An interview with AUBE on their eco shop and ethos
showcasing and celebrating the efforts of normal, lovely people who are changing the world’s outcomes both big and small
We loved speaking to Emily and George who are fighting the sustainability issue and providing eco essentials online as well as popping up at eco markets around London.
What they do: AUBE are a killer brother and sister eco combo. Running an ethical marketplace and community online and on Instagram they are growing rapidly and have a great range of products every eco-warrior should have.
Why we love AUBE: They provide top quality eco products, have great D.I.Y. tips (check out some below) and news updates on their Instagram page. AUBE get involved with clean ups and generally want to make the world a better place in every way they can – they are committed to donating profits to charities close to their heart.
How we know AUBE: We found AUBE on Instagram along with almost 4500 others who follow them. We spoke to them just before they were launching their website and are so happy their now officially their own marketplace. Follow their Instagram to see where their next stand is popping up or browse their website to order your eco products.
Who are you and what are your personal eco stories?
Hi, we’re siblings Emily and George Kelly. And together we are AUBE!
Both of us have always had a deep interest in sustainability, but coming from very different backgrounds, career-wise AUBE has a unique slant. Emily studied Creative Direction for Fashion, specialising in communication design for ethical brands and landed a place in the final five of the Kering Award for Sustainable Fashion in 2018. George studies Mechanical Engineering with Clean Energy, is fascinated by material science and is a founder of poverty-fighting charity, Say No to Poverty. Together, we were horrified by the state of our planet. Plastic pollution, a climate emergency, garment workers paid nowhere near a living wage, the list can go on – we knew the way we consume, as a society, has got to change. And so, AUBE was born.
When and how did you start your business?
We started AUBE back in August last year, using Instagram as our launching platform, with the aim to become an online ethical store selling fashion, beauty and lifestyle at an affordable rate and have grown a lot since then with around 3,500 followers. We have absolutely loved getting to build a community of people with similar interests to ourselves and especially enjoy running our Sunday news feature where we research and post weekly news items on veganism, plastic pollution, zero waste tips and so on. Social media has become a lot more to us than a means to promote our business, it is a place to learn and share and we are really grateful for our growing community support on our journey.
What challenges have you faced while becoming more eco and trying to encourage people to believe in your cause?
Everyone faces a lot of challenges when trying to be more conscious of your impact on the planet and I think the biggest challenges we’ve faced are:
- Finding plastic free fruit and vegetables, as even at some markets they will package up the produce in plastic bags and containers. Some good alternatives we found are bulk food stores which are far and thin between so you might not have one near you but if you do it’s a life changer. Farm Drops is an excellent app to have your fruit and veg delivered and although not always plastic free is normally locally sourced ingredients, Also Lidl’s new £1.50 ugly veg boxes are a damn good eco bargain too!
- I think the next challenge has to be affordable clothes and fashion especially menswear is almost impossible to find at affordable prices. We are endlessly researching for small ethical brands to bring on board our ethical marketplace that are at an accessible price point for our younger target audience. Alternatively, we are solid fans of heading to local thrift stores and charity shops, which always have great finds and are the clothes we always get the most complimented on!
What is your top eco tip/product you swear by?
There’s definitely loads of great eco tips out there but ones we swear by are:
- Homemade cleaning spray made from vinegar, lemon, baking soda and essential oil – it will keep your house smelling amazing and fresh. For everyday use you don’t need harsh chemicals to keep your surfaces clean and in some circumstances they can be doing more harm than good.
- Biodegradable toothbrushes, by now everyone’s on the bamboo toothbrush bandwagon, so always remember to bring it with you. (And if you don’t have one, check out our store!)
- Travel mug and string bags are a must when you’re on-the-go. You’ll never catch us with a disposable coffee cup or plastic bag!
- Bamboo or metal straw for those late night cocktails
We love these books and think everyone should give them a go :
- “The Bioregional Economy” by Molly Scott Cato the green party MEP for South West, and coming from a previous green economics, strategy and sustainability lecturer its an insightful view of the economy as it stands and where a more bioregional approach could take it.
- “Cradle To Cradle”, by William McDonough and Michael Braungart, is an astonishing book that everyone should read on the importance and know how of the cradle to cradle and not cradle to grave approach to life and products
- “How Bad are bananas” by Mike Berners-Lee. This book provides a great insight into visualising carbon footprints, everyone can see and worry about the cost of a product in the supermarket or shop but this book allows you to look at things with a different perspective, by attempting to provide estimates of carbon foot prints of everyday actions and products so you can think of the world you live in in a more environmental way.
- – “Give a Shit: Do Good, Live Better, Save the Planet” by Ashley Piper is a great, easy read for those wishing to give their lives an eco-makeover! From kitchen, to bathroom, to wardrobe, Piper has it covered. Plus her tongue-in-cheek tone makes this such an enjoyable read.
What do you think people should know about this organisation?
Aiming for a holistic approach, we will be a brand new, one-stop shop for sustainable fashion, beauty and lifestyle at an accessible and affordable rate. We are working closely with our primary brands to provide information on each product’s certifications and ethical standards as well as a detailed supply chain map on each product web page, being as transparent as possible.
10% of our profits will be donated Buses 4 Homeless, a UK-based charity. They are an early stages charity looking to keep people off the streets by converting buses into living, eating and learning stations where people can stay and try to get back on their feet. And with a launch mission of 14,600 nights sleep a year off the streets we’re excited to see how they grow.
What about your page/organisation are you most proud of?
We are most proud of our unique collaboration. Our diverse approach to sustainable living, from both visual communications and scientific approaches gives us a fresh perspective on conscious consumption as well as allowing us to reach out to a wider audience with a broad spectrum of interests.
Working together as siblings has been surprisingly easy and we are super proud to be finally launching our site this July after a lot of hard work.
How has this journey changed you and how you act environmentally?
I think this has positively affected how we act environmentally, especially in expanding the range of ethical brands we know and how easy it is to get the ethical alternative once you know there’s a soap brand I can always go to, or a men’s clothing store I can go to, I think a big problem is that a lot of these things are there but just not as accessible as amazon or high-street brands. You might find one bulk food store near you, but that’s not the case for everyone. Our journey has become very much about changing our perspective on value and time and learning to research purchases and questioning how ethical they are and how often we would really use/need them. The outcome of this is far more rewarding than any instant gratification.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
We are excited to announce that we will be hosting a stall at the Mad Hatter’s Affair, a brand new sustainable festival in September.
George’s favourite quote: “No more and no less than another being in a big watershed.” – Gary Snyder
Emily’s favourite quote: “Buy Less, Choose Well, Make It Last” – Vivienne Westwood
Small print: This is not an ad. AUBE have not sent us anything in return for this post. We are shouting loud to the rooftops to help support people who are making efforts to change outcomes!
If you have something worth shouting about and want us to Meet: you please contact us! We are interested in talking to anyone who has made a positive environmental impact either big or small.
Grace works for a School Improvement Partnership and is our resident ocean lover. Having worked as a scuba instructor in Indonesia she has picked up her fair share of ocean plastic. Her favourite eco product is Oliva Olive Oil Soap.