You don’t have to go and live in an organic hand knitted Yurt to do your bit for the environment!

IMG_9118

We all want to do our bit for the environment, we care about the future of the planet and what kind of a world we are leaving for our kids. For some of us it bothers us that we seem to take our endless supplies of material goods for granted. We buy new clothes instead of mending old ones but then the clothes we buy aren’t made to last. We waste food because it’s Friday and the label says best before Wednesday, we even buy new electrical items and furniture because the broken TV can’t be fixed and the skills to mend a chair leg haven’t been passed down through the generations….

The problem is that when we try to do ‘our bit’ it sometimes feels like our small efforts are going to waste and will have no impact at all. When you see lorries churning out great plumes of fumes as they trundle through our cities you wonder why you’ve made the effort to get public transport, when you imagine the amount of electricity used to power the lighting at a major sporting event you wonder why you bothered switching to low energy light bulbs in your home. It reminds me a sketch by comedian Sean Lock who talks about rinsing out his Marmite jar before taking it to the recycling depot being akin to turning up the aftermath of a volcanic eruption offering to help clean up the ash with a dust pan and brush… it seems too little too late.

The other side of this though is that if everyone took the time and the effort to make small changes in their daily routines, their actions would soon amount to a very large difference. If everyone recycled all their glassware, used low energy light bulbs and tried to make the most of all the food they bought, the positive impact would soon be felt. The same goes for our choices of packaging materials.

If we all made the effort to buy products that come in recycled and recyclable packaging and resisted buying the fancy products in glossy hardboard boxes with plastic wrapping not only would this have an immediate positive impact but it would also start to make the companies that sell products in none environmentally friendly packaging think long and hard about what consumers actually want. It’s one of those things that seems hard to do at first, a bit like when the carrier bag charge was introduced at the supermarkets; we all though it’d be a hassle making sure we had our carrier bags with us and for a while, yes, we did take them and then leave them in the car, but it’s now become habit and it’s sparked a whole new range of reusable shopping bags. It’s almost looked down upon now to answer ‘yes’ when the person on the checkout asks if you need any bags! The same can happen with product packaging that clogs up your cupboards and landfill sites.

As consumers, if we make positive, ethical choices about which products we buy based on what’s important to us, at some point those issues will become important to the manufacturers and notice will be taken. Increasing numbers of products are now available with recycled, recyclable or even re-useable packaging. This is one of the reasons I have focused one of the main elements of the Lubylu brand to be ‘ethical luxury’. We can still have the nice things in life, the treats and the luxury goods but we can now look for ones that have a positive impact on our ‘world’. Lubylu handmade home fragrance products come in packaging that is either recycled, recyclable or re-usable or all three. It’s important to me that my customers feel good about their choices and you don’t have to live in an organic, hand knitted yurt, to have a positive impact on the world around you, just buy your luxury soy wax candle from Lubylu!!

Lucy Pimblott, Owner, Lubylu Ltd

www.lubylu.com

Advertisements

Turning a negative into positive motivation.

I know as part of my ‘e-spark’ journey I will be asked to look at my motivation for wanting a place on the programme and a desk in the Hub and it got me thinking as to why I feel Lubylu® and I deserve the opportunity.

I can’t move too far away from the fact that for quite a while now I have known deep down in my soul that Lubylu® is destined to be a well-known household name brand in the world of home fragrance and possibly even bath and body. I know that Lubylu® will achieve respect for what is created, how the business is run and the support and opportunities that will be afforded to others, but there’s something else, something a little more personal if I’m honest.

I want to do it just to bloody well show that I can! To prove to people that a business where you make lovely scented products, create beautiful bath body and home décor items and basically have fun with fragrance, colour and glitter can have a significantly positive economic and social impact on the community. I wanted to show that I can run a business and that I can do it well. I am proud of what I have achieved so far and I’m even learning to be quite vocal about how proud I am of myself and my business.

A comment was made to me quite innocently back in summer of 2016 when I moved into my lovely new workshop / office at Church Fenton. It was a huge step for me, now I have actual bills to pay and what was essentially a hobby business became a proper ‘grown up’ business that has to make money to keep going. One of the guys from one of the other businesses, a much more well established business, in that actually employs people and have engineers and everything, threw away a comment to me in chatting of ‘I assume your business isn’t one that pays the bills for your family’. Now I know he didn’t mean to be condescending or to devalue my business at all, he really didn’t see that what he said was negative but it made me take a step back, deep breath and politely reply that my business does OK thanks and I very much enjoy what I do. I couldn’t think of much else to say without going into the details of how Mr P and I split our family finances and I don’t really see that as anyone else’s concern.

This negative comment and assumption that Lubylu® is just a ‘little’ business that me, as the wife, potters about at just to keep me busy, has spurred me on to prove him and anyone else who thinks that wrong. It’s made me even more determined that one day soon Lubylu® will be a desirable sought after product and brand, one of the ones that people recommend to their friends and love giving as gifts.

It seems that I’ll have quite a bit to say when I’m next asked what my motivation for developing Lubylu® is! 😉

Lucy
Chief Glitter Sprinkler
Lubylu Ltd
www.lubylu.com

Seasonal candle safety – tea lights

candle-safety-2

“I can just use any old tea light….”

This time of year is candle season, more candles than at any time other time are lit and enjoyed and tea lights play a large part in the candle consumption.

It might seem trivial and I know, through my many discussions recently, that people believe all tea lights to be equal and can be used with any oil burner / wax warmer. Sorry to say, it’s not true and by ignoring some of the safety elements regarding tea lights you can cause some serious damage.

They’re tiny little candles, what harm can they do…. Quite a bit actually.

Unscented tea lights are designed to burn for certain lengths of time, usually 4 hours however there are some on the market that are meant to burn for 8 hours. These a lovely for open topped tea light holders where there is loads of air for the heat build up to be set free into, not so much underneath an oil burner! What happens is the heat build-up causes the burner to overheat, best case scenario is that the wax in the burner bowl is heated too high, the fragrance burns off really quickly and then soon just smells ‘waxy’. Worst case is that the heat intensity is too much for the burner and it cracks, this can cause the wax to spit and land in the flames OR the flame of the tea light becomes so intense that it licks up around the side the of the burner and catches the wax on fire…. My advice is to ensure that there is approximately 5 cm between the top of the flame of the tea light and the bottom of the bowl of the burner and that there is plenty of ventilation for the heat to escape.

Let’s double the scent throw!

Not only are tea lights that are too large for the burner used but some people also used scented tea lights which is really dangerous. The fragrance oil that is added to the wax to give it that amazing scent makes it burn hotter. For this reason scented tea lights should only be used where there is plenty of ventilation (and I don’t mean that your windows don’t fit or you’ve opened a window!)

When used safely and with a little thought, burning candles and tea lights creates a lovely warm glow and welcoming fragrance but please do be aware that naked flames can be dangerous.

Tea light top tips

  • Only use small, unscented tea lights in wax warmers
  • Ensure there is 5cm between the top of the flame and the bottom of your wax warmer
  • Scented tea lights should only be used in holders which have plenty of ventilation
  • Ensure your tea lights are in a suitable heat proof container
  • If the flame gets out of hand, extinguish immediately and allow to cool

Wishing you a safely fragranced and fun festive season

Lucy

http://www.lubylu.com

We spend how much on candles….?

I read a great article in ‘Stella’ magazine from The Telegraph 1 the other day, apparently the scented candle market is on the rise and we Britons are spending £90million on them each year!

Kerry Potter’s article made for interesting reading citing the recent research from Kantar that shows more than 25% of British households buy scented candles and that spending is up 22%. That’s great news for all of us in the candle and home fragrance business, now all we need to do is direct some of the big brand spending towards the smaller, UK, handmade candle companies and we’ll be as happy as kid in a candy shop or a scented candle lover in a candle shop I should say!

I completely agree with Kerry that many people do buy ‘high end’ candles as a way of owning a piece of that brand, a way of making themselves feel as though they too can afford the lifestyle of the rich and famous. It’s the ‘lipstick luxury’ sensation, when you may not be able to afford the new outfit so you buy a new lipstick instead.

When the candles that were talked about in the article were all upwards of £30, some as much as £390 (but that is for a candle that weighs nearly 2kg and has artwork on the pot it is in) you can see how easy it is for the spending figures to grow, yet from what I could see, all the featured candles were mass produced, not handmade, and the main things that people were buying was a branded sticker and possibly a pretty box. I know at least one of the brands mentioned in the article have their candles made for them by a generic candle company so whilst they may have signed off on the scent and the packaging, it’s not really ‘their’ product so to speak, not in the same way a handmade candle is.

There does also appear to be a growth in the ‘artisan’, handmade candle companies where the owners have sourced their fragrances, waxes, wicks, colours and packaging with an immense level of attention to detail and care that can only come when what you sell actually matters to you. Some of us are keen to support other UK businesses and make a point of using UK fragrance houses, wicks and packaging manufactured in the UK and packaging designed and made, yep, you guessed it, in the UK. I believe that we have some excellent business skills and manufacturing capability within our own small island and as such, we should make use of them and support them where possible.

It certainly is good to know that money is being spent on candles and the other good news that some research coming out of North America conducted by Mintel2 is showing a growth in the ‘ethical buyer’ as well. Conscientious consumers who care about supporting local and small businesses, the ‘mom and pop’ businesses where every pound or dollar spent actually matters to the business and the people working on and in it. For the small candle businesses I can confirm that every sale matters, every contact with a potential customer or gift recipient is a chance for us to share all the hard work and dedication that has gone into our creations. Whilst it is true that the basics of making candles is actually quite straight forward, getting the right blend of wax, colour, fragrance oil, correctly sized wick for the container and the other elements to ensure a great scent throw and clean burn, can be quite complicated and very time consuming meaning that every candle and how it burns matters a great deal to us.

I was  ever so pleased to read that Kerry concluded that she will continue to purchase her scented candles as the very lighting of them relaxes and calms her in times of stress, perhaps I should send her some Lubylu candles so she can experience the warm glow of a handmade, vegan friendly, manufactured in the UK soy wax candle….

@StellaMagazine #scentedcandles #handmade #soywax #vegan #madeinuk #smallbusiness #homefragrance #candles

Links

  1. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/scented-candles-status-symbols-that-burn-money-or-worth-every-pe/
  2. Source – Mintel North America Consumer Trends 2016