At UpCircle, we make sustainable skincare products from ingredients which would otherwise be discarded. We’re doing things differently and are now known in the industry as the pioneers of “by-product beauty” or “circular skincare”. When we discovered that more than 500,000 tonnes of coffee grounds that are consumed each year in the UK alone are sent to landfill, we decided to start collecting coffee from cafes across London and transforming them into skincare products. Since launching UpCircle has saved over 350 tonnes of used coffee. Based on our current rates of growth it is estimated that this will rise to 1000 tonnes in the next 5 years. We also repurpose more than ten other by-product ingredients from varied industries, including the argan, tea, juice, date, olive and wood industries. Our brand has seen staggering growth in the last five years, selling hundreds of thousands of products per year worldwide.
Our brand name encapsulates our core purpose: sustainability and promoting the power of the circular economy. UpCircle also hints at ‘upcycling’, the process of making something better from things that already exist. It’s been a gradual process and each product from our range has its own unique provenance given the circular economy element. Their unique story is part of what makes them so special.
Skincare is a crowded market. Lots of skincare brands can claim to be vegan, natural, handmade, organic, cruelty-free etc. and so can we.. but we want to go a step further. How many brands can claim that their products have saved literally hundreds of tonnes of valuable skin-loving ingredients from ending up in landfill? We say, “natural” is the new “normal” and normal is boring. To stand out you have to go a step further and that’s why we create waste-fighting formulations. We are the only brand who recycle coffee grounds into skincare products at scale, so the range is the definition of innovative! Our tagline is “Pioneering skincare that’s regenerative by design”.
We are challenging people’s perceptions of what they consider as waste. Rather than bombarding people with doom and gloom headlines about the scale of environmental issues, we focus on positive change and that we can all make a difference in small steps. Rather than saying 500,000 tonnes of coffee grounds are sent to landfill in the UK each year, we say, each of our face scrubs rescues the equivalent of four espresso shots from being discarded. It’s tangible, it’s uplifting, it makes you feel good, it’s something to be proud to support. We like sharing our ideas for making things better, we like asking questions of our audience, we like being held accountable, we like discussion – we pride ourselves on transparency!