ChooseWell was started by husband and wife team Katherine and Stewart Roussel. After a successful twenty-year career with Specsavers, including ten years as Marketing Director in Australia, Stewart and the family returned to Oxfordshire just before the global pandemic took hold.
Inspired by Stewart's previous employer’s ethic for social responsibility, they took the concept of a purpose driven brand to the next level, starting a business that donates money from the sale of every product to charity partners that deliver lifesaving and life changing work.
Covid has changed a lot of people’s lives. "I was lucky in that I only lost my job and not a loved one" said Stewart. So, I decided to use the experience and skills gained in marketing over the past twenty years to start a business that supports people and the planet.
We could see that more and more people were buying with their conscience and choosing brands that align with their values in life, so it occurred to us, what if money from the sale of an ordinary household item could be put towards extraordinary causes? What if soap could be more than just soap?
Washing our hands multiple times a day has become second nature to us in the Covid era, but access to safe running water is a luxury that many people in the developing world simply don’t have. According to the World Health Organisation, 884 million people don’t have safe water to drink.
So, we decided to start a business that donates money from the sale of every product to charities that either help to provide clean safe drinking water for school children in developing countries, support tree-planting initiatives to counteract the global effects of climate change, or tackle homelessness in the UK.
We're proud to say that ChooseWell is now a certified member of Social Enterprise UK and has recently been awarded a start-up grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
We’ve always been conscious consumers and since we came back from Australia – as well as founding ChooseWell – my wife and I built an eco-home, a social enterprise and a sustainable way of living. The solar panels and organic kitchen garden are very much part of a way of life that nourishes our souls. Building a business that does good in the world, fitted perfectly with that ethos.
But over and above that, after reading the latest reports on climate change and listening to my eldest daughter’s experiences as a volunteer firefighter during the recent Australian bushfire season, I have realized that giving back to the planet is an essential part of life in the 21st century.