Image credit: Ellie Hayter
Many congratulations to Ellie Hayter, final-year Economic Studies and GSD student and founder of the sustainable skincare brand ‘Gaia&Vie’, who was recently awarded a grant from the Warwick SU Environment and Sustainability Fund.
Provided by the Warwick Estates Office, "the purpose of this fund is to offer financial support to initiatives that promote sustainability, which should fall under a priority of the University Environment Team".
"The Warwick SU Sustainability Fund was granted to me as my brand promoted sustainable consumption among students at Warwick, in line with the Environmental Committee's principles."
Ellie was awarded the fund after pitching against other brands at Warwick SU’s Environment Committee. The award recognises the brand’s work towards promoting sustainability in the skincare industry and Gaia&Vie is currently working with them to produce a conscious consumption campaign.
In addition to her Warwick SU funding success, Ellie also recently came first in the Warwick Congress Online Start-up Pitching Competition 2021, winning a place on Birmingham Enterprise's Startup Sprint Programme.
Championing business sustainability is something close to the heart of the GSD student community (you can see, for example, the work of Warwick SEED). In fact, achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals needs commitment from all stakeholders, including the private sector: we must rethink the way we do business.
Gaia&Vie is an ethical and sustainable skincare brand, committed to providing affordable, high-quality skincare products to encourage conscious consumption in daily routines.
The business idea was sparked by Ellie developing her own natural skincare oils, using them herself to solve her skincare concerns, and sharing them with friends and family. Over the first lockdown, Ellie decided to take the plunge and sold her first skincare oils, positioning them as affordable and sustainable beauty products.
“I started my business because, as a student, it was hard to find natural, sustainable products that worked while on a small student budget. So, I developed my own face oils to tackle my oily skin without using harsh, environmentally damaging chemicals, and made them affordable so every budget can access them. Since launching in December, we now have two oils in the skincare line, with more products coming soon."
The product packaging is handpicked from UK suppliers and is biodegradable in household compost bins or fully recyclable in nation-wide waste management sites.
“Ethical and sustainable values are at the core of Gaia&Vie as I believe it’s important to preserve the planet for future generations. Climate change and global warming are serious issues facing our immediate future and we should all be able to access products that limit our contributions to the crisis.”
We wish Ellie the best of luck in her sustainable business journey!
Fund your idea
"There are other ways to make a change if you don't want to nominate yourself in one of the many elections held at the SU."
There are three pots of money you can bid from to fund your ideas and projects:
- £4000 SU Project Fund
- £4000 SU Campaigns Fund
- £5000 University and SU Environmental Sustainability Fund