Niomi Smart is a content creator, author of best-selling cookbook Eat Smart. She started her online career around 8 years ago on YouTube: “I had just graduated from University, studying law, but realised that it really wasn’t the career path for me. Instead, I somehow fell into the world of social media. Back then it was a very different place, and I used to vlog as a hobby and a way to be creative and talk about the things I’m passionate about like beauty and a plant-based lifestyle.”
With a global following of more than 4.6 million across her digital platforms, Niomi puts conscious living at the heart of everything she does, sharing her learnings on sustainability and how we can all make small changes that together, can make a huge difference to protect our planet.
“Over the years my online presence has changed, I still only talk about my passions, beliefs and ethos but it’s now a lot more about well-being – things like conscious beauty, sustainable fashion and learning to love yourself. It’s been quite a journey and it’s opened so many doors.”
Niomi Smart Swap: where it all started
As an advocate for sustainability, Niomi is the founder of Smart Swap; one of the most successful clothes swap parties in the UK, with her latest event having been sponsored by BBC Earth: “I had the idea to gather women together for a fun Smart Swap party, to swap each other’s clothes instead of going out and splashing the cash on new ones. One person’s ‘old’, becomes another person’s ‘new’!”
She worked on a Stacey Dooley documentary called ‘Are Your Clothes Wrecking the Planet?’ where they looked into ways we can become more sustainable when it comes to fashion: “So many women have clothes at the back of their wardrobe that they haven’t worn in a long time, and probably never will again. We are under constant pressure to keep on top of trends, making us feel like our current clothes are old fashioned, even if they’re only a few months old.”
She also hosts educational video series, Smart Chats on her YouTube channel in which she discusses topical matters with figures of note from within the wellness and sustainability space.
The beginnings of My Smart Skin
Last year, Niomi was the UK face of L’Oreal Botanicals, the all-natural, vegan haircare brand and is a proud ambassador for Women for Women International; an initiative to provide women survivors of war with the tools they need to rebuild their lives: “I see my platforms online as an invaluable opportunity to spread these messages, and share what I am learning along the way of this journey into sustainability. We are all responsible for doing our bit and making the small changes that together can make a huge difference.”
Like most successful creators, Smart is always looking for ways to make a positive impact on her audience and educate in an engaging way.
Her latest project, Smart Skin, was born from a need to create a space that encourages smart choices, celebrates passion and allows people to take the time to reconnect with themselves during their skincare ritual.
“I’ve been living a plant-based lifestyle now for years, so skincare being cruelty-free and vegan is incredibly important to me. I really wanted to create my own brand that was exactly what I was looking for” she points out.
“Smart Skin ticks all of the boxes and incorporates the things I’m passionate about; being vegan, using sustainable packaging, natural ingredients etc. I came up with a list of things that I love and I created it so I’m really proud to finally share it with the world.”
The beauty industry as a whole is working to become more environmentally aware, Smart agrees that there is still a long way to go but people are becoming more aware of what to look for now, and that’s a really positive thing. Nevertheless, prioritising sustainability comes with its challenges which is why this brand has been two years in the making.
“We searched far and wide for manufacturing partners who share our vision for creating skincare and beauty products that are kinder to ourselves and to our planet” explained Smart “We work with amazing companies like the FCS to ensure all of our packaging is made from certified recycled card, and all of our products are cruelty-free, vegan and with 95% natural yet high-quality ingredients. We got our COSMOS certification prior to launch which was huge and meant that all of the hurdles were completely worth it.”
Celebrating strong women
This whole venture is not just about Smart, as it is thoroughly inspired by her audience and some very strong women – particularly those who just ‘make it happen’.
The creators, adventurers, innovators, heroes, entrepreneurs and artists who take on the world day after day and pursue their dreams: “For the September launch, we are championing 7 amazing women whose stories motivate me. Kitti for example, trained to be an accountant but took a huge risk to follow her heart and launch a web design and branding business on her own. Francesca is paving the way for black women in geography, Bella is training to be a doctor and works with autistic children to give them a voice in the world of healthcare.”
This launch campaign is perfectly in line with her mission is to build a community of like-minded people to share our ideas and discoveries with, aiming to provide educational resources for those who wish to expand their knowledge into ethical beauty and wellbeing:
“This is what Smart Skin is all about: being YOU, celebrating being in your own skin, making a positive change in the world and doing better by our people and our planet.”
“The debut range consists of five, carefully curated products, so it seems a shame to neglect one! I would say that my favourite product at the moment is the Golden Jelly Cleanser. The jelly-like texture melts down and turns milky when mixed with the water to get rid of any last traces of dirt or makeup – it’s so refreshing and smells amazing!”
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Amy is a plant-based food blogger, recipe developer and content creator behind Nourishing Amy. She focuses on food, health and happiness to promote a nourishing lifestyle and regularly shares her positive vibes, inspirational affirmations and food creations on her social media channels and her website.