Time to Akt
Ed Currie and Andy Coxon met performing in a West End Show in London. Basically, they stunk the place out! I'm not talking about their theatrical performances but given the physical intensity of their work, mainstream deodorants were making them smell like "teenage boys". I've got one of those and it's not pleasant!
So they came up with something of their own. Five years on from their meeting, in 2020, they launched Akt, an award winning deodorant balm. Eco friendly in plastic free packaging, they have a hit on their hands or more pertinently, under their armpits! From winning a “Best in Beauty” award from Harper’s Bazaar to being named number one deodorant by Vogue.
In our previous blog, we wrote about Project Earth at Selfridges and the future of shopping. So, I thought it would be interesting to delve a little deeper and get the views of someone, whose product is in the store. And Ed kindly agreed to answer my questions....
How did you manage to become a part of Project Earth at Selfridges and how excited are you to have your product in such an iconic store?
We launched in May 2020 as a ‘lockdown brand’, starting the business in the middle of the pandemic. We saw great sales from the start and the brand went from strength to strength over the year, eventually starting conversations with the team at Selfridges. It’s been a dream of ours since we started making Akt in my (Ed’s) kitchen, we are so excited to now sit in one of the biggest department stores in the world!
Does something like this make you feel like there is a real shift to environmentally friendly, ethical, sustainable products from both the consumers and retail store's side?
Absolutely - there’s a real need for a skincare range for all genders which supports their personal care, health and wellbeing and is also sustainable. This is also something which brands around us are holding in high regard more and more - for us it was never an option to create a product that wasn’t environmentally friendly. Project Earth is an example that this is now a widespread goal for brands, which is the way it should be. As an industry, we have a responsibility to protect the world that we live in and as part of this we are actively part of a movement looking for change. We are very proud to be plastic free.
Do you think Covid has accelerated this change?
I think the impacts of COVID-19 – the illnesses and economic damage have taught everyone a lesson that we can’t create products which don’t help our planet and help the people around us. We have to redefine the relationship between people and the earth, and brands have the tools and morals to prioritise sustainability at the moment.
Selfridges have this five year plan in place. How different do you think shopping will be in 5 years? And is there a future where Project Earth becomes an entire store for someone like Selfridges as opposed to how it is now, as a small percentage?
Absolutely - in 5 years sustainability will likely be the norm and the standard for starting a business. I doubt brands will be able to launch and find customers who are willing to purchase products which aren’t sustainable - the future is definitely bright.