Health & Beauty Interview South Africa

Enough Beauty Health is revolutionising the beauty industry

As a modern consumer, it can become overwhelming to consider all of the ethics behind your purchases. One entrepreneur, Ginette Blackbeard, founder of Enough Beauty Health, is attempting to simplify this issue by providing customers with products that not only fulfil their function but also ease consumers' environmental guilt.
Founder of ENOUGH Ginette Blackbeard
Founder of ENOUGH Ginette Blackbeard

Enough Beauty Health repurposes waste materials to create beauty products. By doing so, the company promotes a circular economy by removing products that have not yet been used to their full potential from the already overflowing landfills.

Our interview with Blackbeard looks at this type of ingredient sourcing as a concept and discusses the company's relationship with sustainability, its consumers and the South African market.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what led you to entrepreneurship?

I have always had a passion for entrepreneurship. My first real taste of it was when I started selling chocolates in boarding school. Being a boarder in a girl’s school meant I had a captive audience who were delighted to have an endless supply of chocolate long past official “office” hours.

Then, at 23, I had the opportunity to set up Adlab, an advertising agency that specialised in property development marketing, where I ran the creative side for 10 years.

Following this, I was given the chance to set up a manufacturing facility. It was a terrifying yet exhilarating experience, but it helped me to see that if I surrounded myself with the right technical people, the principles of business remained the same.

I have since set up two other businesses. The first being is a 3D printing filament manufacturing facility, which I co-founded, and after two years, is starting to gain traction. The second business unfortunately did not make it. I don’t see this as a failure, but rather a wonderful learning experience as I was taught some very tough lessons. As they say, “Smooth seas never made a skilled sailor!”

When it comes to sourcing ingredients, we are often told tales about beauty corporations going deep into the rainforest to find the most unique components to make up their products. What we’re not told is that they will probably end up disrupting that ecosystem. Your company, however, has taken a noteworthy approach, choosing to source ingredients from landfills. Can you shed some light on why this is the strategy that stuck out to you and why you feel it is the best solution?

A global shift towards circularity is essential for the future, particularly in the beauty industry, as it offers a more sustainable and responsible approach compared to the linear economy of using only new ingredients for product formulations.

By upcycling and reusing ingredients (and packaging), the beauty industry can minimise its environmental footprint, conserve natural resources, and significantly reduce the creation of waste.

This approach not only aligns with global sustainability goals but also ensures the long-term viability of the beauty sector, meeting the growing consumer demand for eco-friendly and ethical products.

Right now, we are focusing on coffee as our primary upcycled ingredient in this range, with the remaining components being clean, natural and vegan. We are already in the planning stages for our product line extension containing other repurposed ingredients.

Enough Beauty Health is revolutionising the beauty industry
Enough Beauty Health is revolutionising the beauty industry

When thinking of beauty, one’s mind does not necessarily go to discarded waste. However, that is what comes to mind when thinking of landfills. Have you found it difficult to market your products because of this? Have you noticed any hesitation or aversion from consumers? If so, how have you been able to change their minds?

When we talk about waste, we don’t mean trash, but a by-product or co-product from another process or industry (in our case, spent coffee). It’s important to understand that waste doesn’t equate to something unusable. It’s incredible to think that only 1% of coffee’s potential goodness is utilised when making a cup of coffee.

Although caffeine is extracted during the brewing process, residual caffeine remains in those grinds, as do a host of antioxidants, incredible natural oils or fatty acids, and polyphenols and tocopherols.

The misconception is that these upcycled ingredients have compromised quality and efficacy. The sustainable practices associated with upcycling, however, often result in ingredients that possess comparable, if not enhanced, quality and potency to their traditional counterparts.

Our coffee oil has undergone rigorous testing and quality control measures to ensure it meets the same high standards as any other cosmetic raw material.

As a pioneering brand that only launched in October, we are mindful that this is a new concept not only in South Africa but globally as well, and it will take some education to shift a mindset in an industry that often puts vanity to the forefront above all else.

More people are becoming conscious of their environmental footprint every day and are trying to better their impact on this earth. This consciousness makes one realise that every action and purchase has an effect. Being aware of this, can you speak about why you chose the beauty industry as a focus point?

Globally, the clean beauty industry is valued at $6.5bn and is estimated to grow to $15.3bn by 2028. Therefore, it has the potential to have a major impact, which is why we’ve chosen to focus on the beauty-heath segment. This division places value on creating healthy skin rather than superficially altering it.

Looking good is all about creating a positive mindset. Proper self-care, as opposed to vanity, contributes to overall well-being and productivity, making it essential for every part of your life.

Enough Beauty Health is revolutionising the beauty industry

It could be said that one of the main reasons why corporations choose to partake in unethical practices is money. These systems are in place to reduce spending and increase profit. Your company, however, is said to be committed to both quality and ethics. Taking a look at your current product line, some might say it is quite affordable when compared to other brands on the market. Are you able to talk about how you have managed to maintain your principles while making sure your products don’t harm the pockets of consumers?

I try to follow the principles of the lean startup, made popular in a book by Eric Ries. Although largely aimed at tech startups, I follow the basics. For example, keeping my overheads as low as possible, allows me to be agile and change as I get market feedback.

As the founder, I’m hands-on in every aspect of the business, and I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty. My business is self-funded, meaning I’ve carefully considered and turned over every penny 10 times. Bootstrapping your business means you’re forced to be very creative! I also love collaborating with other brands who share my ethos and values.

Enough Beauty Health is revolutionising the beauty industry

Have you found that there is a market in South Africa for what you offer?

We believe that the South African market is as savvy and progressive in its thinking – in terms of moving towards more sustainable choices – as the global market is.

Having said that, we are a startup and we are learning to understand what our customer requires whilst remaining true to our purpose. We understand that we are creating a new segment and this requires an element of education in terms of creating awareness for upcycled ingredients within this landscape.

Thus far, the feedback and uptake have been very positive. So, in essence, we do believe we have a market for our products and concepts here in South Africa.

Do you have a plan in place for reducing the waste your company is likely to produce? For example, when it comes to discarded packaging and the remnants manufacturing generally creates.

Our current outer packaging is already made from packaging waste (from which we laser cut our uniquely shaped boxes). Furthermore, the reduction of waste and promoting circularity in our business is always a work in progress, and one of our values is constant improvement!

I am presently enrolled in a programme for female entrepreneurs in the circular economy, sponsored by the Ministry of Finland and hosted by Future Females, a global movement to support the success of businesswomen.

Apart from the comprehensive business training the programme offers, they have specific sector training to assist entrepreneurs in improving their circularity.

One of the main ingredients in your products is coffee grounds, which you source from a coffee house in Cape Town. Can you talk a little bit about the collaboration between Enough Beauty Health and Truth Coffee Roasting, and how this came to be?

According to MAPS, approximately 21.7m South African adults start their day with a cup of coffee, so there was no shortage of waste coffee to be found! Truth’s commitment to quality, sustainability and ethically sourced coffee, made them a natural selection for us.

David Donde, the owner of Truth Coffee Roasting, is a true guru in the coffee world and a trailblazer in his own right. His relentless pursuit of excellence and innovation aligns perfectly with our values at Enough Beauty Health. He has also been intimately involved with our brand since inception.

What have you found to be the pros and cons of being a business owner? Especially one with such a unique idea. I imagine there aren’t many resources to guide you.

Being an entrepreneur can be risky, and it’s not for the faint-hearted! If you enjoy a cushy job with a nice salary, then being your own boss might not be for you. My team is tiny, but I’ve surrounded myself with women who can only be described as powerhouses.

Analysis paralysis is real – sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and start. Imperfect action beats perfect inaction every time! Pioneering a new idea takes some guts. There are days when I just want to pack it up, but that’s why the right mindset and a strong purpose to guide you are essential.

Enough Beauty Health is revolutionising the beauty industry
Enough Beauty Health is revolutionising the beauty industry

Where would you like to see your business in the next five to 10 years? Do you have an end goal in mind?

There have been massive advancements in technology, as well as some innovative active ingredients that can be extracted from waste and by-products, which can greatly add to the circular economy and revolutionise the way we look at beauty health.

I plan to expand our product range to include more upcycled ingredients besides coffee. I also have some exciting packaging ideas, which I hope to share soon.

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