INDUSTRY - Brand & Marketing, Business Growth

Brianne West

INDUSTRY - Brand & Marketing, Business Growth

I am a New Zealand entrepreneur and the founder & CEO of Ethique – the world’s first zero-waste, full-range beauty & lifestyle brand.

In 2019 I was named the EY ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ and was named a ‘Top 100 Global Thinker’ in 2016 by foreign policy magazine.

While studying towards a science degree in 2012, I reached the logical conclusion that with so much water found in our bathrooms there’s no need to add it to the likes of shampoo, conditioners, moisturisers, household cleaners and cosmetics, which are usually 60-95% water. By making these products solid and simply sending the active ingredients to our customers, there’s no need for plastic containers.

My first solid products were formulated in my kitchen, along with the idea of helping eliminate plastic from the global beauty industry. The overarching goal is to put a bar in every shower and to change consumers behaviour and prove to businesses that they can be environmentally proactive while also being financially sustainable.

Seven years later, Ethique has prevented more than 6 million plastic bottles from being made and disposed of landfills and prevented over 400,000kg of carbon emissions. That’s a pretty amazing thing to be able to say. Even better, we’re on track to make that number 50 million by 2025.

While a huge part of what we do at Ethique is about eliminating the plastic bottles and wasted water contained in personal care products, our brand stands for so much more than that.
All products are vegan, cruelty-free, palm oil free and are wrapped in compostable packaging. Ethique is NZ’s highest scoring B Corp, is living wage accredited, works with cooperatives around the world to source our ingredients and donates 20% of profit to charity.

Outside Ethique I am establishing a charitable foundation to distribute the 20% of Ethique’s net profit that’s donated annually towards education, environmental conservation and animal welfare alongside my own contributions.

I am exploring the viability of marine permaculture as a carbon sink alongside some incredible scientists and establishing a native forest in New Zealand to bring back our native wildlife.

I truly believe we can have a healthy, beautiful and awe-inspiring environment, with fairly shared equity amongst all, sustainable economic growth and that no one needs to be left behind. We just need to do things a little differently.

Ethique is proof that this is possible.

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