My name is William Brightman, and along with my sister Anna, we are the team behind Optiat.
Today I want to explain a little bit more about where the idea for Optiat, the nature-friendly skincare company, came from.In all honesty, the idea of taking used coffee grounds and transforming them into a natural exfoliating scrub was down largely to luck. There were three events which happened at once that caused the proverbial penny to drop.
Firstly, my wife Francesca (on the right in the photo above) had bought us a cafetiere for Christmas – a French press made by Tom Dixon. We had just started getting into our coffee and thought we would divert our money away from the chains and into brewing our own.Secondly, I had started reading Sir Alan Sugar’s autobiography “What You See Is What You Get”, after the winner of the 2015 Apprentice series dropped in the fact he had read it in an interview at the final 5 stage! I had only got about 15 pages in when Sir Sugar started talking about how at the age of 14, he observed road maintenance men digging up the roads and re-laying them, discarding the tar-soaked timber beams that had formed the roads before. He took the beams, chopped them up and sold them to his local corner shop as firelighters.Finally, I was introduced to the concept of applying coffee to your skin after a holiday to Bali, where they had been using coffee scrubs for hundreds, if not thousands of years, as a natural beauty treatment. It was noted that it was highly effective in targeting skin complaints such as eczema, cellulite and stretch marks.
Putting the three ideas together, the train of thought went a little like this:
Brewing coffee generates a lot of coffee grounds which need to be disposed of...
Imagine how much a typical café has to dispose of every day...
Surely there must be a better use for these coffee grounds...
Why not take something that would otherwise be discarded, and give it a new purpose...
Why not collect some of the world’s finest coffee grounds from cafes, bars and restaurants across London, and turn them into one of the world’s oldest skin treatments
From this sequence, the idea was born. That was back in January 2016, and we’ve come a long way since then!
In the next blog post, I’ll talk about just how big the scale of the global coffee waste problem is, and how we went from idea to launching the company three months later.
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