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Sustainable Summer: Lauren Murrell.
When it comes to beauty and skincare, it can be difficult to make sustainable choices. Most of our fave products come packaged in plastic and it's safe to say the majority are packed full of chemicals and unnatural ingredients. These can be super irritating for any skin type, especially sensitive skin, plus their impact on the environment is monumental.
By Sarah London is different. It's all 100% natural and organic and inspired by co-founder Lauren's personal experience of skin sensitivity during and after intense cancer treatment. With a keen focus on sustainability, this skincare brand is doing things differently.
We were lucky enough to chat to Lauren about her brand and why BySarah London have such a keen interest in breaking the mould when it comes to the skincare industry.
Hey Lauren! Please introduce yourself to the nuddy community and tell us a bit about your background and how it links to sustainability.
I’m the CEO and Co-Founder of By Sarah London, an all-natural and organic skincare company that specialises in naturally effective skincare products that are suitable for those with sensitive skin.
However, I definitely didn’t start my career with the ambition of becoming an entrepreneur. During my final year at law school, I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukaemia - with only a 20% chance of survival. During months of intensive treatment, my skin became as sensitive as a newborn’s and reacted to many skincare ranges. My sister, Sarah, not only became my life-saving stem cell donor but she also formulated skincare to help restore my sensitive, fragile post-cancer skin.After returning to law school, I began my career in law in London, New York and the Caribbean - before a category 5 hurricane battered the island I was living on. It was the perfect storm which brought me back to the UK. Sarah I both quit our corporate day jobs and launched By Sarah London together. Since our launch, we’ve won over 20 industry-leading awards for our products, appearing in Vogue, The Times, ELLE and more, as well as recently becoming a certified B Corporation. Joining the B Corp family was a huge accomplishment as we have been committed to people and the planet from the very beginning and it really is the gold standard for sustainability in business.
So, when did your interest in sustainability begin? What *exactly* was it that led you to the path you are on today?
Sustainability has always been important to me - if there’s one thing we’re being reminded of daily, it’s that we are one people and one planet. I definitely wouldn’t say the journey to becoming an entrepreneur was a path I had ever planned; I've found my way here and I'm loving every minute! If I had to narrow it down to one moment, I would say it was seeing the dedication my sister, Sarah, had to creating skincare formulations for me when I was undergoing months of grueling treatment and my skin was shedding like a snake. Being able to work together as sisters truly is a joy that I’m grateful for each day.
In this crazy age that we live in, 'sustainability' can feel like a major minefield. What does the term mean to you?
It means having the courage to make changes now that will reap benefits in years to come. So whether that's supporting brands that share your values around living wage employment or are B Corp certified, those decisions today make for a better world tomorrow.
Who are your BIGGEST inspirations within the environmentalism sphere? Shout out your faves.
I’m inspired everyday by the entrepreneurs we meet who are challenging the status quo and forging their own path! To me, the original pioneers of this change are Patagonia who continue to advocate ambitious and high-impact plans for sustainability, both within their business model and environmental activism. Skandinavisk and Riverford are also two incredible companies, both B Corps, that are dedicated to protecting our planet. The CEO of Skandinavisk is currently the lead of the B Corp Beauty Coalition, of which I’m on the Steering Committee, which aims to improve both social and environmental practices within the beauty industry. Seeing such passion and dedication towards much needed change gives me hope for future generations.
News about the environment can often feel verrryyyyyy overwhelming. Where do you look for informative and reliable resources?
As important as it is to not ignore the hard hitting facts that are often pushed our way, I find that this can, as you say, become overwhelming very quickly and make you feel like no matter what you’re not doing enough. Cultivating social media channels to see the good as well as the bad is so important to remind ourselves that change is happening. Happy Eco News and the Good News section of The Daily Climate are great examples of news outlets that deliver positive environmental news stories.
What are your top 3 tips for someone who is looking to take the plunge into a more sustainable lifestyle?
- Try having one plant-based meal a week (I love Deliciously Ella’s recipes for inspiration). If every family in the UK reduced their meat intake by one meal a week, this would have the same environmental impact as taking 16 million cars off the road!
- Choose reusable and recyclable products. All of By Sarah London’s products are produced in amber glass bottles as glass is 100% recyclable, unlike plastic. You can even make gorgeous flower vases out of our Balancer Oil-to-Milk Cleanser bottles.
- Shop with B-Corps. Getting the B Corp certification is no easy task for a company, meaning customers can be assured that if a company has the B Corp logo, they’re shopping with a company that puts the people and the planet first.