An interview with Lilly and Lottie, a super new sustainable and mindful company hand-making beautiful organic soap.
As everyone will know by now, I like to support independent brands wherever possible. I found Lilly and Lottie via Instagram and purchased a couple of body bars, a travel soap and face bar. My package arrived quickly and personalised in fully recyclable packaging.
I have to say, I was really impressed with everything I received, particularly the face soap. It removed all my make-up, and left my skin feeling comfortable and soft with no tightness. The price point is brilliant too, especially with the quality of ingredients they use.
I wanted to find out more about the brand, so I dropped them an email and we got talkin’!
Tell us a little bit about the people behind Lilly and Lottie, what fired your interest in sustainability?
Lottie – So Hi, I’m Lottie. Or Charlotte as most people call me. By day I’m an ODP which I’m sure not many of you have heard of. I work in operating theatres supporting patients through their anaesthetic & recovery. A wonderful job and privilege in so many ways but there was always something missing! Mainly sunshine!! And do you know how much single use plastic there is in Theatre!!!! I grew up in Kent, moved to Tenerife, then to the North East. I can’t sit still for too long…much to Lilly’s disapproval at the weekends! I fell in love with nature whilst exploring the North East & that’s maybe where I first became aware of the huge impact us plastic loving humans are having on planet Earth.
Lilly – Hi! I’m Elizabeth and I’m a doctor. I met Lottie in 2016 working in theatres in the North East. I’m originally from Berkshire and went to University in Newcastle. I’ve always been a creative kinda person and found Medicine quite restrictive in this respect. Last January we decided we would try and make our own toiletries and we became increasingly aware of the impact of chemicals on our bodies and plastic on our environment. This came as a result of reading ‘Everything that remains’ by the minimalists, it inspired me to reflect on all areas of my life and encouraged me to simplify.
Starting a sustainable business is something I aspire to do one day, was there a ‘light bulb’ moment that made you take the plunge?
Lottie – I don’t think there ever was a light bulb moment as such. Over the winter in 2017/18 we became a lot more aware of the impact on the planet so, as we all do, as January begins- we set our intentions for the year ahead. We both had similar intentions in regards to our lifestyles. We wanted to be more sustainable, create less waste, use less plastic & be kinder to our bodies. So we decided to make our own soap and rid our bathrooms of plastic bottles of shower gel. I’ll let Lilly tell you the rest- she’ll only say I talk too much ….
Lilly- Haha! Well you do…jokes. After deciding to ‘simplify’ our lives, we got a little bit obsessed with Pinterest and there the seed was planted for making our own soap! We posted a few pics and people seemed keen to buy some of it and that’s how we started! Roll on 6 months later, we both handed our notices in on our full time jobs to concentrate more on the business.
Lilly and Lottie sells lovely soaps homemade soaps, was soap making something you did as a hobby before you started the store?
Lottie – Absolutely Not, we’re both creative in very different ways. Lilly is a beautiful writer… I keep encouraging her to get published! How her mind works I will never know but she has a spirit that will change your outlook on life. She’s also very hands on…give her a power tool & she’s loving her life! Although her neighbours may disagree. She has an eye for design & for beauty. I on the other hand unfortunately do not have such talent, I do have attention to detail though, I will spend 3 hours rearranging the soap to get the perfect shot! I’ll re do a bar 10 times to get it right! Whereas Lilly would have been happy with the first – by this point Lil will be napping on the sofa, hugging her frenchie & have lost interest completely!
Lilly-Definitely never made soap before! I love starting with an idea and then creating something new from that one idea. It’s incredible how one thought can translate into a physical object and ultimately a business. Lot is correct though, I need a kick to get things done. That’s why we are such a great team, we compliment each other in different ways.
You have a brilliant selection of fragrances, how do you go about picking your scents?
Lottie– Most were through chance. We did some research into skin types and the benefits of essential oils and we wanted it to be a sustainable swap everybody could try. So we tried a variety to meet everybody’s needs.
Lilly– Yep, trial and error I think. Peppermint is a winner, we love it and you guys do too it seems! We use Neal’s Yard organic fragrances as we believe in using the best products as they are going to be applied to the skin. They have won so many awards and are a reputable company so we feel very comfortable using their oils.
The fact that you use organic ingredients with a great price point is really impressive, what made you choose to go down this route?
Lottie– this was a no- brainer for us. As much as reducing plastic and waste is vitally important to our future and our planet we also have a duty to ourselves to look after our health and our well-being. Foods, beauty products and toiletries and filled with chemicals. Ever read the back of a label and can’t pronounce half the stuff on the back? yep! me too! We researched this and looked at the statistics. How many people die of Heart disease & cancer? Surely our lifestyles have an impact on these numbers. So we’re bringing it back to basics. Back to what mother nature provided us with.
Lilly– Totally on point Lottie! Minimal ingredients, minimal packaging, that’s what we are all about.
On your site you have body soap and face soap, what makes the two different?
Lilly-Essentially they are the same in terms of ingredients, we decided to make the body bars bigger (so that they last longer) and the face bars square. We made them different so you know which one is which when you’re in the shower haha! We are looking to expand our range of fragrances in the future so keep your eyes peeled!
Lottie – she’s said it all…thought I’d let her get a word in at some point haha! Don’t mix your face & your bottom soap up 🤭 .
For someone starting to live in as more eco conscious way, what would you recommend is a good first step?
Lilly – That’s easy! Soap!!! That is where we started anyway and we have never looked back. So once you have used up your shower gel get in touch with us and we can help you pick some soap that will brighten up your bathroom. Then once your toiletries run low look to change them for sustainable alternatives. Or is there something in your regular routine that you recognise creates a lot of waste? Talk to people, join this inspiring sustainable community and talk to people. We have made so many friends through this journey – come join us!!
Lottie – Follow us for sustainable swap ideas. Soap, shampoo bars, bamboo products are far less harmful to the environment and there is so much choice out there now, jump on board!
Can you give us a sneaky peek of anything new or developments coming to Lilly and Lottie?
Lottie – Oooh Even we don’t know where were heading. We just keep taking one step at a time, learning along the way and hoping we can help make a positive impact. We definitely have plans, we don’t want to say too much. One thing we do hope to do more of in 2019 is have more events where we can meet you all, continue to be inspired and driven and create a business we are proud of and allows us to live a life of happiness and sustainability.
Lilly-Couldn’t have put it more perfectly. Coming to an event near you soon!
Thank you so much to Lilly and Lottie for talking to me. They really have great products with great pricing, and zero plastic! You can find them and buy product at @lillyandlottie_ecolife on Insta, go check them out!