“SDG 12 is all about responsible consumption and production. How do we truly embody that? It’s about being quite radical. For us, that means asking people to use less in an industry where everybody’s asking you to buy more, we want you to use less, but use better.” – Sira Dheshan Naidu on the transition to sustainable beauty.
In this episode of EnvironMental with Dandelion, we talked with Sira Dheshan Naidu, co-founder of Disruptor London. Disruptor London is a sustainable beauty brand focused on solutions for the over-consumption, plastic pollution, and water scarcity that runs rampant throughout the beauty industry. We also talked about the under-representation of men in the industry. Plus how Disruptor London is baking inclusivity into the DNA of their capsule collection.
The Birth of Disruptor London
Disruptor London was born when Sira and his co-founder, Juan, decided to leave their busy careers and take time to reflect during COVID. When the dust settled, they had decided to dive into ecommerce. They wanted to create a skincare brand that addressed environmental issues and offered quality, efficiency, and inclusivity to their customers.
Disruptor London doesn’t use chemical or petroleum-based ingredients. They opt instead for simple, natural proprietary formulations with ingredients that have both function and purpose. They prioritize using concentrated solid formats to reduce waste and they don’t use fillers so their products are concentrated goodness.
Disruptor London believes that beauty should not be limited by gender and that products should address concerns and provide solutions for everyone. Sira says, “beauty shouldn’t be gendered. I mean, who’s creating these rules anyway? It’s nonsense.”
Breaking Gender Barriers
We loved this story on its own, but when Sira shared his background and journey in the beauty industry we couldn’t get enough. He told us about being the only man working at the Estee Lauder counter in South Africa. He got a lot of attention as the only male beauty consultant! Sira felt like a disruptor more than 20 years ago.
Since then, he had jobs throughout the beauty industry, learning the trade and finding where each he can cause a stir. In the end, he had an understanding and a global appreciation for what it takes to build his own beauty brand. He knew right away that he wanted his brand to be a genderless, sustainable beauty company.
And Disruptor London was born.
Challenging the Beauty Industry
Disruptor London aims to challenge the traditional narrative of the beauty industry, which has been focused on excess and selling more products. They believe in eliminating unnecessary plastic packaging and reducing water usage to minimize their carbon footprint.
A Slow and Steady Approach to Sustainable Beauty
One thing we appreciate is Disruptor London’s approach to slowing down and solving problems first. They don’t prioritize sales and overproduction. They build their company based on values before they ever put products on the market, something we rarely have the opportunity to see, especially in the beauty industry.
“We didn’t have a product when we decided we want to launch a brand called Disruptor London. So purpose came first and we thought, okay, what does this mean in terms of our ingredient philosophy? What does this mean in terms of the type of products we bring to the market?”– Sira on the process of building a sustainable beauty brand.
Sira also mentioned that they have developed four solid format products and have 24 others formulated and ready for launch. However, they have decided to go slower and focus on their core range. They want to ensure they can address packaging sustainability issues and learn from their customers’ feedback before putting anything else on the market.
This is so rare, and we want to hold it up as an example for folks who want to create a brand today.
The Future of Disruptor London
The beauty industry is built on the idea that more products = more beauty. With a typical beauty regimen being niche-product heavy, the reception to their multi-use products has been mixed. Some people instantly understanding the concept and others finding it difficult to grasp because of the ‘unlearning’ it takes to change our relationship with our beauty products. Still, Disruptor London encourages skeptics to try their products and see the benefits for themselves.
When we asked Sira about the future plans for Disruptor London, he told us about including expanding their business-to-business offerings and developing solid format moisturizers using innovative ingredients. (Exciting!) He also talked about relationships with competition.
If anything, our approach to our competition is they’re all doing great things for like a collective mission. So we champion each other more than, you know, competing. That feels really nice and liberating when we take that approach.– Sira Dheshan Naidu, Disruptor London’s co-founder, on competition
Here are the best places to find Disruptor London and try these game-changing sustainable beauty products!
What do you think about switching to a multi-use product in your beauty routine? Leave a comment!