ARRAN Sense of Scotland started life just over 30 years ago as Arran Aromatics, originally to provide the people who visited the island of Arran with something they could take home to remind themselves of their visit. We have been making bath, body and home collections inspired by the natural beauty of island home ever since.
In March, our founder, Janet Russell contacted the team to inform us that the Island needed help. There were not enough hand care essentials to go around and asked what we could do to support our community, as soap and warm water were still the most effective solution against COVID-19. To that end, we began the immediate production of 15,000 x 25g bars of soap, packaging them in family bags of five bars and made available across the island for all residents that needed them.
During this time, two things were happening - We were working hard to overcome the unprecedented challenges that now faced us as a business, while still wanting to play an active part in helping our communities. Community has always been at the heart of the ARRAN Sense of Scotland brand across the last three decades. We had received a flood of messages from people we had already given products to. The messages were very personal in explaining what our gesture had meant to them, lifting their spirits, helping them relax, refresh and the comfort they provided, knowing that somebody cared.
We were truly humbled by the messages we received. The emotional connection our customers and community had to ARRAN Sense of Scotland struck a chord with us. Since then, we have been working hard to capture the essence of this in our Purpose, not only to provide direction for our brand moving forward but also something that embodies what our brand, employees, suppliers & customers believe in:
We are ARRAN Sense of Scotland and our purpose is to help the world create empowering connections with nature.
When you build an empowering relationship with your environment it strengthens your mental wellbeing, supporting both yourself and the contribution you can make in the world.
We want to partner with like-minded organisations to shift global thinking and make mental wellbeing as important as physical health for us all.
With our new purpose at the forefront of everything we do, we turned our attention to other communities throughout Scotland. We wanted to help the key workers on our front lines, providing them something to lift their spirits and take care of their wellbeing during those tough times.
Since May, we gifted a further £100,000 worth of products to key workers and volunteers across care homes, care in the community facilities, and the NHS. In the space of a few weeks, we sent over 60,000 products around the country to help support those front line workers, not only from a physical safety perspective through our hand care collections but also to provide these critical workers with an opportunity to relax with our bath and body care blends to be used at home. The response from our customers and community continues to be overwhelming and we are proud to have been able to do our part.
Our activity also led to ARRAN being featured on ITV’s Lorraine show, focussing on ways to support your mental wellbeing. This inspired a new series of blog posts written by front line workers, what life was like for them, and their advice & tips on how they look after their mental wellbeing.
It’s early days, but as we gradually exit lockdown and adapt to the new reality that we face together, there is genuine excitement from the ARRAN Sense of Scotland team about sharing our Purpose and the difference we can make to our contribution in the world as we continue to support the wellbeing of our customers and community.
“The Isle of Arran is home to our Brand and has been for over 30 years. For me and my family, The Isle of Arran has always embodied relaxation, family time and love of the outdoors and nature. The ferry crossing creates that physical barrier from the mainland that almost acts as a switch that instantly allows you to escape from the stresses and pace of everyday life. This opportunity offered by our island home to escape, recharge & rejuvenate, for me, perfectly represents ‘wellbeing’, both physical & mental. With the restrictions brought around by lockdown, looking after our wellbeing has never been so important. We at ARRAN Sense of Scotland, by living our Purpose, aim to bring The Isle of Arran to the world and, through our products, create empowering connections with nature” – Kevin Meechan, CEO
“The last 100 days of lockdown has changed so many things that we took for granted, turning the world upside down, separation from our family, friends and colleagues. Some things I enjoyed before I always knew were a treat and others I was able to enjoy regularly (like watching rugby or going to the beach in any weather!). For me, I did not realise how much my mental health relied on these little luxuries until they were taken away. Working from home has been both a strain and a gift. The lines blur and switching off has been a challenge, but as a family, we are still all speaking with each other, and figuring out slowly what we need to do to look after ourselves. From day one, we knew we must exercise and keep fit, but I don’t think we had any idea how important it would be to work on our mental wellbeing at the same time. The body needs the mind and for me connecting them both through nature is a great place to start.” – Andrew Russell, Sales & Marketing Director.