For the series Good Folk on this blog I have sent interview questions to some really wonderful people who are either making things, running shops, or generally promoting sustainability. I think you will enjoy reading their answers as much as I have, and I hope they inspire us all with the knowledge that there are people doing good in the world!
This interview is with Claudia, founder of Circla, a London based company offering doorstep delivery of fantastic carefully curated products. Not only that, but they collect the old packaging when they deliver your next order (like the milkman) and reuse it.
Tell me about yourself and the work that you do.
Hello - my name is Claudia and I am the founder of Circla. We have taken inspiration from the traditional milkman and reimagined this service for beauty. I built Circla because I believed that people want to make more planet positive choices but often doing the "right thing" can often feel like a compromise, even a chore. Alongside this, nearly all of the products we use in our daily routines - shampoo to wash our hair, toothpaste to brush our teeth, cleanser to remove our make- up comes in single use packaging and most of that packaging is in plastic. For years we have all believed that so long as we placed all that packaging in the recycling bin it would be recycled but the reality is that hardly none of it gets recycled. At Circla, we are transforming the linear model into a circle by introducing a way for the packaging to be reused.
How or why did you get started?
Circla was started out of frustration that it didn't exist - as I became more informed of the impact my choices were having on the planet I look for different solutions but everything on offer either meant I had to use a less quality product, sacrifice on convenience or spend a lot more.
What is your favourite thing about the work that you do?
The variety! I love jumping from speaking to a new brand, to delivering orders to customers, to working on the operations of the businesses. I have most probably learnt more in the last year than ever before in my life. I can get bored easily so the fast pace and variety of running a business really suits me.
How/has working sustainably impacted your non-business life?
I have become far more considerate in my consumption choices, a few years ago I would have been ordering new outfits on asos every other week and had a bathroom cabinet stocked with every lotion and potion - fast forward to today and I still buy new clothes but just a lot less often - I am obsessed with rental platforms such as By Rotation for dining outfits for events. I believe sustainability is a journey and I don't always get it right but that's ok because compared to a few years ago I am so much more mindful and informed of the choices I make.
What are you most proud of?
Starting Circla - it was absolutely terrifying leaving my previous job and the security it provided and to be honest it still is terrifying!
What are your plans for the future?
I am in the process of hiring employee number 2 - I absolutely can't wait to have a team member!
Can you recommend any other makers or businesses that work in an ethical or sustainable way?Yes - so many. I have recently become obsessed with an app called Sojo and I also LOVE Potts who do refillable candles.
Do you have any advice for people trying to shop or live more ethically?
Start small and use what you already have! It is so tempting to go out and buy lots of new things as there are so many cool new brands launching who have placed sustainability at the heart of what they do but most of the time the things we already own are perfectly fine. Find changes that can be sustainably implemented into your life, too much change at once and you are likely to give up (just like diets!!). For your bathroom my top tips are: switch to reusable make up pads, buy a safety razor over disposable ones, buy organic plastic free tampons and then obviously switch to Circla for your shampoo refills!
What's your favourite thing to do with your free time and why?
Long lunches with my husband and friends - I don't think there is anything better than spending a whole day surrounded by food, wine and those closest to you.
What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
Be patient, it will all work out in the end.
Where can we find you on the internet, buy your work, or join in?
if you live in London use LONDON21 for 25% off your first order.