Counter Culture strengthens its Board with the appointment of two leading beauty experts

Counter Culture Store, the new sustainable beauty e-tailer, is delighted to announce the appointment of Stirling Murray, Founder & CEO of The Red Tree as a non-executive director and Kirsty Mawhinney, Founder of Skin Insight as an advisor. 

Counter Culture Store is on a mission to make it easier for consumers to discover, shop and switch to sustainable beauty from ethical boutique brands, all from one on-line store.  It launched in June 2021 with 23 eco-brands and is on track to enable 100 small beauty and wellbeing businesses by year end.  In addition to championing the drive to sustainable beauty, Counter Culture also seeks to champion female-founders and women in business.

“Increasingly consumers are looking to brands to help them live their lives more ethically and sustainably” said Wendy Martin, who co-founded Counter Culture together with Mark Wisniewski.  “Research shows that 41% of consumers feel guilty about the environmental impact of their beauty products.   Effectiveness, value and ease of purchase are still top of mind for consumers but increasingly sustainability is a key factor.  Already 66% of us now choose products based on their environmental-friendliness.” said Martin.  “And even where sustainability isn’t a personal priority, we all love the idea that our purchases “do good”.  

“We’re so excited to welcome Stirling Murray and Kirsty Mawhinney to Counter Culture.  They bring a wealth of beauty industry expertise, a passion for driving sustainability across the industry and a desire to support new and emerging brands".

Wendy Martin, CoFounder, Counter Culture

Stirling has over 35 years’ experience of building brands in the global beauty industry.  He founded The Red Tree, the UK’s leading international beauty brand consultancy in 2010 and previously held executive positions at Rimmel, Lauder and Bourjois.   

“I’m delighted to join Counter Culture this early on in their journey.  They have a vision to respond to the accelerating pace of change within the industry and the growing consumer demand for sustainable, ethical and inclusive beauty.  I look forward to taking an active role in shaping their strategy and sharing brand-building insights and market expertise".  

Stirling Murray, CEO, The Red Tree

Joining Counter Culture as an advisor to the Board, Kirsty has over 25 years’ experience in the industry with roles at Aveda, REN, Dr Hauscka and Dermalogica.   Kirsty established her own consultancy, Skin Insight, in 2016 and recently completed the Circular Economy & Sustainability Strategies course at Cambridge Judge Business School. 

"Extremely honoured to be joining the team at Counter Culture in my role as advisor. I was immediately drawn to the name 'Counter Culture' as this is what is needed to address the Code Red Climate Crisis we are facing in 2021.  There is a matter of urgency to change behaviours, habits and values.  As an industry supporter of sustainability initiatives and part of the Sustainable Beauty Coalition, I look forward to sharing initiatives such as the recent Planet Positive Beauty Guide (PPBG).  Research carried out for the PPBG guide highlights the issues consumers are interested in - ingredients, recyclability of packaging and animal welfare.  I look forward to working with Counter Culture as we educate ourselves and seek initiatives that support a more sustainable way of living and consuming".

Kirsty Mawhinney, CEO, Skin Insight

Counter Culture launched it’s #JustOneSwitch campaign to encourage consumers to make simple switches from conventional beauty products to more sustainable alternatives.   “We’re keen to use the “network effect” and the combined knowledge and expertise of our brands, Board and Advisors to help educate and inspire consumers so they can make more informed choices.  Whilst beauty products aren’t going to change the world, the people that buy them will!" said Martin.

** Ends **

Note to Editors

Counter Culture is on a mission to make it easier for consumers to discover, shop and switch to sustainable beauty and wellbeing products.  It launched in June, 2021.  The founding team, Board and Advisors have extensive entrepreneurial and corporate experience with brands such as Visa, Tesco Bank, Confused.com, CAF Bank, Duncan Lawrie, BT, Louis Vuitton, Scottish Power Renewables.  The appointment of Stirling and Kirsty now adds a wealth of experience from the beauty industry.  

Founders:  Wendy Martin, Mark Wisniewski

Board: Dina Henry, Gaynor Matthews, James McMillan, Stirling Murray

Advisors:  Kirsty Mawhinney, Dr Debra Williams

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