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B Corporation Impact Report 2023

This is our first Impact Report and we are delighted to share what we've achieved in the past year and our plans for the future. 

We are proud to be the first UK independently-owned and female-founded skincare brand to have achieved B Corp status.

As a purpose-led brand, we've committed to supporting people and planet from the very beginning. Sarah first developed natural skincare to revive and restore her sister's sensitive, fragile skin when she was recovering from an aggressive form of leukaemia, with only a 20% chance of survival.

After a life-saving stem cell transplant from Sarah, the sisters teamed up to launch By Sarah London; the natural, B Corp skincare range that helps you get back to you, with innovative skincare formulations designed to repair, regenerate and help the skin regain balance. 

With our industry-leading ingredient transparency, targeted natural formulas and commitment to sustainability, By Sarah London is changing the face of beauty.

Now as part of the B Corp community, we are paving the way for a new way of doing things in the beauty industry which is hugely exciting. From our endlessly recyclable glass bottles and minimal packaging, to our commitment to exceptional customer service, we have shown that we go above and beyond to create the best possible experience of our award-winning, proven natural skincare formulations.

We hope you enjoy reading more about what we’ve been working on at By Sarah London. 

With best wishes, 

Sarah & Lauren, Sisters & Co-Founders

Our mission

By Sarah London was founded by two sisters in November 2017 and became a certified B Corporation in February 2022. We seek to make positive change with our high-quality, natural skincare produced ethically and sustainably in the United Kingdom. 

We are proud to be part of a community of leaders driving positive change both within and outside our movement, via collaborative working groups and coalitions. The rigorous B Corp standards and certification process measures our impact as a business on people and planet through everything we do, and helps us to keep improving.

It’s the gold standard in sustainability; independent validation that a business meets high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency on factors from employee benefits and charitable giving, to supply chain practices and input materials.

"This plant-powered skincare brand is reducing its environmental impact at every stage, from organic farming to recyclable shipping materials." - VOGUE

A year in review

2022 was a tempest raging. 

Across the world, we saw global supply chain problems, widespread workforce shortages, rising inflation, the climate crisis and outbreak of war. 

Yet we found ways to support our community, near and far. 

In March 2022, we donated £1,100 to the Red Cross for Ukraine Appeal and shared resources for our customers to do the same. The same month, our co-founder, Lauren Murrell, gave an empowering talk on female entrepreneurship to girls at the City of London School for Girls and for members of the Smart Works charity. 

"We are dedicated to being the most ethical, sustainable, inclusive and inspiring business we can be.” - Sarah & Lauren

As a B Corporation, we are part of a powerful movement to drive change and influence positive behaviour. It was a joy to take part in the Night at the Natural History Museum, marking the milestone of 1000 B Corporations certifying in the UK, and Lauren was also interviewed on why being part of the B Corp community is so important. 

No doubt strong headwinds lie ahead this year, but with collective action, collaboration and community support, we are confident that we can achieve great things as a movement and an independent business.

Benchmarking progress

  • Set out to offer natural skincare that is kind to people and planet. Achieved with skincare being Dermatologically Tested, with no essential oils, fragrance or drying alcohols.
  • Set out to inspire greater transparency and education in skincare. Achieved with skincare video tutorials with our co-founder, Sarah.
  • Set out to support our community near and far. Achieved by donating £1,100 to the Red Cross.
  • Set out to contribute to collective action in the B Corp community. Achieved by joining the B Corp Beauty Coalition and partnering with Skandinavisk.
  • Set out to treat all workers with kindness and fairness. Achieved by becoming a Living Wage employer and paying interns the Living London Wage.

Our community 

Our community is at the heart of everything we do.

We understand the emotional impact of stressed, sensitive skin like no one else does. It's why we go above and beyond to support our customers at every opportunity.

🙌 We personally respond to every email and message with empathy and understanding. You are not treated as a generic customer, put in a long queue or answered by a chatbot. 

🙌 We offer complimentary skincare consultations whether you're looking to try our skincare or not. You are not pressured into buying anything at all and are free to share what's really troubling you. 

🙌 We only formulate skincare for stressed, sensitive skin, free from irritants and marketing BS. You will not experience buyer's remorse or a crowded bathroom cupboard of half-used products. 

Both of our founders take the time to ensure every email, social media message, or comment is thoughtfully replied to - sharing their passion, expertise and empathy at every opportunity. 

“We strive to have a positive impact on our customers’ lives beyond their purchase of our ethical skincare.” - Sarah & Lauren 

We care about the smallest of details so that our customers can have the best experience possible. It’s why we’ve won the Feefo Platinum Trusted Service Award 2023 for the third consecutive year. The award is an independent seal of excellence that recognises businesses for delivering exceptional experiences, as rated by real customers. That's the key: this accreditation is unique as it is based purely on the interactions with REAL customers. As all reviews are verified as genuine, the accreditation is a true reflection of our commitment to outstanding service. 

“I cannot recommend this company and products enough! I have been using them for over 2 years now and my rosacea is completely under control and my skin health has improved a lot.” - Trusted customer.

Our positive impact and contribution was acknowledged as Finalists in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2022. It was a very special honour to be shortlisted in what Steven Bartlett has described as “The Grammy’s of Entrepreneurship”.

GBEA Finalists 2022

Benchmarking goals

In 2023/24, we aim to further develop our customer education and excellent customer service with personalised tools for customers to better understand their own skin health, and feel empowered with more knowledge and transparency in skincare.

Supporting mental health

Our collection is not just for your skin, it’s for your overall wellbeing and mental health too. Through online masterclasses and expert tutorials with our co-founder, Sarah Murrell, customers follow skincare videos on how to alleviate stress, find mindful moments in their day and get back to feeling more like themselves again. 

By Sarah London customer transformation

"After having chemotherapy every 2 weeks for the past 3 years, my skin was pretty much ruined. I had nearly given up hope - until I discovered the Hero Facial Oil. Even after only a week, it’s made a significant difference." - Steph, 5 star review

“They’re the perfect marriage for a stressed out and spread thin mom of two female entrepreneur, and have given me so much in terms of not only physical well being but also mental well being 💛" - Maria, 5 star review

“Having had cancer myself and been very nourished physically and mentally by the products, this was the ideal gift. Thank you Lauren and Sarah for understanding it all so well.” - Tessa, 5 star review

Our very human approach to beauty is seen at every touchpoint, including our imagery - our images of models are never retouched, and we embrace all forms of beauty.

Benchmarking goals

In 2023/24, we aim to better represent the diversity of our community and share their stories to inspire others on their skin health journeys. Touchpoints will include our social media and website. We aim to include members of our community in our marketing and campaigns this year, with a focus on diversity and inclusion.

Innovative beauty

In what is typically a wasteful industry where only 9% of beauty packaging is recycled, we are pioneering in our adoption of aluminium caps and reusable pumps across our sustainable skincare beauty collection, specifically for our Body Oil and Balancer Oil-to-milk Cleanser.

Reducing product packaging is the best way to improve our environmental impact in this area, helping to eliminate waste and be part of a positive solution. We are striving to ensure that 100% of our packaging material will be reusable, recyclable or compostable. 

Benchmarking goals

In 2023/24, we aim to encourage greater education to promote the recycling and reuse of our products and delivery packaging, and commit to researching innovative planet-friendly packaging options, while acknowledging that our products require sufficient packaging so that the bottles are not damaged in transit. 

Caring for our planet

We use glass packaging which is made from 30% post-consumer recycled (PCR) glass. PCR glass has a smaller carbon footprint than virgin plastic. 

Every tonne of glass re-melted saves 246kg of carbon dioxide emissions as well as decreasing the energy needed to make glass and reducing reliance on virgin raw materials. 

Specifically, we choose amber glass bottles as the amber glass helps to protect the integrity of the oils inside by protecting against UV light radiation. 

Did you know? Glass is infinitely recyclable, meaning no matter how many times you reuse it, its integrity will never be lost. The same can’t be said, however, for plastic as this can only withstand being recycled 3-4 times at best. Plus glass has high global recycling rates so is less likely to become waste.

Across our collection we use science-backed certified-organic, natural and upcycled plant oils. These are kinder to planet and people. 

Take our Ally Blemish Recovery Oil, formulated with upcycled hemp seeds. The seeds are grown and harvested in the UK by hand, but a large proportion are rejected by the food industry as they don't meet the specification for food use. The nutrient-rich seeds are rescued and saved from going to waste by being cold-pressed into the oil we use. Plus, they contain 52% more antioxidants than standard hemp seed oil. High in linoleic acid, natural standardised CBD and antioxidants, it's well suited for targeting blemish-prone skin. It’s a win for your skin and the planet. 

Our collection is independently verified as cruelty free with Cruelty Free International and our vegan products are registered with The Vegan Society, with our supplier monitoring system being independently audited alongside our own proactive monitoring to ensure we continue to adhere to their strict requirements.

Benchmarking goals

In 2023/24, we aim evaluate the options available for offsetting our carbon emissions and becoming a carbon neutral business, with a review of our supply chain to ensure our carbon footprint is as light as possible.

Who we are

Female-founded and independently owned by two sisters
  
Pioneering change in the beauty industry
  
Using business as a force for good, for both people and planet  

Collective action

In April 2022, we joined the B Beauty Coalition, a group of over 50 B Corps that aims to improve social and environmental sustainability both within and beyond the global beauty industry, by driving up business standards and practices, and strengthening collaboration and learning between companies. It’s an innovative movement and one that shows great promise of effecting positive change.

B Beauty

Collaboration is one the best ways we know to showcase responsible beauty. That’s why, in November 2022, we teamed up with fellow B Corp, Skandinavisk, to launch three Limited Edition gift sets for Christmas, marking the world’s first B Beauty Coalition collaboration. From our endlessly recyclable 30% PCR glass bottles to Skandinavisk's traceable and non-GMO Swedish rapeseed wax, both brands met the incredibly rigorous standards required to become a B Corp. 

Showing what’s possible when brands unite is an exciting way to spread the B Corp message and offer customers new ways to shop ethically.

Giving back

We actively look for innovative ways to support people and planet. For our best-selling Hero Facial Oil, we have sourced certified-organic argan oil which has been hand-gathered from a co-operative of Berber women in Morocco and ensures they’re paid a fair wage and treated fairly. That’s female empowerment done right. 

We have supported The Little Princess Trust by donating 10% of sales of our Hair Oil to the Hereford-based charity which makes real hair wigs for children with cancer and funds vital cancer research studies. 

With our origin story rooted in Lauren’s survival from leukaemia, with Sarah as her life-saving stem cell donor, our co-founder also devotes time to supporting others on their cancer journey. In April 2022, Lauren led an online workshop for Life After Cancer, sharing her skincare, motivation and inspirational tips. We've also supported charities close to our heart like the sponsorship of Love Rose at the Future Dreams Breast Cancer Charity House in London in February 2022.

Benchmarking goals

In 2023/24, we aim to support charity partners by making monetary donations, committing our time to good causes and partnering for campaigns to increase the awareness of their important work. 

Levelling up

Part of the appeal of the B Corporation certification is the commitment to continually improving. 

To honour this commitment, in May 2022, we became a Living Wage employer, joining the voluntary movement to pay a living wage to all staff. To walk the talk, we ensured that even our summer interns were compensated on a Living Wage basis, hoping to show other businesses that even those on pre-entry level placements deserve to be paid fairly. 

For ongoing leadership and training, Lauren was invited to participate in the prestigious Goldman Sachs 10,000 small business programme in collaboration with the Said Business School at Oxford University. Over the 4 month course, Lauren benefited from world-class education and over 100 hours of tuition. These learnings she has now brought back to the business to further improve our governance, growth and sustainability ambitions.

Benchmarking goals

In 2023/24, we aim to support other female-led businesses and purpose-led partners, as we are a solely female-founded team of two sisters. We partner with people we trust who bring their expertise to meet our high standards and values. We ensure time is taken to speak often with our wider team to ensure this relationship remains strong. 

Thank you

Thank you for taking the time to read our first Impact Report. If you’d like to get in touch, please drop us an email at hello@bysarahlondon.com or follow us on @bysarahlondon, we’d love to hear from you.

The future is looking bright. 

All content © BY SARAH LONDON. All rights reserved.

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