Modafirma sat down with the founders of Nereus London: James Ingleby CEO and Founder and Diana Ziegler, creative director and Co-Founder. We spent the afternoon chatting about sustainability, black plastic, travelling and the story behind their brand
To start, can you first introduce yourselves to our readers who may be hearing about your brand for the first time?
My name is James Inglesby and I have a background in product development and marketing. I spent 12 years working in the personal care and beauty industry. I am passionate about sustainable business and social enterprises.
My name is Diana Ziegler and I have a background working in the fashion and design industry. Having worked in London, New York, Miami and San Francisco. My passion is for elegant but sustainable designs. Together our skill sets complement each other in creating an ascetically pleasing but high performing products.
We both love to travel, meet people from around the world and try foods from different cultures.
What were you doing before Nereus London, and what made you want to start a sustainable business within this industry?
We both had reached a point in our professional careers where we wanted to start our own brand. I had been working at a big multi-national and Diana was completing her design courses at UAL. We realised that it was the perfect time to put our skills together and create a brand.
What we also realised was that many brands wanted to go plastic free but none of them had luxury product experience and the consumer at heart.
Essentially, we started Nereus London to fill a product gap in our own daily lives. Super sustainable, looks lovely in our bathroom and delivers superior product performance.
A unique feature of your brand is its sustainable packaging, tell us a bit more about this and what inspired its creation
Nereus London black bottles contain Zero Black-Plastic, Made from 100% Infinitely recyclable Aluminium. We did this as we found out that many of our black premium product bottles in our bathroom could not be recycled and just ended up in land fill.
Our innovative labels are fully biodegradable and made from wood pulp, this is unique as it gives the bottles a wood texture but does not wash off in the shower. 99% of current labels found on shower products are made from unrecyclable plastics.
The caps are made from 100% infinitely recyclable aluminium with a food grade seal for ultimate quality.
We were not satisfied going plastic free in the product packaging but at every touch point, we removed all void fills from our postage packing and we have less than 1% plastic in our entire supply chain.
Why sustainability? What does it mean for you?
Sustainability should be the normality. After spending my career in the beauty industry, I was always shocked at the waste and false claims in the industry. Diana and I are inspired by the untouched natural beauty that we live in. How can we ensure this beauty can be enjoyed by the next generation? We also find that going sustainable is not easy but does leads to some amazing designs and innovation. I think product developers got lazy and sadly it created environmental issues.
Tell us a bit more about the choice of natural ingredients and fragrances used in your products. What inspired the naming of them?
Nereus London was envisioned to celebrate the natural beauty of international sites that have been untouched by human intervention. In fact, the idea of Nereus London was born from an incredible sunset that I witnessed over the Zambezi river in Africa. The invigorating fusion of 100% natural oils and scents each have their own unique international inspiration, meaning you’ll be transported to far-off locations with each pamper session. With our shampoo and conditioner you can travel to the citrus groves of the Italian Riviera with organic Italian Bergamot, or trek to the rugged Baobab plains of Madagascar with our body wash or enjoy the aromas of a luxury London hotel and spa with our Ylang Ylang body wash.
Being an entrepreneur, it can be difficult when starting off, if you could go back and tell yourself one thing about starting a business, what would it be?
It was been really hard starting a business during lock down and especially during COVID 19. Our production date was the 12th of March, the day WHO declared a pandemic.
If we could give ourselves once piece of advice. It would be to start talking earlier and prouder about our brand. When you have a good idea and product you need to tell the world. People love to work with sustainable brands and people trying something innovative. Don’t be scared to reach out to people and also tell the world! It is the best way to learn and to grow.
Follow us on Instagram @NereusLondon to learn more about our story.