Optiat: Creating beauty products from discarded natural by-products including coffee and chai

Optiat, an acronym for “One Person’s Trash Is Another’s Treasure”, don’t let anything go to waste in their endeavour to create sustainable beauty products.

The London-based brand are keen to revive what they call “unloved, unwanted ingredients” – natural by-products which are unfortunately being discarded unused.

Optiat has found uses for repurposed coffee grounds, hemp husks and chai spices in their sumptuous range of everyday essentials including coffee scrubs for the body, hemp face masks and the soon to be launched, chai soap blocks made from the brewed spices leftover in the chai production process.

Founded by siblings William and Anna Brightman, Optiat is focused on sustainability and promoting a circular economy.

Optiat say: “Our focus is on sustainability and promoting a circular economy. Taking ingredients that would otherwise be discarded and transforming them into natural, sustainable skincare. We will show the world 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.”

The idea for the brand came about soon after Optiat co-founder, William Brightman, was given a cafetière as a Christmas present in 2015. Brewing his morning coffee, he was left with the residual coffee grounds. He had no garden to dispose of the grounds, so was forced to simply throw them away.

While coffee is one of the most popular drinks n the world, the coffee industry isn’t as green as people would like it to be. Not only are the cups largely non-recyclable, but the used coffee grounds also typically go to landfill. More than 500,000 tonnes of coffee grounds are sent to landfill every year in the UK alone.

Moreover, as organic material coffee doesn’t naturally degrade but rather breaks down to release methane, a greenhouse gas with more than 20 times the global warming capacity of carbon dioxide.

Concerned by his own contribution to coffee waste, coinciding with reports of the devastating impact of microbeads on the environment, William Brightman looked towards creating a use for repurposed coffee.

Optiat’s range of coffee scrubs – which have been blended with lemongrass, peppermint and vanilla – are natural exfoliators that stimulate blood flow, and are effective against cellulite and stretch marks.

The coffee grounds are collected from cafes and restaurants across London. While Optiat have teamed up with Hempen, an organic farm in Oxfordshire, to collect repurposed hemp husks, a natural by-product of the manufacture of hemp seeds, to produce their hemp face masks blended with natural clay and activated charcoal.

As a sustainable brand, with a strong emphasis on the circular economy, Optiat also look to partner with like-minded businesses. For their latest venture, and quite possibly their most enticing and exciting product yet, Optiat have teamed up with chai syrup makers, Henny & Joe’s, to create soap blocks from repurposed chai spices.

The Bath-based Henny & Joe’s also ensure that their business create little waste material. Their used spices are also dried in the sun and turned into potpourri.

Optiat’s first three scents from the colourful and chai-inspired blend of soap blocks are Chocolate Charcoal, Cinnamon & Ginger and Fennel & Cardamom. They are expected to be available from June.

Optiat

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea

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