Here at House of Coco we are big fans of businesses that support and celebrate women which is why we are quickly falling for new kid on the beauty block, Counter Culture.

Co-founded by Wendy Martin, who previously held senior roles at Visa, she turned her back on the corporate world to create a sustainable, ethical online beauty retail destination that champions female-led brands. To celebrate International Women’s Day House of Coco caught up Wendy to find out more about this exciting new brand.

Wendy’s passion lies in championing sustainable, ethical businesses and driving consumer change. The beauty industry came into sharp focus when her research highlighted the average consumer uses 12-16 products a day and the industry, as a whole, produces some 120 billion units of packaging every year, much of which is not recyclable. Along with her co-founder, Mark Wisniewski they wanted to make it easier for people to discover, shop and switch to more sustainable alternatives and to empower them to shop in-line with their values, whether that be vegan, cruelty-free, plastic-free, refillable, multi-purpose or upcycled.

Counter Culture is focused on building a community of like-minded people. Their aim is to help connect conscious consumers and businesses with their brands and products and this is highlighted in the discounts and rewards they give to customers for sustainable living activities, such as recycling pre-loved clothes in return for a Counter Culture voucher or by offering discounts via partners for food waste or recycling activities.

Here at House of Coco we love the brand for its discoverability. While they stock some of the best known beauty and wellbeing brands like Olaplex, Medik8 and Trilogy, they also stock smaller, indie ranges making it easier for people to discover and switch to new, upcoming brands. Wendy recommends putting Centred, Fighter shots and Dehlicious on your beauty radar. These hot new brands are stocked on the site and set to blow up in 2023. She’s also got her eye on new collaborations and says, “we’d love to bring Byoma, Cultured Biomecare, Wild Science Lab to our platform soon.”

Supporting female founders is important to Wendy. Research shows all female-founded businesses secured less than 2p in every £1 of venture capital investment, despite the fact that female-founded companies continue to outperform in the broader market. She says, “within our broader vision we aspire to help support emerging, female-founded businesses get investment and retail ready. But right now, recognising we are still very early in our own journey, we’re focused on championing as many female founders as we can. Over 85% of the brands on our site are female-founded.”

The beauty market is crowded so being innovative and fresh is key to getting standout. Wendy says, “There are so many brands killing it right now. I’m a fan of those that are focused on “anti-stress” beauty. Great examples include Faace, with their period and menopause masks and Centred and Abyssian with their focus on scalp as well as hair health. I love multi-use products, like Seeds of Colour with their make-up balm that’s perfect for lips, cheeks and eyes and Dr Lipp with their stripped-back, multi-use products. Some products that are personal favourites, include Medik8’s Press and Glow and Crystal Retinal and Juice Beauty’s Prebiotix Freshly Squeezed Glow.”

It’s an exciting time for Wendy and her Counter Culture team, watch this space as she’s only just getting started.

Comments are closed.