Our 2019 Sustainability Heroes list recognises twelve UK-based pioneers who are changing the way we live – for the better. From marine conservation to eco-friendly bags, reusable bottles to plastic-free campaigning, the past 12 months have seen incredible progress towards making the world a better place to live. We hope this year’s Sustainability Heroes inspire you to take that next step in your sustainability journey!
Rodrigo Garcia González & Pierre-Yves Paslier
Co Founders, Skipping Rocks Lab
Rodrigo and Pierre-Yves founded Skipping Rocks Lab - an innovative sustainable packaging startup based in London. They pioneer the use of natural materials extracted from plants and seaweed to create packaging with low environmental impact. Their first product, Ooho, mini capsules of water made from edible seaweed processes, will revolutionise the water-on-the-go market. The spherical flexible packaging can also be used for other liquids including soft drinks, spirits and cosmetics, and their proprietary material is actually cheaper than plastic!
Founder, Surfers Against Sewage
Hugo Tagholm is an environmentalist, campaigner, surfer and charity professional - he’s passionate about decreasing the plastic in our world’s oceans and protecting animal species at the same time. He campaigns for more eco-friendly beaches and arranges regular beach cleans where thousands of people from the local community get involved. Surfers Against Sewage has evolved from a single-issue pressure group into one of the country's best loved marine conservation charities.
Founder, Moral Fibres
Wendy Graham is the founder of Moral Fibres, a green lifestyle blog “that’s hip, not hippie”. She is also the author of Fresh Clean Home, in which she tells her audience all about homemade, eco-friendly and chemical-free cleaning products that are good for the environment. Alongside campaigning for Plastic-free February, her blog is full of eco-friendly and easy to follow tips for living a greener life that won't compromise your sense of style.
Founder, Everyday Plastic
In a unique personal experiment, Daniel Webb decided to store all the plastic waste he threw in the bin for 12 months and then used it to create a huge artistic mural. Along with earth scientist Dr Julie Schneider, he released a report that stated that over 295 BILLION pieces of plastic were thrown away every year and Daniel wanted to bring his story to life! Shortly after moving to the Kent coast in 2016, he learned that he was not provided with a recycling service at his flat. Motivated by plastic pollution and a desire to dig deeper into murky national recycling figures, he launched a personal investigation to understand exactly what he throws away and where it ends up.
Dan Dicker, founder of ashortwalk, started his career as a product designer at Dyson. Dan founded ashortwalk in 2003 as a platform to pioneer a new and fresh generation of products - all from excess waste. He continues to innovate and design groundbreaking products that reuse waste and create value from the once valueless materials that were destined for landfill. ashortwalk design, develop, produce and sell all their products, which range from tide clocks, house signs, reusable coffee cups and flower pots.
Sian Sutherland & Frederikke Magnussen
Co Founders, A Plastic Planet
Two years ago, two women founded a global social change movement called A Plastic Planet. Their goal is simple - to turn off the plastic tap. Serial entrepreneurs, Sian Sutherland and Frederikke Magnussen are no typical eco-warriors. With entrepreneurial backgrounds in restaurants, film, design and skincare, they bring a different fresh approach to environmental issues. A Plastic Planet focuses on the dramatic reduction of plastic packaging in food retail; which equates to 40% of plastic produced today. In May 2018, they launched the world's first Plastic Free Consumer Trust Mark, now adopted by Percol. This Trust Mark tells the consumer just one thing - this packaging is plastic free, therefore guilt free.
CEO & Founder of Less Plastic
Amanda Keetley founded Less Plastic in 2015 to raise awareness of the growing issue of plastic pollution and what we can do to tackle it. She has brought the ‘less plastic lifestyle’ to a wide audience via her blog, infographics and social media following - inspiring individuals, businesses, schools and organisations of all sizes to use less plastic. Amanda offers talks and workshops sharing practical tips to reduce your plastic footprint in your personal life, as well as her 5Ps framework to become a Plastic Game Changer in your organisation.
Raj & Kirpal Bharaj
Co Founders, Stay Sixty
Raj and Kirpal, founders of Stay Sixty, are passionate about reducing the sheer amount of plastic bottles that enter our oceans each year. Stay Sixty, the multi-award winning reusable stainless steel water bottle, is eco-friendly, easy to clean & easy to carry around, meaning you can concentrate on life's little adventures. The bottles are beautifully crafted and their double-walled design helps keep your water, smoothies, juice & protein drinks fresh.
Claire Morsman, the founder and inspiration behind the global movement that is morsbags, has mobilised many thousands of volunteers to get making re-usable bags in local communities. Claire is passionate about eradicating the use of single-use plastic bags in shops and supermarkets. Morsbags are eco-friendly strong bags that come in a variety of different colours and patterns from repurposed fabric. Claire and her ethically enthused volunteers create close to 5,000 Morsbags per month and so far, together, have prevented a massive 150 million plastic bags from being used. Claire and her army of ‘morsbaggers' have created 300,000 free bags since starting her eco-friendly organisation.
Founder, Silo in Brighton & Executive Chef, Cub in London
Doug is the founder of Silo, the UK’s first zero-waste restaurant in Brighton, as well as Executive Chef of the recently opened CUB in Hoxton, London. In 2009, Douglas won the ‘BBC Young Chef of the Year Award’ before opening the doors of Silo in 2014, a restaurant that successfully eliminates the production of waste by choosing to trade directly with farmers, as well as using reusable crates and other delivery vessels. They use only local ingredients and any scraps and trimmings from the cooking or leftover food go straight into the restaurant’s on-site compost machine, generating up to 60kg of compost in just 24 hours. Two years after opening, Silo won the prestigious Observer Food Monthly award for ‘Most Ethical Restaurant’.
William & Anna Brightman
Co Founders, UpCircle
UpCircle was founded by siblings Anna and William Brightman. Back in 2015, they had a thought: if they alone were throwing away a cafetière full of coffee grounds every morning, how much was going to waste from coffee shops all over London? A lot, as it turns out. So they decided to do something about it. They needed a way to give those coffee grounds a new lease of life. And UpCircle was born. UpCircle turn leftover natural ingredients with more to give into quality skincare products. These include face and body scrubs made from repurposed used coffee grounds which they collect from cafes and restaurants across London. UpCircle elevate leftover natural ingredients, bringing them back to life as beauty products your skin will love. They’re natural, vegan, cruelty free and handmade in the UK. Good for you. Good for the planet.
Joe is the founder of Vegware, the global specialist in compostable foodservice packaging. Vegware’s plant-based catering disposables are made from renewable, lower carbon or recycled materials, and can all be commercially composted with food waste where accepted. Vegware’s environmental team of three focus solely on helping clients compost used Vegware products, and is proud to be actively increasing business access to commercial composting, including the launch of its own collection service, Close the Loop.