Here at Because HQ we’re always looking to uncover exciting, new hot spots within the city. The places to pop into over the eagerly awaited weekend, that will inspire the week ahead. big. beauty (notice the softer lowercase ‘b’) is no exception. A newly opened sustainable beauty destination that seeks to demystify the overcrowded space, offering customers expert advice and an edit of tried and tested (actually) eco products.

“It’s fundamentally somewhere for people to come and ask questions,” says Marijke, co-founder of the concept store. “We want everyone to leave having felt seen, heard and listened to. We want to put empathy back into sales.” As London’s first solely sustainable beauty and wellness shop, they have a challenging reputation to uphold and they do so by putting the brands that they choose to sell under the metaphorical microscope.

In the curation process, the big team start with the packaging. Home to an entirely plastic-free host of brands the shop display cabinets and tables are illuminated with glass bottles, tin containers and even packaging made from bioplastics (which looks just like the hard shiny stuff to begin with) but can actually be popped into your compost bin and biodegrades after 3 months, so I'm told. “It's completely zero-waste, you’ll leave no trace behind, it’s quite mind-boggling,” says Marijke.

The brand she’s referring to is Haeckels, the skincare purveyor using handpicked seaweed from the beaches of Margate on England’s southeast coast, where it is located, as a base for all of its products. Not only for its skin-loving capabilities but also because it’s all-natural, and all around us. “The Haeckels team always says that if you're doing the same things you were doing 10 years ago, you're not doing enough. We can’t stand still in this space,” says Marijke.

The shop approaches reducing the amount of waste in the beauty industry by enforcing strict criteria and standards from a packaging perspective but also through customer service. “We stray away from encouraging impulse buying and praying on consumer insecurities,” she says, “for us, it's about connecting with our customers and getting to know them on a personal level.”

Hidden away at the back behind, and glass block wall is a treatment room where big hosts bespoke treatment residencies. This month welcomes Menteath, based in East Sussex the brand's founder takes inspiration from woodland walks and camping, diffusing smoke into her tight edit of healing skincare products. “She starts her facial with a smoke cleansing ritual,” says, Marijke. A fresh but smokey smell wafts out from within the side room and fills the shop floor. “People always come in and say how nice it smells,” she laughs.

The store taps into the community feel in Victoria Park Village, a hub of independent cafes, organic shops, bakeries and boutique stores in the heart of Hackney that are ideal spots to drop into after a stroll around the neighbouring leafy city park. Perched on the corner of Laurison Road and Victoria Park Road and painted in a bright tangerine, the welcoming shop proves that big things do indeed come in small packages!

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