OUR STORY

Back in 2015, we had a thought: if we’re throwing away a cafetière full of coffee grounds every morning, how much is going to waste from coffee shops all over London?

A lot, as it turns out. So we decided to do something about it. We needed a way to give those coffee grounds a new lease of life. And UpCircle was born.

We began our journey collecting coffee grounds from one coffee shop, we now collect from hundreds of coffee houses across London – our list is always growing!


Creating a positive environmental impact is at the heart of what we do here at UpCircle. We want to leave the world better than we found it. When it comes to the environment we are constantly bombarded with intimidating doom and gloom headlines. The scale of the problem can feel so daunting that it’s all too easy to give up before you’ve even begun. So, at UpCircle, we try to focus on positive change and keep an “every little helps” mentality.

And as well as being 100% natural, our skincare range is also 100% brilliant. Because you shouldn't have to choose between doing the right thing and getting the best results. With UpCircle, you get to enjoy the uplifting benefits of nature's own skin rejuvenators - and do the planet some good, too.

That's all round better skincare.

But, it didn’t happen overnight. Scroll below to re-live our milestones!

Our History

LAUNCHING HEAD FIRST IN COFFEE

What better place to test our coffee-based skincare concept than the London Coffee Festival?

The scrubs flew out the door – whoosh! We came, we scrubbed, we conquered.

Maybe, just maybe, we were on to something.

APRIL, 2016

ANNA JOINS THE TEAM

Team work makes the dream work!

Anna wanted her piece of the sustainable skincare dream. Even if it meant working alongside her brother. *eyeroll*

And so, one became two

SEPTEMBER, 2016

URBAN OUTFITTERS - OUR FIRST PARTNER

We sent hand-sealed, sellotaped-up prototypes to UO HQ, perhaps we were too optimistic? Perhaps not. They loved the scrubs and became our first retail partner.

DECEMBER, 2016

GOING GLOBAL

Geographical boundaries. Who needs them? Not us. We hopped our scrubs over the channel and secured distribution in not 1, not 4, not 6 but 8 European countries over the next 6 months.

JAN - APRIL, 2017

THE PORTFOLIO GROWS

To meet our ever-growing list of retailers (now including Whole Foods and Revital) the coffee shop portfolio had to expand. By the end of 2017 we are regularly collecting coffee grounds from 80 artisan coffee shops.

NOVEMBER 2017

HOT OFF THE PRESS

Storytellers cotton on to our circular skincare mission. During 2018 the brand is featured by the likes of The Daily Mail, The Independent, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Vogue, The Telegraph, Stylist, Grazia, The Evening Standard, Veggie Magazine, Vegan Food & Living and Women's Fitness. What a page turner.

2018

SMASHING TARGETS

We achieved our crowdfunding target of £200,000 in just three days and closed the round overfunded by £17,000. Mic drop.

FEBRUARY, 2018

CHAI FIVE!

The return of the soap bar. We're saving coffee, we're saving hemp, what's next on our hit list? Chai. We begin salvaging the aromatic spices brewed to make chai syrup, transforming them into our new soaps.

MARCH, 2018

INTO THE DEN

The co-founding siblings take their chances against the Dragons…and walk away victorious. The duo received investment offers from 3 dragons and agreed a deal with Touker Suleyman and Tej Lalvani.

AUGUST, 2018

NAME CHANGER GAME CHANGER

As our product ranges expand we take the opportunity to unify the brand, unveiling a fresh new look and name. Our circular economy mission is now front and centre: we’re ready for world domination.

NOVEMBER, 2018

NEW YEAR, NEW HOME

The brand has far outgrown the siblings parents' home. It's time to move out. We leave a trail of coffee footsteps and set up in our shiny new premises.

JANUARY, 2019

THESE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR WALKING

UpCircle body scrubs stroll into 740 Boots stores across the country.

MARCH, 2019

PITCH-TASTIC

A panel of Sainsbury’s buyers listen to fast-paced pitches from six beauty brands shortlisted from over 60 companies. UpCircle is chosen as a winner - result!

APRIL, 2019

SCOOPING UP AWARDS

UpCircle win the FSB London Ethical Green Business of the year AND are re-awarded Natural Products 30 Under 30. Buzzinggggg!

APRIL, 2019

SCOOPING UP AWARDS

UpCircle win the FSB London Ethical Green Business of the year AND are re-awarded Natural Products 30 Under 30. Buzzinggggg!

MAY, 2019

H+B SOUNDS GOOD TO ME!

Just seven months after rebranding we launch our full UpCircle range into the UK's leading health retailer - Holland and Barrett.

JULY, 2019

UPCIRCLE DOWN UNDER

Mid-week, as we slept, UpCircle hit the shores Down Under with an event as swish as a wedding!

AUGUST, 2019

FEELING REVITAL-ISED!

We add Revital’s 18 branches to our list of UpCircle high street retailers. Victory dance

AUGUST, 2019

ONLINE SHOPPING MADE EVEN EASIER

UpCircle launches with online grocers Ocado and Farmdrop, as well as online beauty platform Feel Unique. We all love a virtual trolley!

SEPTEMBER, 2019

FEELING FRUITY

The brand new fruit stone range hit the shelves just before Christmas, phew!

NOVEMBER, 2019

TONNES OF LOVE

As we begin a new decade we hit a new milestone – 200 tonnes of coffee saved. Not bad for a team of 4 all under the age of 30!

DECEMBER, 2019

HOW DO YOU ACCESSORISE?

No one likes to see a photo of a seahorse cradling a plastic cotton bud. Time for the “UpCircle Accessories” range, ready to help you to create fully zero-waste bathroom cabinets!

JANUARY, 2020

HITTING THE BIG TIME

We’re going stateside. And why waste time? US retail giant Ulta Beauty slides the UpCircle range into 750 stores. Howdy partner.

MARCH, 2020

Swipe right to follow our journey

The Idea

In our first batch of soaps alone we saved 5 tonnes of aromatic chai spices from being thrown away. Not a bad start! Then, when we found out that the UK produced 23,000 tonnes of fruit stone waste in 2012 alone, we knew something had to be done there too. So… out came the “fruit stone range”, within which each product is made with the powder of a different discarded fruit stone.

The Mission

We’re all about quality skincare that gives salvaged natural ingredients a new lease of life. At UpCircle we’re not trying to save the world, or scold others for not doing more. We're never preachy about what we do. We're conversational and down to earth. That's why people listen to us, and it’s how we make an impact.

We use the highest quality ingredients, for the best possible results. You'll feel the difference.

Meet The Founders

William Brightman

The brains behind the operation. (The serious one).

A touch-typing whiz with the focus of a monk. He's dealing with calls, emails and meetings like there's no tomorrow. So long as he's got a Boiler Room set to listen to, William can plug formulas into Excel without stopping to think.

Favourite part of your role?

What doesn't a typical day involve!? I enjoy the buzz of knowing that with every sale we are all helping to promote a circular economy by elevating skincare to the next level.

Favourite UpCircle product?

Has to be the unsung hero of the range - our Clarifying face mask with Olive powder. Clears pores like a dream!

Anna Brightman

The brawn behind the operation. (The sociable one).

If you’ve ordered it, she’s getting it to you, whether that’s 1 scrub or 1000 scrubs. Got an event? She’ll be on the panel. Visiting a show? She’ll say Hi first!

So, Anna takes on the most and least glam parts of the job.

Favourite part of your role?

Developing new products. I love that we have businesses and individuals coming to us with their leftover natural ingredients. Can we cook up a circular skincare solution? If there's a will, there's a way.

Favourite UpCircle product?

The serum is my ultimate skin saviour, no matter the weather it keeps my skin hydrated and glowy. Just what you need.

Discover the Range

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