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The Interview: Elsie Rutterford and Dominika Minarovic, Co-founders, BYBI

Sophie Smith
02 February 2022

BYBI is a London-based skincare brand, founded on the belief that great skincare should not come at a cost to our planet. The brand was founded by Elsie Rutterford and Dominika Minarovic in 2017, with a mission to bring climate conscious products to the masses.

The beauty brand is known for its vegan, cruelty-free and plant-based natural skincare. Yesterday, BYBI announced the launch of its "world's first carbon negative skincare product", the Glowcurrant Booster, taking the brand's sustainability ethos to the next level.

In this interview with, Elsie and Dominika speak about BYBI and the sustainability behind the brand.

Why did you decide to start the brand?

Obsessed with clean beauty and ingredients, we started taking a closer look at our skincare labels. Instead of finding a high percentage of natural actives, we discovered a lot of water and ‘filler’ ingredients. Inspired by the lack of high-performance ingredients that weren’t in our favourite products and wanting to take control of what we were putting onto our skin, we created Clean Beauty Insiders (formerly known as Clean Beauty Co) in 2015, a DIY beauty blog.

Clean Beauty Insiders quickly became the UK’s largest natural beauty platform, with a growing Instagram profile to match. We created and shared DIY beauty recipes, ran workshops and hosted events whilst still working full time. To further our education in natural beauty and validate our recipes, we trained as skincare formulators, achieving a Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation from Formula Botanica. In early 2017, we then wrote Clean Beauty, a book containing over 100 natural beauty recipes.

Whilst whipping up a face cream in your kitchen is great for your skin, it’s not entirely convenient for a millennial beauty consumer. We were looking for natural and vegan skincare that delivered great results, but that was branded, marketed and sold in places that spoke to us as mainstream consumers. So, we wanted to create a climate conscious brand underpinned by leading sustainable ethics, a brand that looked as good as it made you and your skin feel, which is how BYBI was born.

Why is it called BYBI?

BYBI stands for 'By Beauty Insiders' because we use our knowledge and experience as beauty bloggers, formulators and consumers to create great skincare products.

Can you tell me more about the journey from concept to creation, how did you bring BYBI to life?

Growing Clean Beauty Co and interacting with such an engaged audience from the start, really helped us understand that there was a demand for what we wanted to create. A natural, ethical and transparent brand that made products using high-performance hero ingredients.

We started by launching two products, including Babe Balm, a rich, multipurpose balm that can be used to nourish any dry or flaky patches. BYBI was quickly picked up by the likes of Sephora and the rest is history!

Can you tell me a bit about your products?

All our products are natural, 100% vegan and cruelty free. We marry superfood ingredients with science to create products formulated to maintain your skin’s health. They are created using 100% green energy, primarily from wind and solar. We use up-cycled ingredients where possible, negating the need for a secondary supply chain, which dramatically reduces energy consumption. The majority of the range is packaged in sugarcane polyethylene, a carbon negative and durable bioplastic that is also 100% recyclable.

Our core products include the Bakuchiol Booster, Eye Plump and Milk Melt Cleanser.


From ingredients to manufacture, how is BYBI a sustainable brand? 

BYBI has declared a crusade against carbon. It is our goal to be the first carbon negative beauty brand by building a supply chain that absorbs more carbon than it releases, setting the standard for many more to come.

Our beauty regimes come at an invisible cost: carbon. Greenhouse gas emissions released through human activity are driving the global climate crisis, causing an unprecedented rise in temperature across our planet that affects nature, wildlife and every single one of us. Changing our everyday actions as individuals and as a brand to significantly lower carbon emissions. Reducing carbon and taking climate change action has never been more important.

All BYBI products are created using 100% green energy. We choose our active natural ingredients based on efficacy and sustainability. Each vegan ingredient benefits the skin, without a cost to our planet. We research each key ingredient thoroughly and source up-cycled versions where possible. Our internal auditing system, The Susty Score, grades an ingredient’s carbon footprint to decipher what impact using it in a BYBI product will have on the environment.

In addition, 97% of BYBI’s packaging is reusable/recyclable. We scrutinise every material used to package BYBI products. The Susty Score audits the materials we use based on the carbon footprint associated with the production of that material. It also takes into account the material’s afterlife (less to landfill = less greenhouse gas emissions).

We use sugarcane polyethylene for all of our tubes. The sugarcane plant is crushed for its high concentrate sugar juice that’s used for human consumption, at which point it is usually discarded, despite the fact that it still has subsequent crushings of weaker sugar that can’t be used for consumption. It is this substance that is used to produce ethanol and in turn, a fossil-fuel free plastic. Due to sugarcane’s ability to capture high levels of Co2, the production of the sugarcane polyethylene is carbon negative. This material is recyclable.

So, why is sustainability important to you and the brand?

We’re in a climate emergency and we truly believe that as a company, individuals and global community we must act fast to reduce the negative impact our consumption has on the planet. Speaking out, educating others and creating conversation is essential to driving change and action.

Which innovation are you the most proud of at BYBI?

We are beyond proud to bring Glowcurrant Booster to market. The world’s first carbon negative skincare product. This product is unlike any other in its category, in that it removes more carbon from the atmosphere than it emits. From packaging to production and supply chain, this product is carbon negative, meaning it goes beyond net zero to create an environmental benefit. Glowcurrant Booster’s carbon footprint is negative because it is made using low-carbon ingredients and sequesters carbon throughout its supply chain from cradle-to-gate. It does not rely on or involve any carbon offsetting.

Read more about BYBI's carbon negative skincare product here.


The world's first carbon negative skincare product sounds pretty special. Why did you decide to do this? How do you feel about its launch?

We decided to do this because we’re in the midst of a climate emergency and we need to drastically reduce our emissions in order to minimise our impact on the environment. Offsetting isn’t enough. It’s like pulling the plug, whilst the taps are still running. As a consumer brand, we acknowledge that we have an impact on the planet and that this is unavoidable. Our mission is to have a true understanding of the extent of that impact and do everything in our power to reduce it. We believe that the carbon negative supply chain that we've created allows us to fulfil the demand for great skincare whilst minimising our contribution to the climate crisis.

We feel immensely proud to have achieved this and really hope that this sets a new standard for beauty and beyond, as we’ve successfully created a carbon negative supply chain that can be replicated across many brands and industries. We’re not only doing this for the benefit of our customers, we hope to inspire many other brands to take action. Carbon copy us, we encourage you.

Finally, what are your ambitions for the brand going forward?

We hope to continue to drive meaningful innovation and change in the beauty industry. Setting a new standard for others to follow. Our goal is to become the world’s first carbon negative beauty brand by 2025.

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