Plastic-Free Beauty

Ethique - plastic free and zero waste

Plastic-Free Beauty

What if we could prevent 50 million plastic bottles from hitting landfill by 2025? This beauty brand is on a mission…

Did you know that the plastic we throw away in a single year could circle the Earth four times? [Lucy Siegle, Turning the Tide on Plastic] That’s just in one year!

And Plastic Oceans, a non-profit, estimates that packaging alone accounts for 40% of total plastic usage.

One of the industries generating an awful lot of that plastic packaging is the personal care and beauty industry.

I liked this article from National Geographic talking about the evolution of our personal care routines – from the soldiers returning home from World War I who were committed to hygiene to prevent the spread of disease to the glamour of Hollywood movies setting out ideal standards of beauty. Advertising played its role too, of course, and the innovations in plastic manufacturing changed the look and feel of personal care items entirely.

But for many of us, we’re rethinking our addiction to plastic in the face of environmental concerns (landfills overflowing, micro plastics in the oceans) and the visible effects of climate change (plastic is made by extracting fossil fuels from the Earth).

That’s why we love Ethique – one of the world’s first zero-plastic, zero-waste personal care brands.

Founded in 2012 by Brianne West, a New Zealand entrepreneur with a background in biochemistry, Ethique originally started making natural beauty bars that could replace bottles of shampoo and conditioner. They’ve now developed 40 solid bar products for use on hair, face and body. And they even have a range for laundry and for pets.

Brianne West, Founder of Ethique
Brianne West, Founder of Ethique

Plastic-free, plant-based, cruelty free and sustainable, these bars have won fans across the world, including Britney Spears and Ashton Kutcher. And they’re a Certified B Corporation, a business that balances purpose and profit.

With that B Corps certification, Brianne is fanatical about making sure her supply chain meets incredibly high standards.

‘We source our directly traded coconut oil from a women’s cooperative in Samoa, and our Moringa oil from a cooperative in Rwanda. Where we don’t work directly, we always request information on how the suppliers are paid, ensure child labor isn’t involved and if profit sharing is part of their remuneration. That way we know they are paid and treated fairly, meaning they can look after their communities and their environments.’

Brianne West

Brianne told Forbes that she has 57 new products in research and development.

‘I’m working on a whole new range of products that will be a world first, plus a few others that are a twist on a traditional product. Cannot wait to get them out there.’

We’re just as excited as she is.

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