlight the significance of this, we champion reusing as a more positive, cost-effective and energy-efficient alternative.
The basis of the initiative is to reuse our packaging as much as possible to eliminate any waste straight from the beginning. We’re receiving more and more of our empties every day. We know that it can be difficult transitioning to a more sustainable lifestyle and so we wanted to make this process as simple as possible for our customers. They can simply post back their empty Beauty Kitchen bottles and jars with the Return • Refill • Repeat logo straight to us free of charge by downloading a postage stamp from our website, in return for money off their next order. Or they can drop the empties off at any Holland & Barrett store in the UK or Netherlands in return for loyalty points.
I know you’re the first beauty brand in the UK to become a fully certified B-Corporation. How does this impact how Beauty Kitchen is run?
Yes, this is such an honour to us! With or without a B-Corporation certification, we would be functioning with the same values and ethos, this just highlights to others the impact we are making. It’s essential for us to function with respect to social and environmental performance and with complete honesty and transparency.
Beauty Kitchen’s ethos is about 100% making a difference. We go above and beyond to source sustainable and environmentally friendly products, but we also want to support the community around us which is why we donate 2% of all sales (not profits) to charity. We currently support a range of charities that are close to our hearts including Plastic Soup Foundation, The Seahorse Trust and In Kind Direct. We want to create a positive example so that other businesses and large corporations can follow suit and think more sustainably about how their businesses are run.
How would you describe Beauty Kitchen in 3 words?
Effective, Natural and Sustainable!
Thanks to Jo Chidley for taking the time to talk to us. If you want the chance to win two pots of Beauty Kitchen Glitter Balm and a set of 4 Vegan Soaps, enter our Social Media Giveaway below!