With more and more people becoming conscious of what’s in their household products, it’s increasingly important that people have access to sustainable options. But with their premium price tag, many feel unable to commit. In comes Leo’s Box, whose monthly membership gives access to, on average, a 40% discount on any chosen product.
The Forward Lab sat down with Lysander Bickham and Flora Beverley, co-founders of the brand to see their inspirations behind it.
What is Leo’s Box?
Leo’s Box is a membership that provides access to sustainable household and beauty brands at up to 70% off.
What sparked the inspiration?
Sustainability in the UK has historically had the reputation of being for those who can afford it. If you want to forgo plastic, buy vegan, buy organic or natural your options are limited to a few more expensive brands, and not everyone is able to afford them. Our goal is to bring sustainability to everyone who wants it, making it as easy, if not easier, than buying less sustainable alternatives.
What are your priorities as a brand?
Above all, we know we’re not perfect. As a brand that exists within a capitalist society, we have to work within a framework that isn’t always the best for the environment. However, we have the aim to provide the best options on the market, and are always working to improve what we provide our customers. We’re not about providing sustainable options that don’t work either – no matter how eco-friendly a product is, if it doesn’t do the job and make you feel good, it’s not worth it!
We have multiple priorities – reducing plastic waste, reducing carbon emissions, removing toxic ingredients and providing cruelty free/vegan products – and measure up all the brands we stock against these factors. Some brands do better than others on one or two of these areas, but all are better than the mainstream alternatives you find in supermarkets.
Our final priority is providing affordable options. Living as sustainably as possible shouldn’t be only for those who can afford it – we want to provide access to really great products at prices that rival branded products that aren’t sustainable in any way. Essentially, we want to make doing the right thing the easy choice!
Aside from our products, we also look to educate our consumers – knowledge is power – and have a community area filled with amazing articles about sustainability, conservation and related issues that are important to us as a brand and as people. We hope that as well as being able to buy products from Leo’s Box, people are also able to start living better and making better choices in their day to day lives, too.
How do people know you’re sustainable?
Getting third-party verification of our sustainability was so important for us from the very beginning – it’s all well and good saying you’re sustainable, but when there’s no official meaning for the term, third party accreditations are so important. The original founder, Lysander, chose to apply for B Corp as soon as he could afford it, making him the youngest B Corp CEO ever!
Every aspect of what we do as a business is centred around choosing the most sustainable products on the market to provide customers with better options than the mainstream. We ship around the UK in carbon-neutral deliveries, and know that shopping online emits, on average, four times less CO2 than shopping in store!
The final part of our sustainability journey comes via the customer – we encourage them to buy only what they need, reuse what they can, and recycle everything else. Through education we hope to be able to change the beauty and cleaning industries one person at a time!
What sort of products do you provide?
Leo’s Box stocks products for the home, such as household cleaning sprays and biodegradable scourers, and beauty products, such as cleanser, serums and moisturisers. We work with a number of brands to provide the best of what they offer and test everything that we sell so we know it’s good!
We’re about making everyday luxury affordable and sustainable – things that don’t often go hand in hand.
Are all the products vegan/cruelty free?
The vast majority of our products are vegan or certified cruelty free. As someone who eats a plant based diet, this is something I (Flora) think is really important, and thankfully there are loads of amazing brands that don’t use animal products or testing.
Sometimes we’ll get in amazing products that score highly on sustainability but use bees wax, so obviously aren’t vegan but are still brilliant. With these products some of the money also goes to bee conservation, which is great!
Where do you see the brand going over the next few years?
As we expand we hope to provide more options for consumers. We’re entirely led by what people need – we have no interest in creating demand for unnecessary products, so if people want something, all they have to do is ask and we’ll look into stocking it.
We’d love to reach more people in the coming years – as we grow, our collective buying power increases meaning we can get better and better prices on products. We hope to be able to compete with supermarkets eventually, just with better products with better ethics!
Flora quote: “I’ve always had an interested in sustainability, but never really wanted to start up a brand that was just going to increase demand for products people don’t need’ said Beverley, ‘but with Leo’s Box we’re only providing products that people would have to buy anyway, and making them more accessible to those who might otherwise choose the cheaper, less sustainable option’.
‘The response we’ve had is amazing – from working with brands with the same philosophy to helping people make better decisions in their shopping every day, it’s been incredibly rewarding in the short time we’ve been around!”.
Lysander quote: “In itself the membership model doesn’t save the planet but it does create an ongoing connection to products from companies like mine that are all single-minded in how we play our part to save the planet. I want this development to be another way for people to make the move and replace more damaging products with those that express how they care for the environment, society and future generations”.