Carla Oates has plans to make The Beauty Chef carbon-neutral

The Beauty Chef founder is on a mission to reduce her carbon footprint by sourcing biodynamic ingredients for her beauty powders.  

Carla Oates founded inner-health brand The Beauty Chef in her Bondi kitchen – which she’s now working to have carbon-neutral by 2026.

“When I launched my first product, Glow beauty powder, in 2009 there was no ‘inner beauty’ category in department stores. They loved it but didn’t know where to put it on shelves. So I had to push and educate people, which has made me stronger and more resilient. Now The Beauty Chef is stocked at David Jones, Bloomingdales, Mecca and more. Before people have even put on moisturiser or makeup in the morning, they whip up a Glow smoothie for their skin.

I started the brand with $3000 and for a long time I did everything myself. A designer offered to create my logo and website in exchange for some product and I convinced a manufacturer to produce minimum runs. Family and friends invested in the business and after we turned over $10 million, I procured a private equity partner.

Early on I was lucky to meet Rob Hunt, the former CEO of TVSN; he was looking for interesting new brands to put on home shopping TV back then. He approached me and said, ‘I’ve heard about your magical purple powder.’ I still go on TVSN; it’s a great place to talk authentically about your product.

Sustainability is so important. We use certified organic, biodynamic and local ingredients, wherever possible. Even our marine collagen peptides are from wild-caught North Atlantic cod.

We’re aiming to be carbon-zero by 2026 and are setting up a fermentation plant in Sydney, which is no easy feat. To make optimal and potent probiotic products, the environment must be pH-and temperature-controlled... the works. I feel responsible as a business owner and that I need to do my part for the planet.”  

Carla's tips for small business owners 

1. Get a mentor

Connect with CEOs or founders and ask questions. You likely have many similar concerns and challenges and can share ideas on how to resolve things. It’s so reassuring.

2. Apply for certifications

Yes, they cost money but anyone can say their product is organic or sustainably sourced. The only true way for customers to know is through certification.

3. Follow your gut

It sounds a bit hippie-dippy but it’s vital to listen to your gut. The times I haven’t done this are when I’ve made the biggest mistakes. 

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Things you should know 

  • 1 Social, Sustainable & Responsible Banking Gold Winner, 2023 Qorus – Accenture Banking Innovation Awards.

    This article was originally published in Brighter magazine. This article provides general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as personal financial product advice. The views expressed by contributors are their own and don’t necessarily reflect the views of CBA. As the information has been provided without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs, you should, before acting on this information, consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and Terms and Conditions, and whether the product is appropriate to your circumstances. You should also consider whether seeking independent professional legal, tax and financial advice is necessary. Every effort has been taken to ensure the information was correct as at the time of printing but it may be subject to change. No part of the editorial contents may be reproduced or copied in any form without the prior permission and acknowledgement of CBA.