What do you do when you finish a well-loved beauty product? Some hoard the Instagram-worthy packaging, some make well-intentioned plans to drop it at one of the many recycling schemes now cropping up and some chuck it in the bin with the hopes that it will be recycled correctly. Whatever category you fit into, one thing that's clear is that it's not easy to be an eco-conscious beauty enthusiast when your products will inevitably run out and need to be replaced. Circla hopes to curb that struggle. The new London-based beauty service offers customers a chance to not only have sustainably-minded products delivered to their door but to also get picked up when they're empty. After that, the refill cycle begins and hopefully, you'll have put your single-use plastic packaging days behind you. We spoke to the founder of Circla, Claudia Gwinnutt, to find out more about this venture. 

What motivated you to start Circla?
As I became more educated on the devastation that single use packaging was having on the planet I started to look to make changes into my daily routine and purchases - the problem was that many of the solutions I found either lacked the quality of the products I was using before or were a faff that didn’t suit my lifestyle. I was frustrated that sustainability also seemed to mean compromise on quality and convenience. So I decided to build something that addresses both those problems!

Could you talk us through how the subscription works?
You don’t have to subscribe - we provide an option but given the nature of the business - refills, most customers subscribe. The service is super simple - you order the products you want, we deliver them and when you are finished we collect that empty packaging and replace with a new order.

Many retailers are now encouraging customers to bring back their empties and recycle in store. What do you think of Circla in relation to these types of recycling schemes? Do they complement each other or is Circla the way to go and why?
Recycling has its place as it’s definitely one part of the solution but the problem is that recycling just drives a single use linear model of consumption and that is inherently not sustainable - it’s the model that we need to change. 

How do you feel about the strides made in the beauty industry to become more sustainable? What more needs to be done?
There has been amazing process on ingredients and a huge switch to consumers wanting more local brands - what does make me nervous is that sustainability is complex and there is an enormous amount of greenwashing from brands for example, beauty brands has jumped on the bandwagon for calling products vegan and consumers link this to sustainability but they could be filled with all sorts of ingredients that aren’t sustainable at all.

Any exciting plans in the future plan to expand the beauty brands available?
Yes - by the end of May we will have over 25 brands on the Circla platform.

Start your sustainable beauty journey with Circla here.

More More More!

+ Store Stories: John Bell & Croyden

+ FORGO: From Powder to Liquid

Surprise Me!