Goodness, Which Circles Back: An interview with Melissa Bowden -

Melissa Bowden


Meet Melissa, founder of Circle Back! We’ve really impressed at her stylish approach to helping consumers find better products for the planet. She’s supporting some great causes too!

So, Melissa…

Q: What’s unique or innovative about Circle Back?

Circle Back is a website and soon to be pop-up shop providing an edit of brands which give back to the world in some way as well as being design-led for a modern consumer. It’s a place to find ethical, sustainable and environmentally conscious brands in one place. The whole idea revolves around the concept that when you buy something as a gift for yourself or others, you’re supporting the wider world as well through social initiatives, charities and positively impacting the environment at the same time.

The shared feature of featured products is that I think it is something people would buy regardless of the positive impacts it has. I want to showcase that you can buy items that are ethical without forgoing design and taste.

Q: Why is it called ‘A Circle Back’?

I wanted the name to be evocative of what I was promoting which is non-linear processes and purchasing. The shape represents just this and is an easy idea to picture. Adding the word ‘back’ to the name emphasizes the notion of giving back too.

The circle as a shape presents this image instantly. It is also representational of cycles and how one action leads to another.

I love finding images and art of anything circular and keeping this moodboard on my Instagram #acirclebackinspo It reinforces the concept of thinking cyclical and caring for more than just your immediate circle. I notice circles everywhere now, which constantly inspire me!

Q: What inspired you to start?

At Christmas, I tried to gift friends and family from small brands with big ideas. I wanted my presents to be for my loved ones but feel like it’s a time to think of those who have less than yourself as well. I started to think how good it would be if you could go to one centralized space with brands which all have business models that think beyond just their direct personal profit. I believe in the longevity of creation and the repurposing of products as well as finding ways of pushing generous actions when spending which has inspired me to start A Circle Back.

Q: What’s your biggest achievement to date?

My biggest achievement to date is starting! I’ve thought about and brainstormed the idea for a long time. By starting the concept I’ve been able to realize what it could become.

I was nervous that the idea wouldn’t be convincing and I felt like I needed to do everything at once. I wish I’d known how receptive people would be to the idea. I’m inspired to keep going because I believe that the brands I champion are exemplary business models for the future.

Q: What’s your plans for the next 6 months or year?

This summer I’m creating the first A Circle Back pop-up shop in London. Alongside this I will make the website an ecommerce platform too. I hope to replicate the business model for another pop-up Brighton before Christmas 2018 and I am starting to think about creating some product myself through collaborations with artist friends.

Q: What do you wish everyone knew about today’s consumerism? How can you persuade more people to be more ethical in their consumer choices?

I think it would be great if everyone knew how small changes will make a big difference. I’m a long way off from being a perfectly conscious consumer but I’ve change some daily habits that will help protect our planet and people. I’m so encouraged by all the positive messages and transparency at the moment I hope along with this people are changing their lifestyle choices and that the social media outrage translates into positive habits.

My biggest persuasion is that this is an incredible world we live in, with amazing countries, cultures, wildlife and people. Without looking after the world and the people in it we’ll leave behind a shell of what it was.

Q: How can people learn more and purchase from you?

People can learn more by visiting the website: and following on Instagram and Twitter . By joining the mailing list through the website they will be kept informed about pop-ups, new products and any offers. I also welcome interaction and offer personal shopping recommendations through the contact page or via email (


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