Meet the faces who are taking the beauty world by storm… using “unloved” leftovers. That’s exactly what Anna and her brother William from UpCircle are doing by transforming used coffee grounds into vegan, ethical and sustainable skincare.
With a passion for skincare and previous experience in logistics and management, it seemed like a no brainer for Anna to join forces with her brother William to change the face of the beauty industry in 2016 with UpCircle. The sibling co-founders have launched their by-product beauty range with Boots, Sainsbury’s, Holland & Barrett, Ocado, Urban Outfitters, Beauty Bay, Whole Foods, As Nature Intended, House of Fraser, Feel Unique, Farmdrop, Revital and many more!
Nothing is safe from being UpCircled – only our imagination can limit us! You get out what you put in, after all.
What is the story behind UpCircle? What does it mean?
At UpCircle, we elevate leftover natural ingredients, bringing them back to life as beauty products your skin will love. Our brand name encapsulates our core purpose: sustainability and promoting the power of the circular economy.
The circular economy sits at the heart of what we do. 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.
Working with your brother must be interesting?! How do you two get on?
Interesting is one way of putting it!! It’s certainly not always plain sailing! But I actually think one of the main reasons our business works is because of how different we are – I don’t think either of us would have managed without the other! What William is good at, I am terrible at and vice versa.
One life lesson I have learned is to just to roll with the punches. I’ve developed an unfaltering ability to dust myself off and keep going no matter how big, or how frequent, the disasters!
There’s no denying that working alongside a sibling is quite the experience – we’ve had our fair share of flare-ups. It took us a little while to establish who would do what, but now I think we’ve nailed the balance! Dragons’ Den was the perfect example – there’s no way we would have walked out with such success if we had gone in without the other sibling!
What other beauty brands can claim that their products have saved literally hundreds of tonnes of valuable ingredients from ending up in landfill?
Our products are natural, organic, vegan, cruelty-free, palm oil-free, sustainable, handmade in the UK and housed in 100% recyclable packaging. But the key point of difference between us and other brands is that each of our products is made with a core repurposed ingredient. “Natural” is the new “normal” – we go a step further with our waste-fighting formulations.
No other beauty brand is doing what we do, we are pioneering the by-product beauty movement.
I see by-product beauty as a big thing for 2020 in the industry! Although I am of course biased!
Aside from this, I would also say that waterless skincare formulations will be a big trend as well as brands implementing returns schemes for their packaging.
Start-up life can be tough – how do you find time for a little TLC?
Time with my friends and family is crucial to my happiness so I always try to weave my work life around that. William and I work together to ensure that we support each other so that our personal lives and our out of work priorities are unaffected – it’s one of the major perks of owning a business with a family member.
What are your favourite forms of self-love?
It may seem too obvious but honestly, the biggest one for me is ensuring that I get a good night’s sleep. Sleep is THE main factor in my general well-being and happiness. I cannot enjoy anything if I am exhausted and I cannot propel my brand forward if I have no energy either. It took me a while to figure this one out… but it’s SO important. I also love my bed. And dreams. And being cosy. So… sleep is definitely my fave one!!
Do you have any daily non-negotiables that make you feel like your best?
I live next to Battersea Park, so when I get in I like to go for a jog around the park just to unwind. Running allows me time to think – and makes me feel amazing when I’m done! It’s my favourite form of exercise (although I am also partial to a spin class too!).
What are your three favourite UpCircle products and how will they help up show a little self-love?
1. I use our soaps as my daily cleanser (I vary the scents on a loop!). What I love about our soaps is that they smell beautiful, they last ages and they don’t dry my skin out at all. Our soaps are organic, 100% natural and made with a coconut oil base, so they don’t leave your skin feeling tight or stripped of moisture. They’re also gentle enough to be used on either the face or body so they’re really versatile too. Our soaps are the first thing I pack in my wash bag when I go on holiday!
2. Second fave is our moisturiser – I just think the texture is unbeatable. It’s so light and yet deeply hydrating. It doesn’t feel greasy and makeup sits really well on top of it.
3. The mention of makeup brings me nicely onto my third top pick – our Cleansing Balm. The balm melts onto your skin as you massage it in, lifting off dirt, grime and all traces of makeup – including mascara. It’s magic! It leaves my skin glowing, I’m obsessed.
With a passion for skincare and previous experience in logistics and management, it seemed like a no brainer for Anna to join forces with her brother William when he had the idea to form a business based on transforming used coffee grounds. Since launching in 2016 UpCircle have taken the beauty world by storm. The sibling co-founders have launched their by-product beauty range with Boots, Sainsbury’s, Holland & Barrett, Ocado, Urban Outfitters, Beauty Bay, Whole Foods, As Nature Intended, House of Fraser, Feel Unique, Farmdrop, Revital and many more! Nothing is safe from being UpCircled – only our imagination can limit us!