Katherine Millward

ReRooted Beauty: New Business Award winner - Graduate Fashion Week 2023

Katherine Millward is a final year Fashion Business and Promotion student whose final year project, beauty brand ReRooted Beauty, won the New Business Award at Graduate Fashion Week 2023. The brand's  concept revolves around using waste from the fruit industry and using it within cosmetics – considering packing – production and marketing.

Fashion and Business Promotion - BA (Hons)

Give us a brief overview of your project

For my Final Independent Project, I created a hypothetical beauty brand, ‘ReRooted Beauty’, that intends to address the abundance of clean, affordable makeup products with a desire to maintain sustainable processes. The business is committed to developing non-toxic, highly effective product ranges that draw its inspiration from nature. The ingredients used to create the products are sourced directly from local farms, with a particular emphasis on utilising fruit that would otherwise go to waste after processing.

By repurposing fruit waste, we not only reduce environmental impact but also provide farmers with an additional revenue stream. I recognise that the beauty industry has been plagued by excessive plastic waste, which has a detrimental impact on our environment. That's why I made a conscious choice to embrace bamboo as a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional plastic packaging. ReRooted Beauty also offers refillable options for the products. I believe in the power of the circular economy, and the refillable sticks for the bamboo packaging embody this concept.

Why did you choose this concept?

Choosing to create 'ReRooted Beauty' as my Final Independent Project was a natural combination of my longstanding interest in the beauty industry and my concern regarding the ingredients often used that can have detrimental effects on our health. After completing my dissertation where I investigated the concept of ‘clean’ beauty, I discovered that many conventional beauty products contained harmful chemicals and toxins that can potentially harm both consumers and the environment. I couldn't ignore the alarming ingredients that were being used within our everyday conventional beauty products that contained toxins harmful to our health.

I wanted to offer an alternative to consumers who shared similar concerns and sought sustainable and non-toxic beauty options. By developing 'ReRooted Beauty,' I aimed to provide a brand that prioritises the use of safe and highly effective ingredients sourced from nature. Additionally, I've always had a deep interest in sustainability, leading me to explore innovative solutions that have a positive impact on the environment. I believe that the beauty industry can play a crucial role in driving change and promoting a more sustainable and circular future. 'ReRooted Beauty' embodies this vision and represents my dedication to creating a brand that aligns with my values and responds to the urgent issues our planet is facing.

What processes have you been using?

I have worked closely with various experts within the beauty space who have allowed me to gain valuable insights within the industry, whilst adding credibility to my project. Firstly, I conducted thorough research on clean and safe ingredients to ensure the products are non-toxic yet effective, I then took my final formulation to a cosmetic chemist who approved it ready for use. After using my digital and creative skills to create various packaging designs using Adobe software, I then had my final mock-ups made into physical prototypes by a design team ready to create the product. Throughout the development process, I have prioritised transparency and accountability.

I have documented each step, from ingredient sourcing to packaging choices, ensuring that every decision made is in line with a commitment to sustainability. I created a website for ReRooted Beauty where all this information is available for public access online, as I want to empower consumers to understand and evaluate all our production processes. This included creating an online production process page, and an ingredients glossary. Using my business and analytical skills, I have also created a detailed business plan that demonstrates professionalism, strategic thinking, and the viability of ReRooted Beauty. It also helped me estimate the expenses involved in product development, marketing, operations, and distribution.

What do you hope to achieve with your project?

With my project, I wanted to investigate the realms of sustainable beauty and explore innovative solutions that address the environmental and health concerns within the industry. By researching and developing ReRooted Beauty, I hope to contribute to a more sustainable and conscious approach to cosmetics. My goal is to create a collection of work that showcases the importance of clean and sustainable outcomes, inspiring both consumers and industry players to embrace more conscious beauty alternatives. As I enter the industry after my time at BCU, I want to advocate for a more responsible and transparent approach to beauty. Ultimately, I want to be a catalyst for transformation and continue promoting sustainability and ingredient safety within the cosmetic sector.

How has your course helped you to prepare for working on your project?

Studying Fashion, Business and Promotion at BCU has provided me with a strong foundation and a comprehensive skill set that helped me create ReRooted Beauty. Previously, I worked on various industry-led projects throughout my course which have given me valuable hands-on experience and exposure to real-world challenges within the industry. I've also had the opportunity to collaborate with various individuals within the industry which has broadened my perspective and allowed me to draw inspiration from different fields, enabling me to think creatively and develop innovative solutions for my project.

Lastly, the guidance and support I've received from my lecturers at BCU have played a crucial role in my development and success throughout my project. Their expertise and feedback have provided me with valuable insights, helping me refine my ideas, navigate challenges, and explore new ideas.