Five of our Favourite Independent Sustainable Beauty Brands

April 21, 2021

By Claudia Light

As an independent business that sets out to challenge the corporate mainstream, we’re always keeping an eye out for independent beauty brands on a similar mission. Anita Roddick was trailblazing sustainable, natural beauty as early as the 70s when she launched The Body Shop, yet why is it still so normalised for us to put copious amounts of chemicals onto our skin and into our bodies?

Here are some of our favourite brands challenging the norm – from alcohol-free perfume to soap bars made from coffee grounds and foraged seaweed, we love what each of them are doing to innovate and drive us towards a more sustainable future.

Nathalie Bond

A range of plant-powered bath and body care products, formulated to nourish your skin and calm your mind. Nathalie Bond was founded when husband and wife team Nathalie and Andy were expecting their first child. Nathalie became increasingly conscious of the harmful chemicals she was putting on her skin, so the pair started making products on their kitchen table using only sustainably sourced, organic botanical ingredients. Their plant-based formulas are designed to deliver deep skin nourishment while being gentle and safe, and all of their products are now handcrafted by the team in their Sheffield workshop.

We’re all about their soothing face oils, which are blended with the likes of argan and baobab to leave the skin feeling radiant.

Iris Hantverk

We’re in awe of the craftsmanship behind these natural, hand-bound brushes. Based in Sweden, the core of the business is the brush binding manufacturing at Sandsborgsvägen, Enskede – where 6 visually impaired craftsmen from different cultures make brushes according to an old Swedish tradition. Iris Hantverk’s mission is to revive the traditional brush binding profession, making functional well-designed products combined with high quality natural materials and the craftsmen’s solid technique.

They source the bristles from a fascinating range of raw materials; dried palm and agave leaves, coconut beards, cereal root, goats’ hair. They then work with several independent designers to create the hand-binded brushes. The collection covers every brush you can think of, but it’s the bath, nail and face ones that we’ve been coveting.

Brûmée Parfum

These uniquely alcohol-free fragrances are made in Provence with natural ingredients from the French countryside. Founder Dr Anne-Claire Walch, who has a doctorate in pharmacology, grew up here exploring the scented streets of Grasse, the perfume capital of the world. Anne-Claire created Brûmée in the knowledge that mainstream perfumes contain up to 80% denatured alcohol, which dries out the skin and leads to a loss in elasticity, wrinkles and even skin pigmentation when exposed to the sun. An innovative formulation was made possible by collaboration with expert perfumers in Grasse, using only raw, natural ingredients in a water-based solution to make the perfumes void of any harmful properties.

Scents include the earthy Pine Tree & Vetivier, and the creamy Cedar Wood and Vanilla. Try their Almond & Orange Blossom natural hair mist too.

Palm of Feronia

This female-founded business describes itself as ‘natural skincare for the soul’. What’s not to love? It’s a small-batch, sustainable self-care brand focused on the ancient principles of aromatherapy and crystal healing. They work closely with their crystal suppliers to ensure they grow, harvest and mine ethically, always paying a fair wage. The crystals can then be purchased in their natural form or incorporated into a range of skincare products, hand-blended in small batches in south east London. How enticing does the Amethyst and Dead Sea Bath Soak sound?

Palm of Feronia are a carbon neutral business and, like us, partner with Ecologi and The Eden Reforestation Projects to plant a tree for every purchase.


Founded by Dom Bridges in Margate, a volunteer beach warden and coastal enthusiast, Haeckels celebrates the health giving properties of seaweed through a range of beauty and skincare products.

Seaweed hydrates; it’s rich with valuable vitamins, minerals and amino acids; it’s anti-bacterial, skin rebuilding and anti-inflammatory; most importantly, it’s all-natural. Under licence, Dom and his team harvest seaweed by hand from the Margate beach just steps away from their shop and transform it into products like their best selling Eco Marine Cream. This moisturiser is made from dulse seaweed extract, with UV protecting properties. Although currently being sourced from the sea, the long term goal is to grow the seaweed themselves in their store. We’re also obsessed with their exfoliating Coffee and Seaweed Soap Block, a limited-edition collaboration with Ozone Coffee Roastery. Their first circular product, the soap is made from waste coffee grounds and seaweed, with waste coffee cups used to make the packaging.

The clincher for us though was reading that the team still plays an active part in the local community by organising beach cleans and taking part in marine conservation surveys.