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Not your average daily grind

BEAUTY UpCircle Beauty has its origins in discarded coffee grinds and food waste—now, this environmentally conscious and socially responsible brand has gone international




Above, from top: Siblings Anna Brightman and William Brightman. Natural skin care from UpCircle Beauty, with various items and bundles.


They say one person's rubbish is another's treasure. It’s even better when that treasure combats environmental damage to the earth and your skin. Plus, it offers a fresh new take on the concept of dumpster diving.

One auspicious day at the London Coffee Festival, a pair of enterprising young siblings saved a trash heap of coffee grinds from a landfill. When sibling rivalry is trashed and traded in favour of discarded coffee, tea, and fruit stones packed with antioxidants, anything is possible. They quit their day jobs, got some cash, made great scrubs, and before you know it, UpCircle Beauty is sold at Urban Outfitters.

‘Before starting UpCircle, I worked in finance, so it really couldn’t have been a bigger switch in career path! My lightbulb moment happened when I asked my local coffee shop what they did with their waste coffee grounds and was shocked to hear that they were producing so much that they had to pay to have it disposed of on landfill sites. I decided it was a great starting point for a business idea, but wasn’t sure what that idea was—that’s when I turned to my sister Anna for help,’ says brother William Brightman.

‘Throughout my teenage years I wanted to be a make-up artist, so I’ve always had a keen interest in cosmetics, skin care and the beauty industry. My high school originally persuaded me to go down a more traditional route, but I feel very lucky to have ended up in a job that is so well aligned with what I truly wanted. I knew coffee had great skin care benefits, so that’s when my brother and I decided to join forces to create a skin care brand focused on upcycled natural ingredients,’ confirms sister Anna Brightman.

Founded on the pillars of sustainability and social responsibility, UpCircle Beauty is an organic, vegan, cruelty-free, zero-waste beauty brand born and bred in the UK. Using natural ingredients, UpCircle upcycles food and planet waste such as coffee grounds, fruit stones and chai spices into core ingredients for their award-winning collection of products. To date, the brand has upcycled 350 tons of waste, saving the planet from putting more waste into landfills and repurposing for the greater good. The packaging across the range is 99 per cent plastic-free with plastic-free refill options for the remaining 1 per cent. The brand is committed to supporting organizations like Akt, Refuge and BLAM with donations and paid partnerships. •






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Photographed by the author