Founder of eco-friendly cosmetics brand Surf Balm, and a contestant on BBC’s The Apprentice 2023, JOE PHILLIPS is taking action to protect the ocean – one lip balm at a time. Words: BETH NORTON

Raised in Zimbabwe, Joe Phillips was immersed in nature from a young age. When he moved to the UK and studied zoology, he often started his days at the University of Exeter’s Cornwall campus by going surfing before lectures, sometimes sharing the waves with seals. A qualified safari guide, he’s using his business experience to make a positive change for the natural world that he loves so much.

“I have a deep love for the ocean,” says Joe. “It can provide you with such joy in life, and it certainly did for me when I studied in Falmouth. But because of that, it broke my heart every time I saw beaches with the high tide mark littered in plastic.

“That’s when I made it my mission to try to make a difference to that plastic pollution; to make a lip balm that was not only sustainable, but also plastic free.

“My experience as a safari guide in South Africa has taught me how delicate nature can be. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the African savannah or the Cornish coastline – every action that each individual takes has a direct impact on the wellbeing and the welfare of the animals in that ecosystem.”

Of his time on BBC’s The Apprentice 2023, Joe hopes his TV appearance served as an instrument to encourage more retailers to transition towards locally produced, environmentally friendly cosmetics.

Surf Balm is handmade in Cornwall from 100 per cent natural ingredients, containing no petroleum or artificial flavours. Unlike lip balms in cardboard containers, Surf Balm has been designed for people who love the outdoors, so it’s also waterproof. It’s packaged in an aluminium container which, unlike plastic, is infinitely recyclable.