Meet Sarah and Brad Pearsall, founders of BRÖO: an eco-friendly hair and skincare brand. They're changing the way you think about shower beer. This family-owned company has turned one of the world's most beloved beverages into hopped-up hair and body care products. Made without harsh chemicals, BRÖO cares about your health and the health of our coral reefs.
Read on for our interview with Sarah and Brad to learn more about how they're supporting our reefs with #beerhair.
What is your earliest memory of the ocean?
Brad: Playing in waves on Captiva Island, Florida, with my grandfather when I was a little kid. He bought me a toy sailboat.
Sarah: Wave-jumping in West Palm Beach, Florida with my brothers and sisters on a very windy day. I was very small, and the waves seemed like tall buildings. I was terrified, yet exhilarated each time the waves didn’t drown me!
What is your favorite marine creature? Brad: Dolphins. When I see them jump, it makes my heart sing.
Sarah: Sea Turtles. As a teenager, I would go sea turtle watching in Jupiter, Florida. I was always fascinated by the baby turtles finding their way to the ocean by moonlight, and then years later return to the same beach to lay their eggs. Through the “Lights Out" initiative, I saw how humans can impact nature, by luring turtles away from the ocean and towards the condominiums that had lights on.
Have you experienced a healthy coral reef ecosystem? If so where, and how did it make you feel? Through the years, we’ve snorkeled at John Pennekamp State Park, Chankanaab, Mexico, St. Thomas, BVI and Maui, Hawaii. The colors, lack of sound, and diverse sea life felt like we were in another world. We normally experience Earth above ground, so to experience Earth from a different viewpoint makes us feel like there is so much more to this world than meets the eye.
Have you seen a badly degraded reef system? How did that make you feel? We snorkeled off a reef in Anegada, BVI in March of this year. We were expecting amazing reefs because the island was so underdeveloped. However, the reef was devoid of color and life. We were so disheartened, imagining how long it takes for coral to grow. A fellow snorkeler told us that he was in the same spot 20 years ago, and it was teeming with life!
What concerns or scares you the most about climate change? As a brand that sells hair care products, we are very worried about contributing to the degradation of the environment. Although we have just gone plastic free with our bar shampoos, we are still trying desperately to be more eco-sustainable with our liquid haircare in tubes. The tubes are recyclable, but we’re impatient for technology that would help us be even more sustainable sooner.
Why do you, personally, care about coral reefs?
One of our first dates was snorkeling on the reefs off Key Largo, Florida, 20 years ago! We took a picture of a sea turtle with an underwater disposable camera, blew it, up and framed it. To this day we still have that picture. Since then, we’ve experienced reefs all over the world, in Mexico, Hawaii and Virgin Islands. Our kids were born on Key Biscayne, and our favorite activity was taking them on our boat and snorkeling. We have many fond memories of amazing reefs and want them preserved for future generations.
Why is protecting and restoring coral reefs relevant to your brand? After Sarah’s brother showed us a picture of plastic piled up on a deserted beach in Bali, we decided to take steps to reduce our brand’s plastic footprint. The result was our new bar shampoos, which are plastic-free in their packaging. This is also why we decided to partner with CRF™, by donating a portion of every bar purchase to preserve coral reefs. We also are taking steps for innovative packaging for our liquid products that will lessen our impact on the environment even more.
Why should the average person care about coral reefs? There are many places we may never see in this incredible, biodiverse world, but it is important that we know they are there, and have not been destroyed. Plus, we have a lot more snorkeling to do on our bucket list and we don’t want the reefs messed up before we get there!
In your opinion, what are some of the most powerful tools at our disposal that we can apply to the mission to save coral reefs? Youth and social media. Young people are not going to let older generations destroy their future, at least not without a fight. Also, as a nationwide brand, we personally hope that other brands will follow in our efforts to use more sustainable ingredients and packaging.
What do you think are some of the easiest ways that the average person can join the mission to save coral reefs from extinction? Vote with their dollars by buying products from sustainable companies that support efforts to restore the reefs, wether its eco-packaging or reef-friendly sunscreen. Finally, getting more people to experience the reefs is probably the best way for them to care about it. It’s a whole new world for people who’ve never experienced it, and they will fall in love.
Do you think there is hope for our coral reefs? Why? Yes. Winston Churchill is quoted as saying, “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing; after they’ve exhausted every other option!” We think the same can be said for humans, in general. When faced with the extinction of species, or the loss of entire ecosystems, humans will rise to the challenge, and find ways to avoid the finality of such things. Let’s hope we all do it faster!