Caroline Jacobs-Graf the curative genius behind A Little Find
Shoppers are opting for brands that are kind to the planet and make it a better place. A LITTLE FIND stocks the choiciest independent companies for conscientious consumers. Neverbland caught up with founder Caroline Jacobs-Graf to talk provenance, greenwashing and how David Attenborough inspired her business.
Neverbland: What is A Little Find, exactly?
Caroline Jacobs-Graf: We find innovative, aesthetically-led, conscientious brands that are not backed by gargantuan multinational companies. We focus on beauty, wellbeing and home, like a digital version of a boutique department store.
NB: Sounds dreamy. How did it start?
CJG: In 2018 we began, but with a very different business model. Then we were a platform selling travel-sized (100ml) cosmetics. We were in a very different time, pre-covid. This idea was very popular with customers, it was easy to explain, and journalists loved the story.
NB: So what happened?
CJG: David Attenborough and the environmental leanings of my small children! They awakened me to the problems associated with plastic waste. The growth of my business was directly contributing to single use plastic that was ending up in the ocean. I couldn’t stand the thought of it. I had two choices: liquidate the company, or do something else.
NB: And you decided on the latter option?
CJG: Exactly, 2019 was a time of great change for us. We shifted from a platform selling plastic to becoming what we are today: the home of conscious brands. We want to support independent and entrepreneurial companies and those that are ethical in every aspect of their activities and mission.
NB: What does that mean?
CJG: It’s beyond sustainability. We sell brands that are conscious in their formulation, packaging and in how they treat employees. We ask whether they support any causes or charities. We evaluate whether they improve the world that they do business in. This 360-degree approach is something that our customers demand, too.
NB: What about greenwashing?
CJG: This is always a danger. Lots of companies have jumped onto the bandwagon of marketing through conscious, ethical and sustainable brands. But we steer clear of those that make claims that turn out to be exercises in marketing. That’s why we avoid terms like ‘clean beauty’ that don’t really mean anything. We use a company called Provenance, which is a software solution for sustainability communications with proof. So, brands who purport to be, say, cruelty free or use recycled packaging, all claims are checked and verified. These tools are essential in bringing about an era where we minimise the impact retail does to the environment, and maximises its potential to change things for the better. That’s why we request that any brand we stock uses Provenance.
NB: How important is the curation of brands?
CJG: I think that people want to buy brands that carry the same ethical standards that they do. Younger generations – when you observe how they shop – they insist on this level of ethical correctness from brands, but also from retailers. This is a good thing generally and for our business, because more brands that live up to these principles, means more choice for us in terms of products we can list.