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Thursday, June 13, 2024

All that glitters really is gold for EcoStardust as sales rise by 16%

All that glitters really is gold for EcoStardust as sales rise by 16%.

Business is booming for the firm selling biodegradable glitter made from plants.

Founder Kath Senior, 36, said sales have shot up as customers began partying again at home and festivals after Covid and the brand is in profit.

Its ‘Glitter Without the Litter’ catchphrase has struck a chord with consumers who have made sustainability a priority.

Senior talks about sustainability and her business success on Brightpearl’s Lightning 50 podcast.

She said: “We are growing really quickly in the UK and around the world and particularly in America.

“Obviously Covid and lockdowns weren’t good for a business based on partying and festivals which all shut down for almost three years.

“We picked up some business during Covid from the crafting boom with people making products at home such as bath bombs, but it was a tough time.

“But thankfully we are all partying again and making up for lost time after a really tough few years and this is reflected in our sales. It’s great to be in profit.”

EcoStardust is expanding globally and has recently started shipping to America because consumers were struggling there to source truly biodegradable glitter.

Senior explained: “There are a lot of glitter products that claim to be biodegradable but aren’t really.

“They need a temperature of 70-degrees to decompose which isn’t going to work in most customers’ compost heaps.

“We have benefited from customers seeing through the greenwashing claims of many of the brands entering the market.”

Senior was working in ecommerce when she started the business in 2017.

She said “I am passionate about the environment but also love festivals, glitter and dressing up and grew up going to Glastonbury Festival.

“I got the idea for EcoStardust when I was planning the celebrations for my 30th birthday. A friend and I were having a Hollywood glitter and glamour themed party and I was ordering in party supplies which included kilo bags of glitter.

“However, when it arrived with a large ingredients label saying polyester – it was then that I realised it was plastic and by using it I was littering. It took the shine out of it for me so I went on a search for an alternative and that is when EcoStardust #GlitterWithoutTheLitter came about.”

A big challenge for Senior has been making her packaging as eco-friendly as the glitter inside.

She said: “I didn’t want to package our environmentally friendly glitter in a plastic jar or any packaging we didn’t feel was sustainable.

“Luckily we discovered aluminium packaging and switched to tins which are perfect for us. They are lightweight, infinitely recyclable and highly likely to be recycled because of its value. Our shallow design means they fit through letterboxes so most of our orders can be sent as a large letter and  there is no need for someone to be at home for it to be received.”

EcoStardust has some big retailer partners in Pretty Little Thing, Accessorize and ASOS which was the first to come on board after spotting Senior and her glitter at a festival. 

She said: “They saw the potential of the product and got in touch asking me to go to London to have a chat with them. I was blown away. I was so nervous but at the same time excited as I could see the potential of what it would mean for my business if it went well.”

She runs a ‘glitter amnesty’ allowing customers to trade in their non-biodegradable glitter to the company in return for a 15% discount. 

EcoStardust has seven staff and is based at Langport in Somerset near to where she lives with her young family.

Senior has grown the business while bringing up her two children – Ted who is aged three and baby Lily who is seven months old – and she is currently on maternity leave while the team drives sales in her absence. Ted attended his first trade show when he was just five weeks old.

Senior gets lots of support from her husband Lawrence McEwan, who works as a mechanical engineer.

She has not increased prices during the cost of living crisis but says the focus is very much on driving profits due to the squeeze on spending.

The brand is expecting to make a profit in five figures for 2023, though Senior would rather not specify a figure.

She said her top tip for sales growth was keeping a close eye on sales data from Google Analytics. This had highlighted the need to expand into America.

EcoStardust is on a mission to raise awareness of environmental issues and it gives 10% of net profits to environmental charities and bodies.* Kath Senior talks about sustainability and her business success on Brightpearl’s Lightning 50 podcast.

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