&SISTERS sits down with... Curate Beauty
Just after celebrating a crowdfunding success at the end of 2019, co-founders Claire and Lucy Lettice sat down with the team at Curate Beauty, an online marketplace selling a range of products from indie beauty brands. Read along as we discuss the story behind &SISTERS, the company’s journey so far and our plans for the future.
Tell us about yourself and the story behind creating &SISTERS?
We are a feminine care brand with a difference! Started by daughter-mother duo Lucy and Claire. We are ethically and socially conscious and aim to educate women in making positive choices that are better for their bodies, our planet and for womankind.
What makes &SISTERS stand out to other feminine care brands?
Well firstly we are a brand made by women, for women so we really understand their needs, demands and concerns. Unlike other mainstream period products, all of our products are made from 100% Soil Association Certified organic cotton and free from any harmful chemicals, plastic or other nasties. We are 100% compostable and biodegradable. When you think that the average woman uses over 10,000 tampons in her lifetime, this equates to a serious amount of waste. So, we believe by educating women around the real facts, we can implement positive environmental change.
What do you look for in your stockists and what values are important to you?
For us our stockists are an extension of our brand and therefore must hold the same ethical and social values as us. We endeavour to tread lightly on our planet and would want our stockists to do the same. Many of our stockists are small startups like us! We love supporting small businesses as we understand the struggles involved, and we feel we can be flexible and help wherever possible.
Do you have any upcoming projects you’re working on? Will there be anything new coming to you?
Yes, we’re currently developing a number of new product launches that we’re super excited about and would hope to be able to divulge in the next month or so.
How important is sustainability to your brand and what have you done to ensure you’re as green/clean as can be? Do you have any stats on how traditional period care products affect the planet?
80% of women believe, wrongly, that mainstream period products are made from cotton. So, we aim to educate women about the real facts. Normally brands tend to not list their ingredients, and use non-breathable, non-biodegradable man made or synthetic fibres. We aim to keep everything open and transparent in terms of what goes into our products. Being certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) provides reassurance of our environmental and ethical credentials. Organic certification covers transparency on everything from our cotton, to safe working conditions of the workforce.
What types of stores stock &SISTERS? What area would you like to see the brand in or grow into?
We supply a collection of health food stores, both in the UK and worldwide, as well as some online retailers specialising in eco-products and beauty & wellness. One area we’d like to expand and feature more in, due to our brands ethos and sustainability pledge, are zero waste stores. There has been a massive amount of growth in this sector, and we only see this going to continue as consumers become more aware of the impact of packaging on the planet. &SISTERS is perfect for this market, and we’re already looking to offer a minimal zero packaging solution for these stores.
Regarding the development of the brand, we’re very much looking to take the brand in a broader women’s health and wellness direction. We see this happening firstly through consolidation of our brand as a period care brand, then moving into sexual wellness and then broadening into other areas of women’s health and wellbeing.
What can retailers expect when they stock &SISTERS? (can you tell us about in-store activities or successful digital activations you’ve done together with retailers)?
We believe that personal engagement with the consumer is paramount to the success of our brand, with one on one interaction through sampling, demonstration and in-house training for staff ensuring that we can communicate our positive message. Especially with our nüdie cup, we have learnt that when women are able to see the cup up close, to feel it and to ask questions they feel much more inclined to make a purchase.
We are very involved with our online following, and always jump at the opportunity to collaborate with our retailers. We loved our recent Instagram Takeover with Curate Beauty. It’s really fun to be able to change up the way we use social media to keep not only the consumer but also us on our toes!
You’re heavily involved with charity by donating a portion of profits to support women – can you tell us more about your initiatives?
Our charitable outreach is one of the aspects of the business that we’re most proud of. We donate 10% of all &SISTERS profits to women’s refuges and food banks in the UK and to women’s charities in Africa and India, to raise awareness of period poverty, support women’s health, and improve education and economic empowerment across the globe.
What has been the biggest triumph since starting &SISTERS?
Probably the most exciting success for us to date has been our recent Crowdfunding campaign where we achieved investment and support for our business potential and ethos from over 300 individuals who of course are now amongst &SISTERS biggest Brand Ambassadors. Their support came just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and has been invaluable in enabling us to grow through the current period.