A Q&A with the founder of natural skincare brand, Q+A
As we welcome Q+A to the Renude Approved line-up, we sat down with founder, Freddy Furber to get to know the brand a whole lot better. Q+A is making waves in the beauty sector, trailblazing the way for a sustainable, more ethical and progressive future for the industry.
With the number of skincare brands and products available on the market, I recognised it was impossible for the average shopper to know where to start when it comes to skincare! There are so many options out there, with so many different claims (some are a little far-fetched too).
This is why creating an accessible brand was hugely important to me. The idea for Q+A stemmed from the concept of being able to develop a regime using a unique “checklist” on the pack. We believe purchasing skincare does not have to be overly complex, and it certainly shouldn’t be stressful.
One of my main goals with Q+A was to achieve something few other brands are able to do… develop premium formulations without the premium price points, coupled with a focus on natural ingredients. The range is 98% natural and has been formulated in-house at our lab in Norfolk, helping to keep our quality high and price points low.
During the brand's development, we conducted a questionnaire using 2,000 people, and we discovered that only a small percentage of them knew what their skin type was. This inspired me to really strip things back to the basics of educating customers. The first step is helping them to understand their skin type, and then build a regime from there.
We are very lucky to have a vertically integrated business model that allows for total control and creative freedom over the development and manufacturing process. This means our lab, warehouse and HQ are all on the same complex, we are able to deliver products of very high quality at an affordable price, all in record time! We have control over the supply chain and full visibility on demand and production, which is something many other brands don’t have the luxury of.
As we manufacture in-house, we are able to keep our product costs lower. We cut out the “middleman” by purchasing raw materials directly from suppliers and operating production lines in the most efficient way.
Why wouldn’t you create a natural skincare brand?! Natural derivatives are at the core of our brand as they are kinder to both your skin and the planet, and I believe they often have equal (if not better) benefits to their non-natural peers. Although it’s sometimes challenging to formulate with natural actives, this makes the development process more exciting and rewarding.
We say no to silicones - our serums use a unique water-based suspension system which differs hugely from formulas suspended in silicone (and other petrochemical bases). It’s just as effective and keeps your skincare regime as clean as can be.
Where possible, the lab team spends time harvesting our own ingredients and extracts like Oat Milk which are used across the Q+A range. We have our brand guidelines of natural ingredient percentages and preferred sources - this acts as a guide to the purchasing team as well as the chemists.
I believe the best thing is that our products are manufactured in a sustainably conscious way, which is something I am very proud of! For me, it’s huge to have a brand that has transparency and offers sustainability in beauty. Many brands can claim to be sustainable in their approach but unless they manufacture their own products, it is arguably very difficult for them to know exactly what their manufacturing partners do behind closed doors.
It is impossible (at least for a company of our size) to have a totally sustainable supply chain. For example, we do not manufacture glass in huge volumes, so this has to come via boat… but we bring that in huge consignments to lower the CO2 footprint as much as we can.
Any plastic is made with a % of recycled materials and produced locally in Norfolk or Suffolk. Believe it or not, plastics such as HTPE and PET when recycled properly have an incredibly low CO2 footprint as they are blown using hot air.
Our factory itself has some credentials too! We have solar panels to power our development lab, as well as a biofuel generator to run our heavy machinery on vegetable oils. All of our filling equipment runs off compressed air and we are currently developing a rainwater harvesting system to generate super-pure water quality for production. I will be the first to say we are not perfect, as no business can be, but as a family-run business we have a heart, and we want to do things right.
I am also very lucky to have a team of enthusiastic and relentless lab staff who develop our formulations! Faye, Q+A’s Development Chemist, has helped develop and formulate an exceptional line of products alongside the support of other chemists at our on-site lab. I’m very pleased to be able to provide opportunities to young people in STEM careers.
We are both on a mission to make skincare simpler and easier to navigate! Q+A through the skincare checklist and Renude through expert recommendations. We are excited to join Renude as a natural brand with purse-friendly products for all skin types!
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