I stumbled upon I Choose What I use at the West Midlands Vegan festival last year and have subscribed to their e-newsletter at their stall. They had some interesting products on display so I was keen to find out more. Not long after I subscribed I received a discount code in my email and the timing was perfect as I was on the lookout for some new natural beauty products. At that time their website wasn’t that user friendly but since then they’ve made lots of changes to it and it’s really easy to use with some great natural beauty and skincare products so if you haven’t heard of I Choose What I Use before you should definitely check it out.
Products I bought on I Choose What I Use website
At that time I needed a new eye serum/oil and on their website I managed to find very affordable Akamuti’s Rose Berry Eye Revitaliser (£8.20 for 12ml). I haven’t heard of the brand before but the product sounded great so I decided to buy it (will review this product in another post so I will not say much about it here). I also decided to buy Freyaluna’s Ban the Blemish Facial Tonic, another brand which I haven’t heard of before but the product sounded like something I really needed (those hormones!) so I went for it. Currently it’s reduced and you can buy it for £6.80 (100ml). It’s great for soothing the skin when the worst happens and it also helps to balance oil production.
I also bought one product which I didn’t really need, but I knew my boyfriend would appreciate it – Moa’s Green Balm which is great for irritated, itchy skin, cuts, grazes, after shaving, etc. – an essential balm which you need in your beauty cabinet basically. Again, I haven’t heard of Moa before, but it seemed good, all great ingredients. Just to mention that this balm contains beeswax so it’s not suitable for vegans and it’s currently on offer on their website as they are trying to get rid of all the non-vegan products.
About I Choose What I Use
The company has been trading since April 2012 so it’s actually going to be 3 years old very soon. The owners are vegetarian and the shop was born ‘out of the frustration of having to read the label of every beauty product to check whether it was Vegetarian and how natural it really was’. They decided to source only the products which match their principles and ethics, basically cruelty free skin care and vegetarian beauty products which are as natural as possible. On their website you will also find some fair trade and organic beauty products, something which they are also passionate about.
Not long ago they’ve made some changes to their website and now it’s much easier to navigate around and find what you are looking for. I love how organised their categories are and you can easily find your way around whether you are looking for natural cosmetics for women, men or children, a vegan make-up or haircare products.
The big news for the company this year is that they are going 100% vegan. However, they are not there yet as they are still trying to get rid of all the non-vegan products and I understand lots of them contain beeswax. These products are currently on offer and you can grab yourself a bargain here.
I actually contacted the owner to ask her some questions and to find out more about the company. If you want to learn more about the company continue reading. I also managed to get a treat for you!
Sue was very kind to take time and answer all my questions. Here they are…
How do you distinguish yourselves from other similar websites? Is it because all of the products are vegetarian/vegan and animal friendly?
Yes, being a site which only stocks vegetarian and vegan products is definitely our big difference from similar websites. We’re also very careful about ingredients, we investigate brands and their ingredients lists before deciding whether they’re a fit for us. We’ve been disappointed to find that some natural and organic stores are happy to stock products that contain ingredients like silicone or brands such as Caudalie (who sell their products in China which means their products are still tested on animals). To us, the natural and cruelty free aspects of the products we select are just as important as the vegetarian and vegan aspects.
Have you made your website more user friendly just recently? (I think when I used it in the past it wasn’t that easy to browse)
We have made some changes. Departments and categories have changed as we’ve grown and evolved. About 12 months ago we added subcategories to our vegan and organic departments to improve the navigation. These departments had grown considerably and we were aware it was quite frustrating to navigate through so many pages.
Since then we have improved vegan navigation even more. Our New Year resolution is to make our website 100% vegan and at the end of last month we realized that 95% of our products were already vegan so, we’ve switched everything around and all but one area of our site is now entirely vegan.
Do you sell any ‘special’ products which are difficult to find somewhere else?
We don’t have exclusive rights over any products so there’s nothing we stock that can’t be found elsewhere, though how widely available they might be will vary. What we do try to do is seek out smaller brands and give them a platform. We lost our way a bit with that in the last year or so but hope to bring that back to the fore now.
Would you be able to tell me how many products you stock and what are the latest new products you started stocking?
We have over 500 products at the moment and the latest ones to come on-board are a range of massage candles, which, as you might expect, are entirely natural, being made from plant oils and waxes and essential oils. We’ve also added a deodorant made from Himalayan Salt – it’s not just for cooking with!
Thanks Sue for sharing all this great information with me. It’s all positive stuff isn’t it?
What I am really happy about it that I managed to sort out some discount for my lovely readers! So if you are interested to buy anything on their website between now and 19th April 2015 you can get a 10% discount, just quote the code BHN0215 during the checkout process (this excludes any postage charges).
Have you used I Choose What I Use before?