Our 450th Living Wage employer: Bare Biology

Following a recent surge in sign ups to the campaign, we are very pleased to have hit the milestone of 450 Living Wage employers in the City! Number 450 to join us is Bare Biology. Here’s owner and founder Melanie Lawson to tell us more.

Firstly, tell us a bit about who you are and what your organisation does.
We make the most excellent Omega 3 fish oil!  Super pure, super fresh and totally sustainable.  Our products help people feel better basically.  We sell online and also in lovely shops like Liberty, Whole Foods and Planet Organic.

Well-being and mental health is quite central to your business isn’t it? Why should this be a high priority for employers?
From a hard-headed business point of view, people who are struggling mentally will not make good decisions, won’t be productive and will struggle to be constructive team players.  From a human point of view, helping others is one of the most important things in life.  Being successful has to include helping people.  Entrepreneurs, by nature, want to make things better in one form or another.  Helping your employees is just an extension of that desire.

What does the Living Wage mean to your business?
To be honest, we have always paid well above the Living Wage from the very start.  I wouldn’t feel comfortable paying people any less and it’s important to me that my employees feel valued and have a good standard of living.

Why do you feel the campaign is important?
As a small business it’s not always easy to pay people well, but it’s important to behave with honour and integrity.  Businesses that put kindness before profit will ultimately win, even if it takes a little longer.

Now we’ve hit 450 sign-ups to the Brighton & Hove Living Wage campaign and well over 3000 wages have been raised as a result of the campaign. Do you think there is something special about Brighton & Hove that has contributed to the campaign’s success?
I think Brighton is a politically active and motivated city.  We have a strong sense of community and word travels fast because we’re quite small, which makes communicating these initiatives much easier.  There’s also strength in its visibility.  Those employers who might be reluctant, or find it hard financially, wouldn’t like the idea of being one of the businesses that hasn’t signed up yet.

When it comes to staff morale, what else can make the difference?
Treating everyone with respect and kindness.  Giving people the opportunity to contribute ideas without fear of judgement.  Making sure employees have time outside of work to pursue hobbies, sports and other interests.  Discouraging gossip, sniping and moaning helps with company culture and mutual trust.

And finally, do you have anything you’d like us to plug?
Yes!  We have launched a new Omega 3 for mental health called ‘Mindful’.  One capsule a day is the same as eating a whole tin of sardines, with guaranteed purity and made only from sustainable wild fish.  Also, £1 from every pack sold will be donated to Mental Health Mates, Bryony Gordon’s mental health support initiative. Head to https://www.barebiology.com/ to find out more.