Sweat Sustainably: Speaking to the founders of Vogue's #1 natural deodorant
At La Pochette, sustainability is at the forefront of the development of our products. Throughout our design process, we responsibly source materials to ensure our products are as beautiful for the environment as they are to look at. Even our Sweat Bags are made from 100% recycled plastic bottles.
Our fitness is part of our daily lives, and we are committed to working with other businesses that share the same ethics and values as that of La Pochette.
From ‘Aktors’ to Akt: Meet the founders of Vogue's #1 natural deodorant, London West End performers, Ed Currie and Andy Coxon.
What is your background?
We first met performing in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, in London’s West End. We both trained as dancers, actors and singers, and had careers in musicals. But our performing background is what ultimately led us to our career in deodorant... because we smelt (!)
Andy was on day two of rehearsals as Tony in West Side Story at The Royal Exchange, Manchester, when the pandemic hit. At this point, we both sat down and said “Right, let’s try and pay ourselves enough to get by and work full-time on Akt”, which was due to launch in May 2020 and it did! We consider ourselves very lucky to not only have been given a way of creating ourselves a job, but also to have been given a focus and routine during these tough times.
How did Akt come about?
With gruelling schedules and endless physical exercise under hot lights on stage in the West End, we searched for a deodorant which would work. Nothing covered our sweat patches, or the inevitable smell of sweat when we were performing - typical deodorants just weren’t cutting it. Antiperspirants stained our clothes, didn’t really stop the sweat and made us smell after a few minutes. Nothing worked for us and we literally tried everything! So, we decided to create one ourselves. We spent the next three years researching, developing, and formulating, collaborating with leading experts in fragrance and cosmetic science with exacting standards and a whole heap of creativity. The Deodorant Balm was literally “Born to Perform!”
Why was creating a product that is completely sustainable as well as inclusive important to you?
It’s very important to us both, and we knew from the outset that our ethics would play a key role in the product. We are proud to have developed plastic-free packaging suitable for modern living. The Deodorant Balm is packaged in aluminium tubes ideal for their durability, portability and recyclability. Aluminium can forever be recycled without losing any quality. But plastic caps that usually accompany aluminium tubes can’t. In response we created bespoke aluminium caps to prevent more plastic entering our ecosystem. The only compromise is that our caps can’t pierce the seal, but simply find something sharp (a pen is ideal) and you’re good to go.
We created our Scenes (fragrances) without gender in mind. People are over “extreme sport” for men and “soft linen” for women. Sweating is a universal problem. So we created bespoke, premium fragrances inspired by some of our happiest memories in the natural world.
What makes The Deodorant Balm more innovative than all of the other natural deodorant options out there?
We think our gorgeous tubes are pretty cool (they look great in the La Pochette pouch at the gym!), but let us tell you about the stuff inside!
When developing our formula, the goal was to create something safe and natural that still worked! Which is harder than you’d think. Instead of using complicated chemicals or ingredients you’ve never heard of, our formula “innovation” actually relies on active botanicals and natural ingredients that have been traditionally used for centuries.
Akt Deodorant Balms are made without parabens, aluminium or other synthetic ingredients. We don’t use any “fillers” in our fragrances, which means we had to meticulously test countless scent formulations before landing on the perfect versions of our three signature scenes. A process that continues to keep us on our toes!
You may also be wondering why we’ve chosen to create a balm vs. something more “traditional” like a spray or stick.
The cream based texture of our Deodorant Balm makes it more like a premium skincare product than a traditional deodorant. The balms can be gently rubbed on with your fingers or applied with our gua-sha inspired applicator tool, giving you a brief moment of self-care before you start your day. Though it takes some getting used to (we promise, it’s only a day or two), we’ve found that people enjoy adding this mini ritual to their morning routine.
Plus, our balm is multi-use. It’s safe and effective anywhere else you may need protection, including your feet, forehead or chest.
It might sound crazy to those who haven’t tried a really great deodorant, but we really believe that a better deodorant can change your life. If you’re looking for a better deodorant, look no further than our customer reviews! (La Pochette customers can get 15% off* too!)
What’s been the reaction from fellow performers and the theatre community?
The West End is where the story began, so we decided to test it on some of the hardest working individuals we knew of. Every single West End cast member in London was given a sample of The Deodorant Balm to test for its efficacy and comfort. The response was overwhelmingly positive and supportive. Theatre inspired the creation of The Deodorant Balm, but its community inspired the brand. Their feedback and support has been critical to our success so continuing to build and grow is fundamental to our business.
We were so excited to see our friends performing on the West End again after an awful year, so we gifted products to every theatre as they slowly reopened through Summer. A thank you for their support as we wouldn’t be where we are without them.
What have you achieved so far with Akt that you are most proud of?
We earned a lot of accolades early on, which was incredible! (More press than we could have dreamed of as performers). We are No.1 in Vogue and winner of the Harper’s Bazaar award for Best Deodorant. We have sold more tubes than we could have imagined, grown a community and received thousands of 5* reviews from our customers. All of this has made all the stress over the last 4 years worth it. We never thought we’d be more famous for starting a deodorant brand than performing!
To get 15% off Akt products and find out more visit their website here. Quote LAPOCHETTE15 at checkout to redeem your 15% off*.
*Discount only valid on first time purchases. Discount is not valid in conjunction with any other offer or on subscriptions. Discount expires 30th September.