Based between Bath and the Isle of Wight, UK candle and skincare brand Belle Isle Botanicals is a business with a conscience. Not only are all of its products vegan, they’re also organic, natural, cruelty-free, and affordable. What’s more, 10 percent of all profits are donated to a new charity each quarter.
This quarter, the brand is supporting females in the UK by helping them to receive menstrual products. By donating 10 percent of profits to Bloody Good Period, Belle Isle Botanicals is helping provide period supplies to asylum seekers, refugees, and any woman or girl who otherwise would not be able to afford them.
Founded by Roseanna Morrell, a new vegan and animal lover, Belle Isle Botanicals was created shortly after she moved from London back to her childhood home on the Isle of Wight earlier this year.
“I had a lot of free time and very little money,” she told LIVEKINDLY. It was during this time that she became aware of how expensive vegan skincare can be. Not wanting to miss out, she set about creating her own products.
“The first thing I made was a rose lip balm using shea butter, soy wax, and essential oils. I was so excited by how well it worked and how amazing it smelled, that I decided to start selling them,” she recalled. “Although I never intended to be a business owner, I’m so happy I made that first lip balm!”
Keeping It Cruelty-Free
When planning the kind of business she wanted to create, testing on animals was never an option for Morrell. She maintains that any brand that relies on animal experimentation is actively choosing to do so. “Testing ingredients on animals is not the only option,” she said. “There are alternatives.”
Whilst some cosmetic companies choose to use beeswax in their products – especially candles – Morrell believes this is unnecessary.
“I really believe in the power of plants and naturally occurring ingredients,” she explained. “Since discovering soy wax works perfectly in a lip balm, there is absolutely no need for me to use beeswax. If I can make an effective, high-quality product using plant-based ingredients, then why would I bring animals into the equation?”
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Being a Woman in Vegan Business
There’s a shift happening in the beauty industry at the moment, with more and more vegan and cruelty-free products appearing on the market. This, in part, maintains Morrell, is due to campaigns like Veganuary, a month-long challenge to go vegan in January.
“Veganism is becoming more accessible,” she said. “And the beauty industry seems to be following suit…I think people are becoming more aware of the processes that go into making beauty products. That means people are more informed and, when given the choice, are more likely to choose vegan products.”
Morrell also notes that, as a woman, vegan beauty often feels like a supported and safe industry to work in. “Many of the other vegan businesses I trade alongside at markets are run by women,” she explained. “It’s like belonging to a community in which everyone supports each other, and I love being a part of it. Every woman business owner I’ve met along the way has been incredibly supportive and kind, and I’ve been lucky enough to make a few really good friends from the business.”
“I think veganism has compassion and community at its heart which is reflected in many woman-run vegan businesses,” she continued. “I like to think we empower each other to make positive changes to the world together.”
Image Credit: Belle Isle Botanicals
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