Skincare and beauty products that are both kind to people and planet is harder to come by than you might think. Sarah Murrell shares the motivations behind By Sarah London, the industry renowned, natural skincare brand that everyone is talking about.
What inspired you to launch By Sarah London?
The story to launching By Sarah London began back in 2012 when my sister, Lauren, was recovering from leukaemia. Her skin was so dry and sensitive and I tried to find natural skincare to restore her skin. But I found it so hard – even many natural and organic skincare ranges had long, cryptic ingredient lists. I was looking for high-performing, natural skincare but couldn’t find anything that ticked all the boxes. So I turned to my childhood hobby and love for skincare to make my own plant-based blends for Lauren. She loved the blends I developed and soon friends and family were asking for my creations too. I felt we had the seeds of a business and the time was right to share my blends with many more people. And in 2017, Lauren and I launched By Sarah London together and haven’t looked back since!
What are your sustainable priorities for the business?
Sustainability is at the core of By Sarah London and something we’re very transparent about. It’s why we provide a full ingredient list on the front label of each product so you know exactly what you’re putting on your skin. And every ingredient supports your skin health and wellbeing. We don’t use any essential oils or fragrance, or any water or fillers or petroleum-derived ingredients. When an ingredient is grown in soil, we choose organic ingredients that have been certified by The Soil Association. This means each ingredient has flourished in soil which is free from synthetic pesticides, artificial chemical fertilisers and herbicides – better for the farmers, local communities and the health of our skin and planet. We use cold-pressed certified organic oils, as this process maintains quality, potency and purity in a way that heat-treating cannot. We use amber glass bottles and clear glass jars which can all be upcycled or recycled. And we don’t use any outer packaging for any of the products. All of our products are handmade in small batches in the UK and are delivered in recyclable cardboard boxes.
How has your eco strategy developed as you have grown?
As we launched the business, we cemented our commitment to never testing on animals and our whole collection is now certified cruelty free with Cruelty Free International. Our vegan products, including our multi award-winning and cult favourite Organic Facial Oil, are registered with the Vegan Society. You will spot the Leaping Bunny and Vegan Society logos on our labels and the products pages of our website. We are always looking for more ways to be more eco-conscious and have a really open dialogue with our customers and social media followers. We encourage them to upcycle their bottles and jars (and send us pictures too!) and love to hear what they love most, whether it’s our recyclable packaging or that we only have a very carefully curated edit of products – no excess, no waste.
How challenging has it been to maintain your eco principles?
Our eco principles are core to our brand. We believe that focusing on the quality rather than the quantity of your products is one of the most eco-friendly decisions you can make. A big commitment we have is to our customers in helping them to really connect with their skin and their skincare. Because when you connect with the products you’re using, you instantly feel more connected to yourself. You give yourself the chance to check in with your skin and how you’re feeling. Giving yourself that gift of a few moments each day, you come to appreciate that using a plant-based cleanser and an organic facial oil is the best way to care for your skin every day. When our customers have that aha! moment, they realise that they don’t need eye creams, night creams and serums. They’re freed from excess and in turn, have a much more positive environmental impact in their skincare choices.
What have been your biggest milestones and triumphs until now?
To date we have been awarded 8 industry-leading awards, including our Organic Facial Oil being awarded the Winner of Best Facial Oil and Best Skincare Product Launch, for the second year in a row (2018 & 2019). The reception from the press has been fantastic and our customers send us the most heartfelt and joyous 5 star reviews which makes Lauren and I jump for joy every time we receive an email, message or review! I never could have foreseen just how loved my skincare blends would become and I’m delighted.
What’s next for By Sarah London?
We recently opened our private treatment room, No. 30 in Kensington where our customers come to experience the Signature By Sarah London Organic Facial with me. I share my intuitive technique and facial lifting massage to promote brighter, more radiant skin and a calmer, more grounded sense of wellbeing. It really marks the next chapter for us. We’ll be launching our Skincare & Wellness events at No. 30 this autumn too. Lauren and I are loving growing the business and look forward to meeting many more of our wonderful customers, followers and supporters this year! Follow us @bysarahlondon on social for all the latest news or join our email community here.
Read more from our Bringing Business to Life series.
For skins that’s more sensitive than others, check out our guid for how to treat eczyma naturally.
Looking for the perfect way to treat yourself? Here is our guide to the best natural and organic beauty treatments in London.