The Blue Oak Leaf butterfly is an extraordinary insect known for its amazing camouflage on one hand and its bright iridescent metallic-blue colouration on the other. With its wings closed it resembles a dead and dry withered leaf, only to startle with its beauty when it spreads its wings wide open.
I have always been interested in butterflies. It was through researching them and learning about how endangered they are I became interested in the environment and sustainability. While travelling in Sri Lanka I came across the Blue Oak Leaf butterfly, also known scientifically as Kallima horsfieldii. It became the inspiration behind my company’s name.
The Blue Oak Leaf Company
I am Carla Martin Gullen the founder of the Blue Oak Leaf Company. I live in Brighton in East Sussex, UK.
My background is in distance learning specialising in management and leadership courses, having started and built up two companies in this area. It was while running these businesses I decided to study, part-time a Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainability at the University of Surrey. Once I sold my companies, I wanted to do something related to the environment and sustainability and that is when The Blue Oak Leaf Company was born.
My original concept was to sell sustainable furniture which led to a journey of realisation about what true sustainability entails. The ethos behind the Blue Oak Leaf Company is to provide truly sustainable products and finding them wasn’t as easy as I thought. Through a lot of research, I learned that most sustainable furniture is not made in the UK, but imported from Indonesia or India, Although the materials used are sustainable, like quick growing mango wood or bamboo, it transpires that the carbon footprint is very large and there is very little if any offsetting. The chemicals used in treating and processing bamboo to make furniture are not environmentally friendly, and this did not sit well with me; I did not want to sell products I didn’t consider to be sustainable or eco-friendly. So, I had to think again.
Finding suitable products
My journey to sourcing products which fit with my environmental conscience has led to finding small and medium sized companies, based mainly in the UK, therefore, on the whole, we are supporting small, local businesses. The range of products is still growing as I carefully select suppliers who align with my beliefs about being eco-friendly and sustainable.
What started out as an idea to supply environmentally friendly furniture has grown into a much wider range of beautiful products – from decadent bath bars to handmade 100% organic cotton baby clothes; from vegan shampoo bars to unique handmade black marbled effect enamel mango wood trays; from beech wood clothes pegs to hand-poured candles and so much more.
And we haven’t forgotten about men – with our safety razors, hand and body-cleansing soaps and moisturising creams – or our pets, a range we are growing but for now you can buy our perfect PH-level pet shampoo and our vegan wonder balm, to relieve dry and crusty noses or sore and cracked paw pads, calloused elbows, or irritated skin.
It’s time to start caring
We have done much damage to our planet, through the relentless destruction of our rain forests and jeopardising the earth’s biodiversity through pollution, climate change, and population growth causing massive rises in species becoming extinct. I want to offer my customers products which will help reduce the human impact on our earth and work towards maintaining natures balance on the planet. Over time and careful selection, I would like to grow our product range and potentially develop our own products made in the UK by small businesses. I want to work towards something positive for the future here on earth.
I believe in caring for our planet and caring for our homes, I hope you will join me on this journey.
Sustainable Living, Beautiful Planet