There's been a lot of buzz about zero waste packaging as of lately. Lush Cosmetics, for instance, has package-less products and plenty of other brands have followed suite. But there's one brand that has taken the idea of eco-friendly beauty above and beyond. Ethique is the first full-range, zero waste beauty brand in the world, according to the brand. There's everything from moisturizers and serums to shampoos and conditioners, so your entire beauty routine can produce no trash at all.
Ethique started five years ago with four shampoos and one conditioner that's purpose was to rid the world of waste. From there it took off to include serums, cleansers, scrubs, deodorant, body wash, and even self tanners.
"We are the only brand in the world that has a fully solid range with almost every product you can find in your bathroom (serums, moisturizers, shave bars, body wash - not just solid shampoo), and we are certainly the only zero waste, full-range company," founder and CEO of Ethique Brienne West tells Bustle.
On top of offering incredible products, the brand is on track to prevent one million plastic bottles from being created and going to landfill by end of 2018. Ethique is based in New Zealand, but the products are available to purchase from all over the world.
The beauty industry is about more than just looking great, and sometimes it takes an outsider to make the biggest difference. West started out her journey in college by trying to solve the plastic pollution problem. Little did she know it would lead to a full line of zero waste beauty products.
"My first lightbulb moment was learning 80 billion plastic bottles end up in landfills each year — just from shampoo and conditioner alone," West tells Bustle. "I was studying biochemistry at University and began digging in. I taught myself cosmetic chemistry, researching what each ingredient does and how to build a product."
While the first thing you see might be the products, this is much more than that. The brand uses fair trade ingredients and is a certified climate neutral brand. That means that its carbon footprint is measured through every single step of the process. Ethique uses the data to make sure that they are helping the environment through every single step of production.
The entire line of beauty products is available on the Ethique website right now. Bars start right around $15 and range to $28 for bundles. That's right around the same price, if not cheaper, than eco-friendly shampoo brand available at Sephora.
The brand goes out of its way to make customers feel comfortable buying too. Firstly, you can snag a set of mini products to test everything out before you commit to a full-sized bar. Ethique has also created holders, so that your bar has a home and doesn't wash away while you shower. Basically, there's no reason not to shop this brand.
"Many high-end beauty products have packages within packages, often non-recyclable as they are made of mixed materials," West tells Bustle. "Even when the materials are recyclable, the reality is that only 12 percent of plastic worldwide is actually recycled and 8 million tons ends up in our oceans every year. Recycling is better than nothing, but I am passionate about creating compostable packaging that could still stand up to international shipping and retail display."
If that doesn't make you think about your beauty routine, then I don't know what will. This is more than just getting a great counter Instagram shot. It's about completely saving as much plastic from the ocean as possible. Because what good is looking great, if you don't have the world to show it off on?