We are a natural & organic beauty retailer but the core message at CONTENT is really about how educating yourself on your choices from personal care to skincare and make-up to general lifestyle products can really influence your health and your feeling of contentment.
It’s about knowing the content of your products but also an approach to the beauty industry that is more inclusive and trying to change the language around how the industry communicates with the customer.
I felt a bit stupid when I first realised I had never questioned what was in my products, when I had almost always questioned my food and even home products.
CONTENT is really a resource to help people make more informed choices and take a proactive role in the choices they make for their own life.
After 15 years in the fashion industry, I launched CONTENT to fill a gap in the market for beauty boutique shopping but with a dedication to organic and natural products.
I opened it for selfish reasons really – I wanted to rid my bathroom of many synthetic ingredients but I didn’t want to be limited to shopping in health food stores or be limited to a choice of only one or two brands in department stores.
It was to provide a choice for people like myself who wanted to put plant oils on their skin rather than mineral oils and to prove that natural products are just as good, often better and to help change the industry so that natural beauty could shake off its ‘a bit too wholesome’ vibe.
We started with our Marylebone shop in 2008 and are still in the same location on Bulstrode Street but also have an online store where we ship out our curated selection of the best organic skincare, nontoxic make-up, sustainable living essentials and more worldwide. From our treatment room, we offer organic facials and complimentary therapies such as acupuncture and naturopathy.
How we choose our products
Our sourcing policy looks beyond the elimination of parabens, petrochemicals, phthalates, SLS and synthetic fragrances, and it extends further into hundreds of commonly used synthetic chemicals.
We list the product ingredients on our website to ensure you know what you are buying.
Furthermore, none of the brands we stock test their products on animals, nor do they instruct anyone to do so on their behalf.
We are also drawn to owner-led brands from a person as passionate as we are about this sector – rather than just a company trying to capitalise on the natural beauty trend.
We also choose brands by ethos – we have always had a menu to allow you to ‘Shop by Ethos’ but last year we introduced ethos badges to the website to allow people at a glance to see if an item is vegan, certified organic, certified cruelty free and more.
The luxury of having a store in central London means we can host pop-up events like on-the-shop-floor facials to tasting sessions and ‘Meet The Maker’ events to enable CONTENT customers to connect with others within the community.
We have hosted a botanical beauty bar, alternative Friday nights out and expert lectures to offer our customers access to experts and founders.
It’s also important that we are doing things to change the conversation within the beauty community.
This year we ran a campaign and crowdsourced help from our customers to remove the word ‘perfect’ from product descriptions on the site.
We decided to pay the VAT on sanitary products for our customers – which seemed like the right thing to do when the government isn’t budging on it.
It’s also important that we are doing things to change the conversation within the beauty community – this year we ran a campaign and crowdsourced help from our customers to remove the word ‘perfect’ from product descriptions on the site. And also decided to pay the VAT on sanitary products for our customers – which seemed like the right thing to do when the government isn’t budging on it.
Latest trends to Look out For
Natural and organic beauty continues to be one of the biggest trends. It is growing when mainstream beauty brand growth is largely static.
We are seeing a shift towards the conscious consumer trend extending beyond the ingredients and moving into packaging and lifestyle – in summer 2017, we introduced RE:CONTENT, a hub to shop existing products and new additions that are reusable, with refillable packaging, housed in recycled or recyclable packaging as well as the option to shop all the CONTENT products that are in glass and biodegradable packaging — all in one handy place.
Working with Bloggers
We launched our affiliates programme this year to connect to and reward our loyal advocates both in the UK and around the world. However, we collaborate with bloggers outside the affiliates programme as well.
One of our favourites was hosting a Green Beauty 4 Brown Beauties event at the CONTENT shop in partnership with blogger Wunderlusting Lynda and Bouclème haircare founder Michele Scott-Lynch. It was such a fun evening with make-up, skincare and hair consultations.
We’ve also done some great swap challenges where we task someone to go organic with a selection of our products for a period of time to see if they make the cut.
Channeling our loyal ambassadors
Our customers were our first and continue to be our biggest group of ambassadors.
Many have audiences of their own so we have been lucky enough to have been introduced to their audiences, recommended us a resource or shared their CONTENT purchases.
As we ship free worldwide, this has helped make CONTENT accessible to many more countries when someone outside the UK recommends us too.
Article created in partnership with Content Beauty. Check their RE-CONTENT collection here.