Founder of TINCTURE London, the eco-friendly and entirely natural cleaning and lifestyle range.
Driven by passion and a desire to purify the air her children grow up in, Angelika Davenport is a woman on a mission to rid homes and yachts from toxin-filled cleaning products.
Now Founder of TINCTURE London, the elegantly packaged, eco-friendly and entirely natural cleaning and lifestyle range, this highly-successful and innovative entrepreneur shares with us her journey, her findings, her advice and her ambitions for the future.
In a nutshell, what is TINCTURE London?
Award-winning Tincture is on a mission to fight the home air pollution crisis in cities around the world. We spend over 90% of our time indoors at work, home, school the gym etc and breathe air which on average is up to 5x more polluted than the air directly outside; the main cause is the toxic overload of the repeated use of chemically-based household products. This toxic indoor air has a huge impact on our health and wellbeing!
At Tincture, we create 100% natural, non-toxic home cleaning and lifestyle products containing bio-based actives, pure essential oils and botanical extracts, which have been clinically tested. All our formulations are sustainable, biodegradable, vegan (apart from the furniture cleaner which has sustainable sourced wax), cruelty free, and made in the UK in line with our zero-waste policy. Our packaging is either totally recyclable or totally biodegradable; we believe we are the only company which offers a safe glass re-fill option by having added antimicrobial silver technology to our white octagonal bottle which makes our TINCTURE bottles totally free from bacteria (in and outside) and allows the consumer to re-use the bottle as many times as they wish!
What is your background?
To be honest, my background is quite ‘chequered.’ Growing up, I led a somewhat nomadic life travelling and living all over the world, which exposed me from early age to different cultures and their herbal and spiritual traditions and remedies; I became fascinated by botanics and herbalism; but only after having left a career in banking and media, I was able to turn my passion for “the healing power of plants” into a business!
What prompted the initial idea of TINCTURE London?
Tincture was started out of a pure passion. I am a mother of 4 children and some pets and whilst growing up, my 2 eldest children started to develop some severe asthma and dermatological problems. As a result, I became increasingly concerned about the toxins and pollutants they were exposed to, both outside and inside our home, when showering, bathing, playing and sleeping etc. As I started finding out more about the issue of toxins in the home, I came across a shocking body ofresearch (UK and US EPA) which revealed that air in a typical home, school or workplace is, on average, up to 5x more polluted than the air directly outside. Researchers identified the main culprits being the volatile chemical compounds released by the chemically based household products such as cleaners, candles, diffusers, plug-ins and air fresheners. As I continued reading and learning, I began to realise just how enormous the impact household chemicals were potentially having on my family´s health and wellbeing. I needed no further incentive to remove as many toxic products from my home as I possibly could. I wanted more than anything to protect my children in their own home and this is where my TINCTURE journey began.
The more labels I read, the more I realised this was going to be harder than I’d anticipated. Toxic chemicals are everywhere, without most of us even realising. My cupboards finally cleared out, I set off to find a high-performance, natural, non-toxic cleaning range that was 100% free of nasties and totally safe. Wanting products that wouldn’t aggravate my children’s conditions, I needed them to be safe for the entire family and our pets. I kept on researching and testing different products and soon discovered that many so-called “ECO” cleaners still contain substances which are not only harmful to our environment, especially our waterways and oceans, but moreover to our health and wellbeing! This is when I decided to create a range myself. The result is TINCTURE and I am deeply passionate about it.
What is a typical day for you?
My day starts with an early mediation session, the school runs, then a quick walk with the dogs and then work, work, work! Our team usually meets around the TINCTURE kitchen table where most of our brainstorming, discussions and product testing happens. It is often impossible for me to pick up the kids from school in the afternoons, so I tend to whisk them outside with the dogs after supper to spend some uninterrupted time with them. Many times I work or read late into the night when the house is quiet and calm. The last thing I do before turning my lights off? Checking that all the pets are settled, kids are asleep and that my 17 year old daughter has definitely switched off her mobile phone!
What sets TINCTURE London apart from other eco-cleaning brands?
Most people might not be aware that eco-cleaners still contain chemicals that are suspected to carry a serious negative long term impact on our health. With TINCTURE we are trying to re-define the balance between Clean / Personal Health / Healthy Planet… a balance which industry is still pushing towards what industry knows “how to do best”, namely the use of a lot chemicals, bio-based or not! We believe that policy interventions will likely change this approach in the future.
At TINCTURE all or formulations are truly 100% natural and have been developed to a strict brief, some key benchmarks being: NO artificial preservatives, No organic sulphates, No glycol ethers, No artificial fragrances, NO colorants and LOW terpenes content in all our botanical oil formulations. The result: products which are safe for OUR HEALTH to be used around the entire family including pets and that do not aggravate common conditions such as asthma and eczema. The performance of our products have been bench marked against market leaders and truly work!
What are your recommendations to people looking to make the correct eco brand choices?
Please do your research and read the labels. Unfortunately, the category our products fall into has never been that transparent and labelling is often misleading. Look out for key ingredients such as glycol ethers, preservatives like CMIT, BIT and MIT as well as dyes are common among household cleaners as well as cosmetic products and have adverse impacts on our health and the environment.
Your eye-catching packaging is a particularly important feature of your products. Tell us about what inspired this.
Well, I really wanted to lift the “act of cleaning” from a dull, daily chore into something which would give us some fun and pleasure and thus felt the bottle too would have to look beautiful and stylish to encourage people to leave them visible in kitchens, bathrooms etc and not stuff them away in some dark corner under the sink! Our ethos and brand has been inspired by ancient monastic wisdom and as part of our research we discovered that the ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras famously referred to the octagonal shape as the most harmonious, balanced shape in the Universe with the meaning of eight to be symbolic of man’s knowledge, sense, fantasy, art, opinion, prudence, science, wisdom and mind. If you look at the columns of ancient monasteries and temples, they are all octagonal. So our octagonal shape of our bottle is a nod to our heritage and inspiration.
Contrary to initial scepticism, your products successfully kill 99% of germs without the use of unnatural ingredients. How is that achieved?
Nature is incredible; plants quickly adapt to changes in their surroundings whether that be climate or disease; think about it, it is scientifically proven that spiders silk is 10 times stronger than steel! So why shouldn´t we be able to harness the power of nature and be able to destroy relevant bacteria and disinfect? To give you an example, we have just had our Bathroom Cleaner tested for antimicrobial activity and disinfectant properties in line with the official European protocol and we passed as well as a harsh “bleach cleaner” which is incredible for a truly natural product!
How do you ensure your ingredients are ethically sourced?
We work with partners that have strict policies on the environment and sustainability. All our ingredients are fully traceable, we do not test our products or the ingredients on any animal.
You have a particularly loyal client base within the yachting world. Why is it especially important for yacht crew to consider eco-friendly cleaning products?
There are two important factors I believe all crew should consider. First, is that anything you use to clean the cabins and boat ends up down the sink and goes straight out into our oceans and seas. Second, cabins are mostly under deck with little air ventilation so anything you spray and clean with will linger in the air and directly affect your breathing and your health. What happens is that whilst cleaning, so called “VOC” (volatile organic compounds) from chemical based cleaners are released into the air which react and mix with others released from perfumes, hair sprays, shampoos, soaps, lotions, diffusers etc which creates a toxic cocktail!
This year we are proud to be the Official Race Crew Supporter of one of our team members as he takes part in the world’s toughest ocean race – the Clipper Round the World Race.; our products are being used exclusively on the boat. The harsh reality of this challenge is that 22 people are sleeping, eating, washing and living in an incredibly cramped and confined space. There is no fresh air circulating below deck and hygiene and cleanliness are of the utmost importance.
Air quality is an important factor when creating and testing your products. What are the worst offenders for reducing the purity of the air within an interior?
We believe that excessive use of chemicals has adverse effects both to people as well as our environment. Chemical based products like synthetic air fresheners, cleaners, cosmetics and cooking all release chemicals that mix in our indoor air and combine to make toxic cocktails. We breathe these particles and they can directly impact our health and wellbeing. Simple steps like keeping our homes, workplaces and schools well ventilated and bringing nature indoors helps oxygenate and improve the indoor air that we breathe. Plants like the Nephrolepis obliterate fern has been shown to effectively remove formaldehyde from the polluted air by 90 – 100%.
As a well-travelled businesswoman, where is your favourite destination?
My absolute favourite place on Earth is a sleepy village below the Loser mountain called Altaussee in Austria. It is my retreat from our hectic London life with four busy children and allows us to spend quality time together as a family; it is simply magical at all times of the year.
What would you call your own yacht?
If you were stranded on an island, what three items would you not want to be without?
Tincture All Purpose Cleaner for my survival, as I could use it to disinfect everything, even to keep the insects and mosquitos away at night! My piano to play music and dream. A world encyclopaedia on plants and flowers to be able to study the islands flora and create fabulous herbal remedies.