We spoke to Preyanka from Bloomtown to see what changes she has seen in her brand since becoming palm oil free certified with Orangutan Alliance. Bloomtown skincare products are certified vegan, cruelty-free and palm oil-free body & skincare products also completely free from parabens, sulphates, phthalates, synthetic colours and detergents. The company proudly donates 10% of its profits to environmental and social causes. Their multi-award-winning range includes artisan soap bars, clay masks, sugar scrubs, nourishing bath oils and much more. (www.bloomtown.co.uk)
Tell us about Bloomtown, your role - how long has it been around and what does the organisation stand for?
Bloomtown was founded in April 2016 by husband and wife directors Preyanka Clark Prakash and Medwin Culmer after they spent two years in Indonesia and witnessed first-hand the loss of virgin forest that is home to endangered orangutans, tigers and so much of the world's biodiversity. In addition to being vegan & cruelty-free, Bloomtown is proud to be the UK's first independently certified palm oil-free company, offering beautifully scented, expertly formulated body & skincare, hand-crafted in Cornwall. The company proudly donate 10% of our profits to environmental & social causes.
Are you seeing a change in % of people taking up palm oil free products?
When we launched out of our kitchen 3 years ago, barely anyone in the UK was talking about palm oil - we felt we were talking to a wall. But now, we get so many people coming to our website directly searching for palm oil-free products, and we get a lot of emails and social media messages thanking us for creating a palm oil-free range but also asking us to expand our selection to include more toiletry staples because palm oil-free options simply don't exist on the UK market.
Why do you think brands are creating more ethical and cruelty free options
Consumer awareness and demand are driving more innovation by major cosmetic retailers, but sadly much of this is superficial. One prominent beauty company got a lot of attention and press for removing palm oil from their soap base, but it turns out they still add palm-derived ingredients to the soap, so it's not actually a palm oil-free product. Green-washing is rife in the industry; this is why we opted for third-party certification.
What are your top 5 tips for someone starting out an eco conscious business
Do everything by the book: make sure your labelling, formulations and packaging follow all laws and regulations. Apply for as many awards and certifications as you can to prove your credentials - this will boost brand in the eyes of consumers and retailers. Invest in good photography and branding. Build a strong organic social media following and email subscriber base. Make sure you really calculate your costs of production and your margins - or else you won't be able to stay in business! I have my own blog and podcast at making-scents.co.uk where I discuss these tips and much more!