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Interview: Meet the siblings who are putting sustainability first


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As a beauty editor, I'm fortunate enough to be contacted by the most fascinating and innovative companies that have products to match. 

So when I was introduced to William and Anna Brightman, founders of UpCircle Beauty, I was fascinated by everything they had going on.

Their products themselves are made from repurposed coffee grounds and are organic, cruelty-free and vegan - perfect for those who are passionate about sustainability and taking care of the planet.

Sustainability is behind everything the team do and the siblings are so passionate about the world and how their brand can heal it.

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UpCircle began life as Optiat, which Anna explained stood for 'One Person's Trash Is Another's Treasure' but the name ended up being hard to pronounce and after meeting with Dragons Den's Touker Suleyman and Tej Lalvani the founders decided it had to evolve.

"Our experience on Dragon's Den was great to get some honest critique and allowed us to get down to the nitty-gritty," explained Anna.

"We felt like UpCircle matched our products and our brand overall. Circles signify regeneration while the word 'up' signifies positivity, which is how we want our brand to make people feel; uplifted."

The sibling's journey began a few years ago when William was given a coffee machine as a gift and realised that the waste product actually had huge benefits. 

"I had recently read an article about the huge benefits that coffee grounds could have on the skin, such as blood stimulation and as a treatment for eczema and then thought about the coffee grounds that I was using just going to landfill despite having so much use left." 

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His epiphany came at the perfect time, as microbeads were being rejected and banned in the UK, there was a gap in the market for exfoliation. 

William and Anna then seized this gap and began contacting various cafes and restaurants in London and now work with around 70 outlets to get their skincare products. 

So, I bet you're dying to know which product the Brightman siblings like best...

"I love our newest product, the serum," says Anna. 

"I apply a healthy application and it's intensely moisturising. I also put it in my hair and it can be used as a beard oil - it's so versatile" 

William is more of a soap man, with their fennel and cardamom soap bar being his favourite product.

"It's got super ingredients and works as a gentle exfoliator for both the body and the face."

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The next few years are all about expansion for these guys. 

"We would love to broaden our distribution," explains William. "We're currently looking into exporting into Australia."

Anna agrees, while also adding; 

"I'm excited to try out new ingredients and expand the range. There are so many natural ingredients for us to try out, like flower petals and ground up fruit stones - it's going to be so exciting." 

My UpCircle Review

UpCircle Beauty was kind enough to send me some products - the Tangerine & Coffee Body Scrub and the serum - that I've been trying for the past week. 

First up the Body Scrub! I have pretty dry skin usually and this cold weather we're having is making it worse. I used this 3 times in a week and my arms have never felt better! The smell of Tangerine may be overpowering to some but I'm an orange fiend! The scrub leaves your skin feeling moisturised and smooth - and its only £15! 

The serum is a game-changer. I've been in the market for a new serum for a while and Anna was right. The serum is intensely moisturising and soothing, with coffee oil that helps firm skin. It smells divine, although not like coffee, and lets your makeup go on softly and easy. Will definitely be repurchasing!

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UpCircle Beauty is now stocked in TOPSHOP, Whole Foods and Waitrose.

Lead Image: Courtesy of UpCircle Beauty

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