Flaya make vegan perfume: they are a female lead, vegan, small family business run by mum and two daughters.
Their minimalist, classy style with a twist of something rebellious, backed up with genuine quality and deep rooted ethical principles, makes them fit right in with today’s vegan scene! Here’s what they’ve got to say…
So, how did this all start?
“Well, we have always been interested in health, nutrition, the environment and animal welfare. Whilst running a health shop in rural North Yorkshire, we couldn’t find organic (no phthalates, synthetics, etc.) and vegan (without civet, castoreum, ambergis, musk, etc.) perfumes that we all wanted to wear. We therefore dabbled with
perfume making in our spare time.”
That sounds fun! When did this become a business?
“It wasn’t until 2016, when we handed the shop reigns to new owners, that we had time to invest in our dream of creating beautiful organic and vegan perfumes for ourselves and others. It took considerable time and effort to perfect our range of seven perfumes. We were delighted to finally launch Flaya at theGreat Yorkshire Vegan Festival in June 2017.”
I think that’s where we met! So, how did it go?
“We had a fantastic day! Not only did we sell lots of perfumes but we also met many like-minded people and made purchases from other ethical and vegan businesses / charities. We also received fantastic feedback from customers so gained confidence to approach stockists. Our aim was always to sell via independent and ethical retailers. It’s amazing that, within a few months since our launch, Flaya perfumes are for sale in some fabulous ethical shops and therapy centers all over the UK”
Great! And what’s happened since then?
“Since then, we’ve started to sell to independent and ethical shops, clinics and therapy centers in England, Scotland and Wales. “
Amazing. So, what are your ethical principles and how do they guide and motivate you?
“In a nutshell: principles and the planet before profit! As a vegan family, we knew from the outset that we would never use any animal-derived ingredients and that we would never test any of our perfumes on animals. We would never purchase from suppliers who test on animals and also never sell our perfumes in countries where animal testing is compulsory. This was non-negotiable.”
“The integrity of our ingredients is important to us – we want customers to have confidence in us and the Flaya ethos. So far we’ve successfully registered all Flaya perfumes with the Vegan Society. As we’re all vegan, this was an obvious certification to achieve. The NatureWatch Foundation, which champions a fixed cut-off date for animal testing. They produce the Compassionate Shopping Guide, endorses our business too! We try to support our principles with evidence and hope to build on this in the future.”
So how are your perfumes different from other vegan versions?
“Traditional animal-derived ingredients used in the perfume industry are often replaced with cheap synthetic ingredients. Examples are castoreum, civet, musk and ambergris. But this wasn’t an option for us. We’re committed to organic principals and sustainable lifestyle. We knew from the start that we wanted to use genuinely natural, plant-based ingredients. No synthetics, parabens, phthalates, SLS, SLES, etc. We’re proud that our perfumes contain between 80 and 92% certified organic ingredients.”
“We are aware of our impact on the environment and restrict the use of plastics. We therefore bottle our perfumes in glass, minimise our packaging, use vegetable based inks and solar power.”
Describe an average day in the life of you
“As a three-woman team, we’re tremendously busy. Nonetheless we feel privileged to work together on a daily basis. No two days are the same but typically we’ll blend, bottle and label our perfumes, talk to our stockists, and receive and dispatch orders. We only make small batches so never spend all day on one task. We also try to send every parcel out with love – we hope this is felt when our customers open their perfume package, wherever they may be.”
“We naturally try to make time for our hobbies too. We all love exercise and the outdoors. Walking, running and growing our own organic fruit and vegetables are activities we enjoy. Oh, and eating the ‘occasional’ delicious Ombar!”