Meet Niki from Brighton FRoG
For those who don’t know Brighton FRoG, can you tell us a bit more about yourselves and your brand?
FRoG is a tiny family business, run by me (Niki) and supported by my partner James. We have two small kids, Maya and Bennett. We were always interested in a low impact lifestyle, but having kids was what really made us realise just how much more we can improve our eco conscious efforts. Our third baby, FRoG was born out of the desire to produce and supply products that are essential and functional but are also aligned with our ethical values.
How did Brighton FRoG begin?
It was a year after Bennett was born that we finally started FRoG, but it was years before that we started planning. We had a lot of different ideas, but the business itself needed to tick a lot of boxes. Above all we wanted it to be ethical. This is a word that’s very popular and fashionable and easily thrown around, but it can also be very vague… For us an ethical business means fair treatment to everyone who comes in contact with FRoG. Our products needed to be useful and functional, not bought to fulfil a desire and then left to gather dust until it’s sent to a landfill. It was very important for us, from the beginning, that whatever we produce or offer should not have any long lasting negative effects on our planet.
Your un-scourer and un-sponge range have been really popular – do you hand make these yourself?
Yes, I do, so every time I hear that one is sold and loved it makes me very happy!
The fabrics you use are GOTS certified – why was it important to you to use fabrics with this certification?
I wanted to make products that have minimal negative effects on the earth during their lifetime. I didn’t want them to sit around and rot for hundreds of years after they are stopped being useful or to release micro plastics plastic into the sea or the soil while being used, but I also wanted to know that the fabrics I use weren’t grown and produced using any harmful chemicals either. GOTS certification is a reassurance for this, so I’d prefer to use these wherever possible. When I can’t get my hands on a GOTS organic fabric I’d use OekoTex 100 certified fabrics or rescued cotton that otherwise would end up in the landfill. I’m also open to up-cycled cottons, if the quality is right.
Are you able to share with us about your own eco journey?
My eco journey began many years ago (over 10…). At first I mainly focused on eliminating products from our household that contained toxins, so I started to change all of our cleaning products to eco-friendly ones, and all of our beauty products to ones that were made with natural ingredients. Back then I didn’t realise much about the plastic and waste problems, that came about 7 years ago, after Maya was born. That was the real wake up call to just how much ‘stuff’ is pushed upon us by sneaky marketing campaigns, and how much waste we produce with all the un-needed products that we buy.
I had so many eco-failures that it’s hard to pick one! The key to avoiding them is to be prepared for everything, and I tend to forget the simplest of things some days, so forgotten water bottles, coffee cups, snacks, shopping bags are my main enemies :) I get so frustrated every time I have to buy a bottled water or a takeaway cup of coffee!
What is your favourite FRoG product?
Oh, It’s very hard to choose… I’m a very big fan of our Spring Green soap bar, but we use and love the sponges and un-paper towels ALL THE TIME.
What are your top tips for anyone on their own eco-journey?
Give yourself time and be kind to yourself! The world we live in is not very supportive towards a low waste, plastic free, green lifestyle. There is change all around us, but at the moment it’s still very difficult to live the perfectly eco-friendly life, unless if you are lucky enough to have a very privileged background. So don’t be discouraged by failures or by needing taking things slowly, just stick with the small, sustainable steps that work for you.
What can we expect from Brighton FRoG in the future? Any plans for new products?
I have so many different ideas, but not enough hands and definitely not enough hours in a day, so I have to practice some patience and take things slowly. I can tell you though that the next product is going to be a kitchen essential that can replace a lot of plastic.