- What is your name?
2. What is your occupation?
I’m the founder of DESAVERY, a plant-based skincare line designed to impact your mood and mind.
3. What was your favorite green (eco) memory growing up?
So many! The one that stands out most is swimming in the ocean. Spending childhood summers in New England, there were days I’d spend between 5-6 hours in the water and it’s a love I’ve carried with me throughout my life. I love the ocean in all its wild vastness and the sweet smell of salt water that transports me back to a carefree time. I recreate the feeling of being at one with the water most mornings when I swim in London’s Serpentine Lake — an icy but invigorating ritual that I’ve come to love.
4. What did you do before Desavery?
Prior to launching Desavery, I had a 20-year career in television and media. A few years ago, I launched a TV channel all about health and wellness and I got hooked! The world has changed and I wanted to be a part of that change. Consumers want to know where ingredients are sourced, how their food is packaged and the impact their products are having on climate change and environment. I wanted to create a skincare line that reflected this new way of thinking.
5. How is Desavery increasing sustainable awareness?
People genuinely care about the sustainability and sourcing of their skincare products, but not everyone has the time to research brands that reflect their values. The promise I offer my clients is that each Desavery ingredient is chosen based on a host of factors ranging from their effectiveness and potency to their origin, organic certification, sustainability and benefit to their local community. I have done all that research for my customers so I can explain how we use ingredients that are not only beneficial, luxurious and natural but are a net benefit to the community that grows and harvests them. For instance, our prickly pear seed oil is a wonderful ingredient and the United Nations has promoted it as one of the most sustainable agricultural products that more people should be growing and using as we face climate change. Vetiver is another super ingredient; it comes from India and its roots detoxify water and prevent soil erosion.
6. What are the most rewarding and challenging parts of your job?
By far the most rewarding part of my job is when people reach out to me and tell me how much they love the product. I get very touched by people’s support and enthusiasm — it’s a community of like-minded people that I am proud to be connected with.
7. What is one environmental/sustainable change you vow to make this year?
As a brand, I am very sustainable with my packaging, my manufacturing and my choice of ingredients. Those are the things I can control and they are what my customers see. However, there is a part of the business I can’t control. Because I direct source all my ingredients and packaging and make it in small batches, I see firsthand how much single-use plastic is used to ship ingredients and packaging around the world. I have a space in the back of our manufacturing area where I store all this and re-use it so that it doesn’t end up in the ocean or landfill. I am going to use our neighborhood app in order to let people know I have all of this material available and let anyone who needs to ship anything come and help themselves. I’m also thinking it will be a fun way to meet people who are running local businesses. I’ve got the packaging and have downloaded the app, so watch this space!
8. Can you tell us what inspired you to start Desavery?
When I was just toying with some ideas, I came across so much research about how certain plant ingredients, when inhaled, can impact your biochemistry. I was looking at scientific studies about how these ingredients could improve skin and to be honest, there was more reliable science around how some ingredients could impact your mood and mind. Focus, cognition, cortisol levels are all affected when we inhale specific plant ingredients. Could I incorporate this concept in a skincare line so that you feel amazing when you use the products? That was my lightbulb moment.
9. If there was one industry/product that you could make more eco-friendly, what would it be?
The grocery store and all the food packaging and food waste. I get so irritated when I see ‘sell by’ dates or ‘best before’ dates that have nothing to do with whether the food is still good to eat. It’s a way to sell more food and to get us to throw out and buy more food.
10. What is next for you and Desavery?
Spread the word and meet more people. I just launched so it’s all about getting the word out and getting the product into people’s hands.
11. What is your favorite book?
I loved the book My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout. I read that and some of her other books over the years. I just saw Laura Linney in a one-woman play here in London of ‘My Name is Lucy Barton.’ She was unbelievable so that book is a real favorite and it reminded me of how much I loved reading it.
12. Where do you turn for your news?
Not Facebook! I am lucky to live in the UK where the BBC is so good and really does cover the world across all platforms. I have a subscription to The New York Times and I’m a big fan. I also like the Financial Times if that doesn’t sound too boring. It’s a great paper.
13. Where on the green scale do you fall?
I do my best but I am not sure I would assign myself any mark that could be scrutinized. Let’s just say, I am trying!
14. Do you lead a vegan lifestyle?
My kids are vegan and so I have happily adopted eating vegan most days. I have a killer Stella McCartney faux leather jacket but I won’t lie: I am not completely vegan in every aspect of my life and I wouldn’t want to represent myself as a vegan. I think if we can all ‘head in that direction’ then it might be more realistic and have a greater impact on the planet than trying to convince everyone to be vegan. My products are 100% vegan though and I have really supported my kids at home to live true to their convictions.
15. Who would you want to have a conversation with past or present?
My best friend just died of cancer recently. I miss her every day and so I’d love it if we could just hop on a call like we used to. Sorry, that’s a bit heavy but I miss her a lot.
16. What is one thing we can all do to make a difference in the world?
We know the environment is a deeply connected web of relationships and so are the problems in the environment. There is no silver bullet we can identity and change to make everything right again. We are not going to solve these problems by screaming at each other and pointing fingers. Pretty much everyone agrees we should be eating less meat, using less plastic, consuming less ‘fast fashion’ and as consumers, we can impact the market so companies start producing and creating these kinds of products as long as we continue to demand them. The Indie beauty market is a perfect example. It’s the small brands that are leading the way and happily, consumers are loving what we are doing.
17. How does Desavery positively impact the environment?
Desavery is small right now so I am not going to say that it’s going to change the world at the moment. However, the message, the integrity, the communication about sustainable ingredients are part of a new wave of beauty that is going to dominate the industry and really make a massive change and so I am really proud and excited to be a part of this change.
18. What do you want your personal legacy to be?
I want to be someone who had an idea, stuck to my principles and made it work!