Every now and again, an ingenious brand comes along, who use something we all disregard and turn into a useable product. Making something out of nothing, which was what I found when I discovered Optiat, the coffee scrub loving brand that source used coffee granules from local shops. They then turn this highly potent coffee into their coffee scrub range. Created by two siblings Anna & William Brightman, in their bid to tackle cafe waste.
Optiat are an emerging British brand, one that is making something out of nothing and by doing so, are reducing the amount of waste produced by coffee stores and cafe’s. They also minimise the amount that goes to landfill by turning this plentiful used ingredient into something useable. Breathing new life into a product that would otherwise be thrown in the bin.
This is an exciting prospect for both brand a coffee shop/cafe, a perfect partnership of recycling waste and minimising the amount that goes to landfill. They are ethical and sustainable, not to mention bloody lovely! How simple the idea but so profound on the grand scheme of things.
One thing I am very impressed with, aside from their ingenious entrepreneurialism is the positive impact Optiat products have on the environment. Many brands do not think of their environmental impact. Whereas Optiat are championing it from the get go. They are a brand you can get behind and be proud to support. You even feel like you are doing your own wee bit as well, just by purchasing the products. A movement we can all get on board with.
I caught up with the pair to find out more about their incredible journey, read the interview below.
What a brilliant idea, giving new life to ingredients that would otherwise be thrown away. You saw an opportunity for change, how did this lightbulb moment come about?
The idea to make sustainable coffee scrubs from repurposed used coffee grounds came about from a culmination of different things. Firstly, William was bought a cafetiere and was making his own coffee every morning. He lived in central London with no garden and so didn’t have plants to put the grounds on (as many people do) so instead he was simply throwing them away. He got to thinking that if he alone was throwing away so many coffee grounds each morning, then, given the size of the coffee industry, on a wider scale there must be an awful lot of waste – and he was right! After research we learnt that we are throwing away 500,000 tonnes of coffee to landfill each year in the UK alone. If we could create a product which could help to minimize this then that could only be a good thing!
We were also aware that people have been using coffee on their skin for many years around the world and that it was something that had taken off particularly well in Australia in recent years. However, no one seemed to be making coffee scrubs from used coffee grounds. Upon further research we learnt that the level of antioxidants in brewed coffee is as high if not higher than unbrewed coffee, so the used coffee is just as good, if not even better for your skin! All of this came in parallel to the huge rise in awareness of the devastating impact of microbeads on our environment. As we all look towards natural alternatives for our exfoliators, repurposed coffee seemed like a brilliant option!
The range comprises of four coffee body scrubs and hemp facial masks so far, are there plans to expand the range? If so, what are you working on at the moment?
Absolutely! There are so many wonderful natural ingredients which are unfortunately going unused. We are keen to rescue these unloved, unwanted ingredients and continue to develop more skincare products from them. Without wanting to give too much away, we will soon be releasing a lovely new range of products made from brewed chai spices which were previously used to make chai tea. By the time the chai production process is over, the spices are no longer needed yet they still smell amazing! We have taken the chai spices and used them as the core ingredient for an exciting new range. As always, our new products are vegan, cruelty-free, sustainable and 100% natural.
We are also revisiting our coffee scrubs and exploring some exciting new scents, we’ve been using our social media to ask our #ScrubSquad what scents they would like to see next! We hope to continue to search for ingredients which we can give a new life!
What are the top three benefits of using a coffee scrub over a regular body scrub?
1. THE CAFFEINE!
The caffeine in coffee helps stimulate blood flow, effective against skin conditions such as acne, eczema, cellulite and stretch marks, addressing those areas in need of renewal and regeneration. The caffeine can also help to brighten up your complexion, leaving you with a fresh looking glow.
2. THE PH!
Coffee is the same pH as your skin – meaning it won’t leave it feeling dry. We also add whipped shea butter and almond oil, leaving you feeling luxuriously smooth and moisturised. Clear skin and a clear conscience is our motto!
3. THE ANTIOXIDANTS!
The antioxidant level in brewed coffee grounds has been shown to be higher than in freshly ground coffee! That means they are better at fighting free radicals, one of the main causes of the signs of ageing.
Have you heard about Hygge? (Yes) what are your favourite ways to indulge in Hygge time?
Hygge for me is really the art of slow simple living. I think that manifests most accurately in ritual. Nothing complicated or ornate but simple daily rituals. Whether that is taking my morning tea on the balcony and putting aside a few moments to just breathe in the morning air and slow down before the day starts or light a fire in the evening, put on some woolly socks and curl up in front of my favourite movie. I think nowadays there is a real pressure on us to do more and to do it faster. Quantity is often being sacrificed for quality and I think Hygge is about embracing life’s simple pleasures. Our fast-paced lifestyles mean most of us are very stressed with nervous systems that are really overworked. We are constantly using our sympathetic nervous system (the one that is used for fight or flight and intense physical activity) and few of us know how to tune into the parasympathetic nervous system (which relaxes the body). My favourite ways to tap into the Hygge lifestyle are probably, candles, homemade chocolate, a salt bath and some Optiat products! I think that Hygge has close links to the revolution around self-care and simple daily indulgences – feeding both the physical body and the soul.
Making something out of nothing, a brand with a true ethical stand point, what can we expect from Optiat over the next few years?
For those who don’t know, our brand name Optiat is an acronym for “One Person’s Trash Is Another’s Treasure”. It is our focus on sustainability and making something out of nothing that we feel really sets us apart from the rest – and so this is what we will continue to do! We aim to show people that these unloved ingredients still have a huge amount to offer us. If we can produce high quality, effective skincare products by promoting sustainability as our core message, our hope is to demonstrate that we can all be more resourceful, that we can promote a circular economy and to inspire the beauty industry as a whole to be less wasteful.
We are committed to being the nature-friendly beauty company. We will never compromise on our ethics and we will never compromise on the quality of our products. We are committed to changing our current ‘take, make, dispose’ world by promoting a circular economy. So what you can expect from Optiat is for us to continue to source and rescue skin loving natural ingredients. We will take these ingredients which were destined for the trash heap and breathe new life into them!
SHOP || OPTIAT
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