Rose Brown and her family set up PHB Ethical Beauty then they realised just how many beauty and cosmetics products weren’t cruelty free
PHB Ethical Beauty is home to the world’s largest range of natural and vegan beauty products, with stores in five countries and products sold in over fifteen. The company was started by 24 year old British entrepreneur Rose Brown, the daughter of Jimmy Brown – songwriter and drummer for legendary pop reggae band UB40. Rose plays a key role in the formulation of all products and, along with their Cosmetic Chemist, she works hard to source the purest ingredients and preservative systems that are ethical, effective and gentle to skin.
PHB products are handmade in the UK right on the coast and their offices are based in Birmingham where they also have a store. They are committed to providing ethically made products that are a safer choice for human health and for the environment; all products are free from parabens, SLS, alcohol, animal ingredients, and harmful chemicals. They also focus on raising awareness about ethical issues that arise in the cosmetics industry, such as the use of animal derived ingredients, plastic micro-beads, and the use of palm oil. They’re also strongly against animal testing of course.
Rose runs the business with her partner and her mother in law, and all of them are vegan. They weren’t vegan when they started PHB Ethical Beauty but they were always adamant that all their products were completely free of any animal ingredients, and were surprised at the number of beauty and cosmetics ranges that weren’t cruelty-free.
‘PHB is such an enormous part of our life and the strict rules we apply for our products have naturally informed our own decisions where being vegan is concerned. It made us think about the issue and has been a crucial part in us making the change from vegetarian to vegan. It has been a wonderful decision spiritually, mentally and physically. We became vegan due to our love for animals and a dislike of our lifestyle where eating animal produce is concerned. It has been one of the best decisions we have ever made and our diet has greatly improved because of it. The variety of food we now eat is incredible and we all feel more in tune with our bodies, and we have much more energy!’
PHB started out with just one small store that Rose and her partner ran by themselves seven days a week. They say that they didn’t have a clue what they were doing in those early days, but thanks to their unique eco-credentials, the effectiveness of their products, and their commitment, they quickly managed to build a loyal and regular customer base.
‘From there we started to get interest from other retailers and companies who loved our ethos so much they wanted to open PHB shops. To now have an international franchise business and to see our products sold on British high streets up and down the country is amazing. Our products are even available on Oxford Street in London, and for this we thank our lucky stars.’
Rose and the rest of the team have plenty of plans for the future of PHB, including an expanded range that will include facial oils and balms, and plans to turn the company into a not-for-profit organization.
‘We have actually just been redesigning all our labels to include letting customers know that 15% of profit will be going to charity each year. The dream is to turn the business into a not-for-profit organization where we advertise that we are ‘for people not profit’. We are starting a charity called The OneLove Foundation. Our dream for this is to help people, in particular children, here in the UK and further afield whilst also donating to animal charities. We want our business to be a love exchange where customers receive a lovely product and we use their hard earned money to help people and animals who really need it.’
PHB products are available at select Holland & Barrett stores, on the Holland & Barrett website and at phbethicalbeauty.co.uk