Pennies & Feathers
Pennies and Feathers is a botanical, award-winning British beauty brand.
While founder Jessica created the brand is response to sad circumstances, she is now using her organic-certified skincare to improve the lives of women. We talked to her about how she believes Pennies and Feathers "listens to nature".
We know certified organic beauty and wellbeing is better for people and the planet- but what, in particular, lead you to originally certifying with Soil Association Certification?
I was inspired to create Pennies & Feathers after I very sadly lost my mum to breast cancer. My mum was a lover of beauty, and always looked incredibly glamorous, so during her treatment and chemotherapy it was really important for her to still feel and look like herself.
The harsh treatments however do affect your skin, as one of the main side effects, and generally the skin becomes very dry, itchy and more sensitive.
Being a professional makeup artist I was interested in finding the best products for my mum to now use, and it was during this research that I was shocked to discover that the word organic was not regulated in the beauty industry.
Greenwashing was everywhere, and products that seemed to be organic from their packaging at first glance could contain as little as 1% organic ingredients. When I lost my mum and wanted to create my brand in her memory, it was therefore a non-negotiable for me to become Soil Association certified.
I wanted my customers to know that they had a genuine guarantee and be a transparent and trustworthy brand from the beginning. So many people when their skin is needing more gentle nourishment and care than normal, want to use natural and organic. The higher levels of antioxidants, the natural anti-inflammatory properties and the promise of no parabens are just a few of these benefits.
How does your brand “Listen to Nature”, and how will you be doing so this Organic Beauty & Wellbeing Week?
Listening to nature is incredibly important to me, and is imbedded in Pennies & Feathers as a brand. Nature honestly has been my biggest comfort and healer through grief, and I know that so many will feel the same way too.
My brand got its name because before my mum passed she told me that if there was any way in which she could let me know that she was still around then she would do so by leaving pennies and feathers in my path. These little signs, along with butterflies, ladybirds, robins and bees, make me smile everyday and bring me a sense of calm. I feel my mum around me everyday. Also just quite literally sitting outside and listening to the sounds of nature is the most soothing practice. It reminds me that the world is much more than us, and there is so much beauty to be found.
It is a delicate eco-system and all of this needs to be protected so that we can continue to have these precious signs of life. My reusable packaging is illustrated with little signs of nature to remind us of the beauty and how we should always be listening.
How do you think we can get more consumers to “listen to nature” by opting for certified organic beauty and wellbeing products?
I think that education is key in reaching new consumers. It was through my initial research that I became passionate about choosing certified organic, and so many people still just simply don't know why it is truly beneficial and also about the greenwashing that goes on in the beauty industry.
If they understood that organic products have the same efficacy but you are also choosing to care for our planet, listen to nature and give your skin so many benefits, I think that this choice would be much easier.
There are so many wonderful brand founders and small businesses that are certified organic too. I hope that the shift to shopping small and independent will continue, as it really means the world to us. Becoming certified is a rigorous process, rightly so, and also does cost us too, so when founders, like myself, choose this path it isn't the easy one.
This is why you know that we really care.