A lot of people ask us about our name - Nereus London. The London part is pretty straightforward, as that’s where we’re based and has been our home for many years. As for Nereus, well that’s a slightly different story.
When we were in the developing stage for our brand, we didn’t start with a name, but an idea. We wanted to create eco-friendly shampoo, conditioner, body wash and other beauty products that were environmentally conscious and sustainable at all stages - from ethical farming of the natural ingredients, to making sure that all the bottles were truly recyclable when you’re finished with them.
We really didn’t want to call ourselves something a bit too on the nose like ‘Eco-friendly sustainable natural beauty products Inc.’ so we had to get our research hats on. We were looking for a name that really resonated with us, something that reflected what we’re about as people as well as our professional ethos. After searching for quite some time, we landed on a figure from Greek mythology - Nereus.
Nereus was the son of two deities - Gaia, who was the personification of the Earth, and Pontus, who represented the sea. In the ancient Greek poem Theogony by Hesiod, which describes the origins of Greek gods, Nereus is described thusly:
‘And Sea begat Nereus, the eldest of his children, who is true and lies not: and men call him the Old Man because he is trusty and gentle and does not forget the laws of righteousness, but thinks just and kindly thoughts.’
So as we can see, Nereus was trustworthy, gentle and kind. These are all attributes that resonated with us because we really value their importance, not just in everyday life but also in the way we conduct our business. We like to think that trust comes from transparency and being open about everything we do - it’s something that is earnt rather than demanded or taken for granted and that’s what we’ll always strive to get from our customers.
Gentleness and kindness are similar, both reflecting our approach to sustainability. We feel like the earth should be treated with respect and that extends to both our approach to how we use only ethically sourced ingredients from suppliers that we have a personal relationship with, as well as using packaging that not only doesn’t have a plastic impact but is either infinitely recyclable, like our bottles and caps, or biodegradable like the labels we use.
Another feature of Nereus the god is that he was able to talk about the secrets of the future to people who sought his advice. While we don’t claim to have those supernatural skills, we do like to think that we’re a company with the future in mind - particularly when it comes to the preservation of our planet.
We are almost entirely plastic-free in our entire supply chain and don’t use plastic for our packaging, but we felt that simply not making things worse in terms of plastic pollution wasn’t enough. Due to this, we looked for a partner that we could work with who would help the here and now by dealing with the issue of plastic pollution.
We decided to team up with Plastic Bank, an organisation that helps the worst affected areas of the planet in terms of plastic pollution. For every bottle of Nereus London sold, through Plastic Bank we recover one kilogramme of ocean-bound plastic that will then be processed and recycled properly. If you’d like to read a little bit more about our relationship with Plastic Bank, check out our blog.
So, that’s the story of how we chose our name - hope you found the history behind it as interesting as we did!